I sat in the cold porch. The single panes of window glass were sweating on the inside, the phone pressed firmly against my ear. The wind and rain worked their misery outside. It is going to be so much nicer in Canada.
'Now Paul,' I spoke to my brother in Canada, my index finger firmly planted on the map of Ontario, 'this place called Missis something, outside Toronto, now would that be a nice place to live?'
He sighed, 'I know nothing about Ontario or Toronto or Mississ something, I live in Quebec, in Montreal'. 'Oh well, sure for Gawd's sake, that's only up the road,' I said as I slid my finger along the map. Lovely, just lovely.
Paperwork, interviews, medicals, and vaccinations followed. Canada used a points system then and we were on a roll. We got points for everything and finally found ourselves sitting in front of the Canadian Embassador to Ireland. We had our interview. Terrified for no reason, we wore our Sunday best as if we had just stepped out of Mass with angelic expressions on our faces. Sure they would want Angelic people over there. We both had jobs and family and had every intention of getting through this interview so we could start a new life with great opportunities for the children.
The Embassador greeted us with a smile and a hearty handshake. What a lovely man, I thought. They all must be lovely over there. At one stage he threw his hands behind his neck, elbows outstretched and planted his feet firmly on his desk, shoes and all. I was never allowed to do that.
He stated, as he lit his pipe, that,( puff, ) Toronto was a great place, (puff.) You could go underground and shop and go to work (puff ) and never really have to come up to street level (puff.). Oh what a great place, I thought, you could live like a mole. How exciting.
In April, my husband left for Canada first. He would stay with my other brother in Toronto as he searched for a job as a drug rep in the pharmaceutical industry. Within weeks offers were sitting on the table. I was to remain in Ireland to sell the house, which I did.
On May 22nd, 1988 I boarded our Air Canada flight to Toronto from Dublin. The twins, were given a sedative so I could endure the flight.
It had the opposite effect! They entertained the whole aircraft, losing shoes, soothers, toys etc.
Arrival at Pearson was arduous. Lining up with now very tired and cranky children was nothing to be sneezed at, but I must say, everyone in Immigration was very helpful.
Michael met us at Pearson, excitedly, jumping up and down waiting for us.
A great big Cutlass Sierra in Silver waited for us. This was to be our new company car to transport us through the next few years of "awe" as we settled into our new lives in Canada. As we drove to my brothers house, I noticed how grey everything was. I had left The Emerald Isle behind! The daffodils, fields of green, snowdrops, a tapestry of colours. What had we done??
Within 2 days one of the biggest heatwaves descended on Canada. Everything rushed to bloom. Explosions of colour. Everything was bigger, amplified. We had left our island behind us in search of a new and better future for us and the boys.
Within 6 months the economy picked up in Ireland!!
T'is the luck of the Irish!