To Vancouver, and a Job

A dark felt pen sketch I did of Dad when he wasn’t looking.

On a warm and sunny summer day, Kim and I were called into the house. I noticed an upbeat, positive tone in Dad’s voice. I wondered what was happening.

Mum and Dad called us into the kitchen, and we plunked ourselves down across from them at the table. It was weird to see my parents sitting together, side by side. I don’t remember them sitting together like that very often.

“I’ve been offered a job,” Dad announced. “We’ve discussed it, and wanted to talk to you kids about it. How would you feel about moving to Vancouver?” Dad told us that this would be a very good job at a big University over in Vancouver.

I think Kim was as puzzled as I was, but after a moment of uncertainty and looking around the table, I looked at my parent’s faces. Mum looked at Dad, and Dad looked at each of us. They looked hopeful and happy, like this was some kind of new start.

I said “Wow!” Kim watched my face and looked at her father’s hopeful expression. It must have reassured her, because she smiled as well. I remember a happy, hopeful expression on Mum’s face, so I guess she was happy about it too, but looking back on it and knowing how dearly she loved Poppy, it must have been hard for her to agree to leave him again.

Later, on my own, I felt worried about going to Vancouver. I thought that it was a big city and probably pretty scary, like New York or some other big city. We’d only been in Victoria for about a year, and I probably didn’t want to leave it, and I really didn’t want to leave Poppy. As I thought about it in our brief moments at the table, I pictured Kim and I walking past row upon row of brick buildings under a grey, overcast sky. It would be cold or windy, and we would be scared of getting mugged or something. There would not be any trees around – just cement and bricks. I was scared of the big city.

But anyway, it was still exciting news for us as a family, especially after how hard it had been for Dad to find a job in Victoria. This was a major success for him, and so it was a success for us.

We were going to live in Vancouver next…


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The memoir and family history of E. John Love