To my mom (even though it didn’t start out that way)

I made good on my date with Le Monstre, and I made it through 30 minutes of cardio feeling pretty good. My legs felt like lead afterward. I hate how long it takes to get into good shape, and how quickly you lose that hard-fought ground when you stop. At any rate, I got my toehold again. Let’s see if I can use it to climb back up out of this rut I’ve been in. It feels like a good start.

I’m in a better mood than I’ve been in since I hurt my back. I am healing up steadily, which helps. I have social plans tonight. That helps, too. I’ve isolated myself a bit since I’ve been home. I am truly grateful for the new friends in my life, even as my heart sometimes aches for the people I love who live on the other side of thousands of kilometers. I almost cried in public this afternoon as I checked my phone and read a message from my mother. I’d almost forgotten that American Thanksgiving was approaching. I already had a great Canadian Thanksgiving with my husband and my in-laws. Mom said she hated that I wouldn’t be there this year, and asked me to tell her that at least I had plans with friends, so she wouldn’t have to think about me being all alone up here. Funny, just as my mood lifts and I start to feel less alone, seeing my mom write “alone” instantly made my eyes spark with tears.

If you’re reading this, Mama, I’m not alone. I’m lucky to have a lot of people in life who care about me. Dr. and Mama O don’t make me miss you less, but know that my “Canadian parents” are pretty happy about gaining a daughter (wouldn’t you be, when they just have two stinky, hairy man children??), and they’re very, very good to me. I’m sorry that I’m so far away, and that I can’t say with any certainty when I’ll make it back to visit. But I WILL be back, and when I do visit, it will be for a nice long while. Don’t be sad for me, Mon. (Haha, has Sister told you how her phone likes to correct “mom” to “mon,” giving her a weird Jamaican accent?) Many mothers’ daughters never find a best friend like I’ve found in Q, and he spoils me. Yeah, some days are hard right now with him gone, but it really is a tremendous experience. I can actually sometimes speak a bit to some of the French people up here who don’t speak any English. That’s not something I’d have ever learned without this weird shift in my life, and it’s not something I’d be learning as quickly as I am if Q was here for me to lean on.

And I’ll be obnoxiously happy soon. In four weeks, I’ll be with my best friend for his birthday weekend. Then I’m going to stay with my Canadian parents until Q’s graduation, when he’ll come HOME with me. And Mama, I think I’ll have to throw an American Thanksgiving dinner in your honour (yes, dammit, I know how I spelled that…you know I like the Canadian “eh,” and I like most of their extra “u’s” too). I don’t want you to be sad on Thanksgiving, picturing me alone up here. We’ll cook a turkey or roast some chickens, something that involves throwing a carcass into the oven, and my Northernmost American Thanksgiving will have more booze and probably more profanity than yours, as well as fewer people pooping and peeing in their pants. (Ha, Hank, you may be a big boy, but you’re still a kid, and still gross.) I love you, Mom, along with a lot of people who are far away right now. But it won’t always be that way. This marrying into the military thing has its ups and downs. While there’s no point in even thinking about Q’s next posting, we won’t be here forever, and it may be that having an American wife makes him an attractive candidate for a posting in the US at some point in the future.

Now I’ve got myself crying a bit, but at least it’s at home, and not while the nice guy at the dealership’s service center was practicing his English on me as we went over Ginny’s service and repairs.

Also, baby sheep, Ginny’s new shoes feel weird. I don’t suppose I’ve ever driven a vehicle that had snow tires before.

I love you, Mama, and I’m okay.

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