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Posts Tagged With: immigration

32 and 9 and still new

32 years ago I immigrated to the United States with $178 and a guitar.

9 years ago I stepped forward with 78 others to take the Oath of Citizenship.

It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.

(more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen.

Why?

Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

* * * *

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

 

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Holidays, Home, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On being a citizen

image from photos.igougo.com

image from photos.igougo.com

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote?

Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

A great day - the day I became a citizen!

Teary-eyed at becoming a citizen!

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Categories: Faith, Family, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Starting points

As I neared the check-out lines, I overheard one of the clerks saying something about Bangladesh to another. When he saw I was ready to be rang up, he quickly scampered over and got into position behind the till.  While he was scanning my purchases I asked, “did I hear you mention Bangladesh?” and he smiled shyly. “Yes Ma’am,” he said, with a heavy Hindi accent.  Smiling, I asked, “And how long has it been since you’ve been there?” His brown eyes, the color of warm honey, glistened “Two years, Ma’am.”

Impulsively, I told him that I was an immigrant once, am a citizen now and that I know what it’s like to be far from home.

Smiling broadly, he told about his Permanent Residence status and, in another two years (I heard yea-uhs), he can apply for citizenship.

“Well, that’s just wonderful; good luck to you” I said, smiling.

He handed me my packages and, grinning broadly, said, “Thank you, Ma’am, Thank you” and with a dip of his head, I knew he wasn’t talking about the purchases I’d just made.

“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.”
— Jodi Picoult

Our starting points couldn’t be more different but we enjoyed a kinship in the journey.

Categories: Friendship, Life, Quotes, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

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