“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
God is so very gracious to us by leading us to know FamiLIM and the Chan family during our 1-year stint in Calgary, AB, Canada. They have been such great blessings to us throughout our entire year there – winter to winter. By that I mean – from winter 2013 when we first arrived in Calgary in the middle of a snowstorm, to winter 2014 when we left Calgary to return to Singapore.
Back in Calgary, we used to enjoy our small gatherings with these former Singaporeans, who had since became proud Canadians about 20 years ago when they decided to leave the little Red Dot for greener pastures. Even though 6 months out of 12, Calgary is covered with snow, and is always dry and cold, with temperatures sometimes dipping into frigid extremes… often ranging between -20ºC to -40ºC during winter nights. The cold does not deter them (or us) from loving and wanting to stay in Calgary for a lifetime. It is the way of life, the Rocky Mountains, the considerate and cheerful Canadians, high standards of food hygiene, etc. that draws us to it like opposite ends of a magnet. Oh, and did I mention about Canada’s free healthcare that is as competent? I did not have to pay a single cent throughout my pregnancy. Absolutely no charge for any doctor visits, prenatal ultrasound scans, hospital stay after labour and delivery. Zero! Nada! Zilch!
The above picture is the Chan Family’s residence in Calgary. This was how it looked before they left it and came to Singapore on 16 May 2014. I remembered the last time we visited them, there were deer outside their community premises. We love how it looks just like one of those mansions we see in a White Christmas movie…
I thank God immensely for the opportunity to reside in Canada for the entire year of 2013, preserving for us precious memories we would always hold dear in our hearts. What more to have a constant reminder well and alive in my life – Baby E who was born in Calgary, who holds dual citizenship currently, whose birth certificate and passport are originally Canadian! We believe God has His purpose in ordaining things this way. Well, who knows? we may eventually retire in Canada? For me, I yearn for the day we return to Canada, not because I do not like Singapore, after all, it is my home country! But, sometimes, all it takes is an experience of some things that just gels so well with everything you have hoped for in your own country, that prompts you to compare, and analyse what you desire for your own family.
Today, God in His grace and faithfulness, brought this group together once again, this time in Singapore instead of Calgary. These friends will be leaving soon to return to the country I have been missing. Sometimes I wonder, if they do feel the same way about Singapore, missing the country where they were originally from. But, the image of them singing the Canadian national anthem with so much pride and joy during one of the events they have organized for their association, assured me that they have not regretted their decision to migrate.
We will be missing them dearly and will continue to keep in touch. Friendships like these should not be left to wilt, for these are the ones that flourish and burst forth fruit, under God’s care. May The Lord bless them always, as they continue to bless others whom they come into contact with.