by MarianSeptember 22, 2017
I remember the exact moment my family and I arrived in Canada and got off the KLM flight on December 4, 1994 @ 9:15 pm. It was -35 degrees Celsius in Edmonton, quite a chilly evening that winter. As we were getting off the airplane, there was a little gap between the airplane door and the pedway leading into the airport gate, as I stepped over the gap I immediately felt the chilling air; it surprised me and I walked right back into the airplane. I felt apprehensive,… but everyone was pushing through so I kept on going. As we exited the secure area, I saw my aunt holding 4 large coats and smiling at me and my family. I took a deep breath, one of many more to come, and thought maybe things might be okay, Having left a country full of religious persecution, instability, bad healthcare, and no real opportunities, I couldn’t even imagine what we could have here. It wasn’t easy, we struggled for years and did so much with so little that at times we were unsure if we will make it here; I often thought back to that moment when we first arrived and wondered if that feeling of apprehension would every go away. Looking back, I wish I had a little more faith, because we eventually settled in and felt like we belonged.
I am so grateful and thankful for the opportunity to live in a beautiful land, with kind and welcoming people, accessible education and healthcare, and most of all a chance, a real chance to chase my dreams. My parents made this sacrifice for my brother and I, and for that I will forever remain in their debt, but most of all I will always feel privileged and honoured to be Canadian. This has become my home, and I’ve never looked back.
Happy 150th Canada, thank you for all the freedoms we so graciously enjoy!