Saturday, October 20, 2007
A First Impression
It has been many years now since I first set foot in this country. Like many before me, we immigrated here from another place looking for a new life, in a not so promised land.
The very first thing that registered on me was, ‘hell it’s bloody cold here!’ The plane had touched down at Montreal airport for a customs and international health card check before proceeding further on our journey. Of course there probably had to have been other reasons why we landed there but that was the part that effected us. The doors of the plane had been opened since we landed, and they remained open for a whole hour. The icy fingers of the coldest winter wind that I had experienced in many years, came whistling down the aisles, enveloping the passengers and gripping you around the ankles, with the first welcome, to what felt like igloo land!
That certainly was my first impression at the time.
It was early in the month of March and naturally, winter was yet barely over. Another short delay as they found someone who needed a shot before they would be allowed to proceed, and then once more we were on our way.
We arrived at our destination to a fanfare welcome from the gathering of in-laws, some of whom I had never met before, and of course another icy blast of the cold stuff. These family members however, were quite key to us even being in our new home, for we had to be sponsored to come here.
So you get caught up with the initial excitement of things, for that is only natural and the weather momentarily becomes a memory.
That initial meeting with two of my brothers-in-law would be the start of what would turn out to be, our very foundation in this new life.
Just to show just how small the world can be, one of the bil’s turned out to be a guy I went to school with, so many years before and boy had he changed.
Jack, the other bil, is the one that sponsored us and where we stayed for the first eight weeks upon our arrival. Jack was one hell of a guy, full of fire, determination and a real workaholic. He was a great family man with a wonderful wife and kids. He was also a very mischievous person, “Dennis The Menace” comes to mind, ~ talk about a prankster.
There is really only one way to describe Jack, he was the original ‘Give you the shirt off his back’ guy, and that says it all.
Jack loaned me his car so I could go job hunting, he also set me up with a friend in the business to buy my first car over here. ~ Eventually, after I convinced him I didn’t want to live in an apartment, he found a way for me to purchase a house ~ I had been in the country just 2 months! ~ When they came out on strike at the steel mill I got a job at, he got me temporary work working alongside him, and his boss. Thanks to this man, I was able to build a rock solid foundation, in my new home of Canada. He and I were friends right up till the time he passed away from heart trouble, a few years ago God bless him.
Saying just thanks Jack, really doesn’t seem to be enough, but I will never forget my friend, my good Samaritan and for all that he and his family gave to us.
Every person should have a Jack to come to when they start a new life in a new country, I’m sure glad we had ours. I’m forever indebted to my friend, rest well Jack.