Less than three years ago we left Venezuela, our home, and moved to Vancouver. The reasons, known by many and very relevant for us, are not relevant for this post.
The four of us packed our most needed belongings in six suitcases, said goodbyes, said see-you-later and left without looking back in search of safety and opportunities for Jose, our then 12 year-old.
We left behind our most precious relationships and support network, our very close family and our few but loyal and trusted friends hoping to find peace and freedom in unknown lands. I did not realize back then that I was following the steps of my grandparents, that their courage to venture out in the world looking for a safer place was in my genes and was giving me the strength, the extra push to move forward, even if it was two generations later.
Leaving challenged me in so many ways. I was used to being in control, to taking charge. How was I supposed to do that and to protect Jose in new territories? Were the two of us enough? Although I went to a Catholic School, my relationship with faith and spiritual beliefs had been put to the test many times and religion wasn’t my strongest suit. God and I had a different relationship though. I have always felt a strong and very present connection with a leading and strong spiritual force, especially in times of sorrow. When I feel things are too much to handle I pray and I surrender. That has been my guiding principle since we left and I have always felt the presence of God.
While we miss our family, we have been blessed with friends that support us in times of need. Last night showed me that we are not alone. Jose was badly injured during a soccer game (he is ok, it is his knee that is not so good) but we felt and continue to feel as supported as one could wish for. From my dear friend who jumped in the car with us and took 100% charge while we were in the ER to all the families and coaches that have been in touch showing support, saying that the team needs its captain and offering their love. We are a tribe, we are a community ready to offer words of comfort, encouragement and a helping hand when things look dark. It is no surprise that Jose is in very good spirits, he shows so much determination to get better to be able to go, train and play with his team in the so-much-expected France trip. That is all we can ask for as parents, injuries will happen but the resilience to push through and the emotional strength is was really matters. We are fortunate to be part of our chosen FAS-Vancouver family. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.