I met a Royal Canadian Air Force officer while he was stationed in my city: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. He became my best friend and my beloved companion. When his time in OKC was up, he received orders to go to Bagotville, Quebec. (No, my fellow ‘Mericans, that’s not near Montreal.) I made the decision to accompany him. I’m now a foreigner “twice removed,” a ‘Murican in Canada, and an Anglophone in Quebec.
I’ve been here for over two years now, and I think I’ve finally adjusted. At least mostly. I can “get by” in French now pretty easily, including having found a job here. Despite this, I don’t yet feel good about saying “yes” when someone asks if I’m bilingual. I’m not afraid of winter anymore, though the first few snowfalls of the year make my soul shrivel a bit, even as they still summon something of an Okie child’s sense of wonder. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the life I left behind is no more, and that Quebec is now home.
Marrying into the military has been a challenge, but I’m lucky to have no regrets. I can imagine never coming to Quebec, but I can’t imagine life without my best friend.