If you happen to read the first part of our story, my husband and I landed in Canada in October 2015 as permanent residents under Regional Labour Market Demand Stream (RLMDS) in Nova Scotia where we were one of the blessed first 150 applicants who got in.
“Fear has two meanings. Forget everything and Run. Or Face everything and rise”.
We came to Canada to be together but that wasn’t the most practical thing to do so I left him here just so he can start a life. With the hope that he’ll be stable when I follow. As for me, I went back to Singapore, my home, where my stable job and prestigious salary waited. Being apart for ten months wasn’t the easiest nor the best decision we’ve made but we had too. There were consequences from that decision that needed to be swallowed and accepted no matter how heart-breaking and soul shattering they were for we wouldn’t be in this position if we did not pass that road. (I wouldn’t want anyone to experience the same, though).
“Life is tough my darling, but so are you”.
Fast forward ten months, it’s time for me to move forward and step out of my comfort zone. Singapore has been my nest for almost six years and there was no easy way to say goodbye to familiar places and friendly faces. Also, it was during that crazy month of August (2016) that my ailing mother’s health was deteriorating. As much as I wanted to be by her side, I need to keep moving to support her medical needs. Though I knew that my earning wouldn’t be as glamorous like in Singapore, I still need to keep generating funds so I flew to Canada to start all over again. (Yes, with hesitations and heavy heart, I left for Canada though it helped a bit that hubby fetched me in Singapore).
A bittersweet farewell to my Nursing family away from home
Don’t try to understand everything. Sometimes, it’s not meant to be understood, just accepted.
I hit rock bottom during my first few months in Canada. I was hired and paid as a CCA (Continuing Care Assistant) in a long term care facility despite of being qualified and treated as an LPN (Licensed Practical nurse). I worked hard and sacrificed more than enough to be an LPN of Nova Scotia only to land in a job that didn’t pay me for my qualification. I didn’t have any benefits since the facility I worked for was privately owned. That was extremely frustrating on my end coming from an institution that offers the best. I felt that my value as a person and as a professional per se depreciated. I have totally no support system except my husband. It’s disheartening to be in a place with not so may people to lean on. Not so many to talk to and not a lot to trust. Added to the stress of adjustment was my RN Bridging course that I needed to juggle with work. And the most devastating part came, barely a week after landing in Canada, I headed back to the Philippines to see my mom one last time. I missed the opportunity to hug, hold and kiss her one more time. We were nabbed of the opportunity to say goodbye to each other. Somehow I regret not being there but maybe, that’s how things were supposed to be. That’s how we were meant to part. And I ought to accept that.
As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with the unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned.
With a broken heart and nearly empty pocket, I came back to Canada. I tried to adapt with the new environment and attempted to live life one day at a time. And after a month, Alas! I’m pregnant for the second time. (Yeah, I lost our first on my way back to Singapore from Canada back in October 2015). With all the stresses that life’s throwing at me, that was not the perfect time to carry a child I thought. Not when I’m still grieving, adjusting and doing my bridging but still, it’s a pleasant surprise!
Concentrate on counting your blessings and you’ll have little time to count anything else.
Fast forward January- February, 2017, things started to fall into place. I got the opportunity to work part-time in a facility where I functioned and was paid as an LPN. I got over my pregnancy’s first trimester and my RN Bridging course is halfway through. Not only I got to know new faces but I found new friends with my Bridging course fellas. In addition, my younger brother’s LMIA was approved! (It didn’t come easy, communication with his employer started in 2015 which only pushed through in September 2016, after our mother’s death). I have that strong feeling which provided relief that our mom needed to go up there to ask God for my brother’s work approval in Canada. It’s her dream not just for him but for the entire family to be together. (He’s her only child who was by her side ‘til her last gasp of air). Also, Mom guided us as to what’s the best thing to do to exit smoothly from the Philippines despite of the POEA/ DOLE- OEC hassle.
A plan made in heaven, the reunion with my Bro
May 2017, my brother and I were reunited! It’s just kinda sad that people (who you thought were real and family) can’t just be glad for other people’s milestones. Perhaps, everywhere where there’s Pinoy has this kind of attitude. I bet that’s a reality! Well, we shouldn’t care. Not at all, especially that we didn’t grab, nab nor steal an opportunity from someone. We’re more than blessed to mind the bitterness of the world. There’s so much more to do with time than to blather over bottles of beers and wines.
A dream becomes a goal when action is taken towards its achievement.
Our Canadian dream was fuelled by the desire to give birth to a Canadian baby which will become real in a few weeks’ time. Also I’m relieved of not having to grind ‘til full-term for I worked long enough to benefit from EI. And btw, my husband and I are delighted not to worry about moving to different apartments year after year for we acquired a starter home to cater a family even before I moved to Canada. We know the struggle of needing to move from one place to another and it wasn’t fun so we decided to put our accommodation fees on mortgage rather than on rental fees. Again, it’s not as easy as people thought; it required our hard earned savings to qualify to get a house.
There’s a few ticked from our bucket list and there’s a lot more to work on. We all have our share of battles and struggles and it’s up to us to fight on. With everything life has splashed me in the past year, going back to my zone of comfort has always been on top of my head for it’s the easiest thing to do. And yes, it takes an enormous amount of courage and determination to stay and stand for what I firmly believe from the beginning is the best,not just for myself but for the entire family, and that is to be in Canada. A place for filipinos to be well taken cared of.
Starting to rebuild a fallen soul.
Guest Contributor: Gerly Enriquez, Nova Scotia