In my last blog (click here to read), I shared that my husband and I were starting to make plans to visit the east coast in the spring of 2020. Then, the unthinkable happened.
The worldwide pandemic stopped us in our tracks. As the entire country moved towards lockdown, we cancelled our plans to travel out east and sat back to watch and wait.
Would the pandemic last a month? Six months? A year? Two years? No-one seemed to know. What I did know was that my dream to move out to the east coast was being delayed again—indefinitely.
Fortunately, after many difficult months, I had become more resilient to unexpected life curves. We would navigate this next wrench in our plans by taking things day by day and press forward with downsizing and preparing our house to sell.
As the pandemic worsened, my concern for my son, who was doing academic research in the Middle East, grew.
As much as I wanted to jump in and insist he come home, my son was a grown man. I needed to step back and let him make his own decision. We were grateful that he kept in touch with us almost daily.
My son decided to stay put and ride the virus out there. I had to put aside my rising fears and accept his decision, trusting that God would take care of him.
As the days ticked on—our planned date of departure came and went—the situation got exponentially more serious around the world. Was it time to approach my son again?
I talked things over with my sister, who had a good grasp on the pulse of the crisis as she lives in our nation’s capital. She pointed out that, in addition to the disadvantage of being a foreigner in a country whose health care system was already overloaded— as a young man in his 20s from another country, he would have been lowest on their priority list for treatment—there was a risk of political instability as the pandemic played out, putting my son in very real danger.
I Skyped my son. “I don’t want to make the decision for you, but you might want to start thinking about whether you should come home after all.”
He paused to gather his thoughts. “I HAVE been thinking about leaving, but I am worried about my research. There’s still so much left to do.”
“Do you want to talk it over with Auntie? She might be able to give you some insight.”
With my home phone in my right hand and my cell phone in my left, my sister, my son, and I had a three-way conversation about the pros and cons of him staying overseas.
After my sister hung up, I asked my son what he thought now.
“Well, after talking to Auntie, I do think I should come home. But I can’t leave now. Maybe in two weeks?” Once again, I bit my tongue.
It took only one day for things to accelerate around the world. When Prime Minister Trudeau looked right into my eyes via the news camera and pleaded that all Canadians come home, I knew in my heart that it was time. I got back on the computer.
“Hon, I think you should come home. Now.”
Thankfully, my son didn’t hesitate to agree. He had to mobilize, and do it quickly, before the country shut down and it was too late for him to get out.
Click here to read the next instalment of "Prairie Girl Goes Coastal."