Yesterday, at 8:55am, I landed in Canada and became a permanent resident.
As we sat in the border office, waiting for the final processing to be completed, I fidgeted with an envelope and thought about a phone call I’d made three years ago.
Gill and I had been in love for just over three months, though we had known each other for over five years. I was living in Michigan, and he was in Ottawa, and we were desperate for a way to live together. So I tried to be sensible and responsible and I called an immigration lawyer.
I explained our situation, then described my liberal arts degree, lack of funds, and bizarre array of job experience (apparently aspiring lady novelists are not in demand in Canada). He hemmed and hawed a bit, and then he flat out told me that it was a lost cause. Even if we got married, they would never approve Magill as a sponsor with the salary he made at the time. It was impossible for us to be together, and that was that.
I felt like I’d fallen into a play, suddenly cast as one of the star-crossed lovers, doomed to be parted from the one I loved by an invisible line in the sand. Magill was much more level-headed about it. He called the lawyer a creative string of explicative-studded names and told me not to fret. I fretted anyway, but I took great solace in his certainty and determination. He believed so adamantly that it was all going to work for us that I couldn’t help but believe with him. And we decided that night that we would do whatever it took to be together.
This Thursday, as we crossed from Canada into the States and back into Canada, I expected to feel a huge surge of emotion. With a final signature and stamp, the invisible line that had separated Magill from me was erased. But the surge didn’t come. I felt the same as I had five minutes before.
And that’s when I realized that we erased that line three years ago, when we decided that nothing was going to stand in our way. That was when I crossed the border, even though the Canadian government thinks it was at 8:55am on August 13, 2009. Oh well, they can think that if it makes them happy. I get the free health insurance either way!