Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The day our world turned upside down

This has been one of the hardest things we have ever done.  Let me explain.  For those of you who don't know me in person or are not in contact with me on Facebook may not understand.  On Thursday, July 12, 2012 Rob was dismissed from his job with the Northwest Company.  He was the manager of the Northern Store in Ile a la Crosse, Saskatchewan for 4 years.  On that Thursday, he was visited by his district manager and HR manager when they dropped the bomb that he was "no longer the right fit" for the company and he was dismissed effective immediately.  Yep, IMMEDIATELY.  As of 2PM that afternoon, he was unemployed and we had 7 days to vacate the house we had called home for 4 years.  It still chokes me up to think about it.  There was no indication what so ever that his job was in jeopardy.  He was performing well, his store was doing well, and to say we were shocked was the understatement of the year.  The community outpouring of support for us was out of this world.  It was within an hour that the first person showed up, in shock.  And then another, and another and another.  So many that we ended up leaving that night because I couldn't cry anymore and we had to make a plan of what the hell we were going to do.  We decided we would immediately have to start selling our large items, the first being the boat we had just bought and both loved.  Rob was adament that he was not going to sell his quad or his motorcycle, so we bought a 12ft cargo trailer to haul back what we could.  And from Friday morning to Sunday evening we packed.  And purged.  And sold. And cried.  Sometimes all at the same time.  Our friends were amazing, and were there for us from the time we heard the news to the time we left.  The only time they were not there was when we were sleeping.  We had more people offer their homes to us so we didn't have to leave the community.  A petition was started within an hour of him being dismissed to get him to stay.  People of the community started calling and emailing the head office of the Northwest Company voicing their upset with the decision.  They threatened to boycott the store (which many did).  The MAYOR of the town called Rob as soon as he found out when we left town for a night and then stopped over the next day.  I don't think I have ever seen him so mad.  The community came together and had a potluck supper for us the night before we left.  There was over 100 people there (many people were out of town on a pilgrimage or there would have been more) and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  The elder who spoke there stood up and said "You belong to us.   You belong to this community and we want you back.  There is no word in our language for goodbye because we do not believe it in.  This is So Long for now".  We believe there is more to this story and we will probably never know the real answer.  Rob was offered a severance package from the company, so we were able to move back to Nova Scotia and not worry about having the money to get here.  Fortunately for us the money that we made when we sold most of our stuff was enough to hold us over until we received his severance, which we did when we were 3 days into our trip. We have moved in with my mom, which will work out really well for all of us.  The boys are happy to be back amongst family.  I have a hole in my heart where the town of Ile a la Crosse will always be, and although we may never live there again, we will certainly be back there to visit.  My dream is to win the lottery and build a summer home in Ile a la Crosse, with my own plane so I can go there whenever I want.  All I can say is that we are taking this as a new chapter in our life, and I will never lose contact with our Metis family in the north.  So much that I had planned on getting a tattoo of a pelican on my arm, and now I think I still will but there will be a Metis sash there also, so I will always have a visual reminder of my home away from home on my arm.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chasing rainbows

Rainbows have a double meaning for me, both good and bad.  I remember when my god daughter Adelle was christened.  Her mom Genevieve, Genevieve's amazing mother Alice and I went all over her little community chasing this amazing rainbow that came out.  It was vibrant and clear and we were determined to find the end of it.  So, on one hand rainbows make me smile and miss my friend.

Double rainbows have a different meaning completely.  When my sister came to visit and stay with the boys 2 years ago we also saw a double rainbow.  It was in February, and it was unseasonably warm that day.  It rained on my way to Saskatoon to get her, and unbeknownst to me the temperature suddenly dropped as we were travelling.  We were about 200kms away from home when we saw a beautiful double rainbow.  We were talking about how rare it is to see a double rainbow when I noticed an accident on the road.  I pressed on the brake and we slid right across the road.  The road that I thought was clear was in fact sheer black ice.  We spent the next 3.5 hours driving very slowly hugging the shoulder of the road in 4 wheel drive to get home safely.

This rainbow shot amazes me.  These were taken on Canada Day.  This storm rolled through so fast it was like it never happened.  I chased this rainbow all over town in the rain like a fool.