I could not wait to start my life with him and live normally. Have a home, have a mortgage, pay bills and have a family. I vowed and dedicated my life to Marcus. I also vowed to take care of the family I would one day have. I would never let harm or betrayal come into our lives especially with the kids we would one day have. I was ready to protect my family from any harm and suffering as I had endured my whole life. I wanted to take with me lessons that I hard learned along the way. I loved our family life and routines growing up. The closeness and love we felt as family members in my own family, would be instilled in my new one. Family vacations, eating together, having family time and date nights alone with Marcus to build our relationship together. There had to be a time for everything made no matter what to accomplish success. Hard work and dedication would be the key.
Marcus was unable to work. He was still on a visitors visa in Canada. The application for permanent residency would have to be completed in order for him to work and our lives to truly start. We had found an immigration consultant to help us with the then, confusing application package. In time, in small increments, we had paid over $15,000 to the consultant. Paperwork and documents galore. Then came the red tape. Naturally, Canada had to assure Marcus was not using or abusing the system to get into Canada. In Canada, the land of the free and diversity with an unbelievable medical system, it was a prime living opportunity to those on not so fortunate countries. In Canada, especially Alberta, we do not pay a penny for medical treatment. Mostly everything is covered by Alberta health care. A card given to you at birth at no cost. Any medical treatment was usually covered. In our neighboring country, the United States, treatment had to be paid for and paperwork had to be filled out before a doctor would look at you. They even turned people away that had no money or insurance. That would never happen in Canada. Even foreign workers received cards for free health care while in Canada for work. A visitor, as Marcus was, would have to pay for medical but still then, it would be so inexpensive. Forty dollars for a doctor visit. He would also never be turned away if he needed any medical surgeries or more intense treatment. They would perform regardless of money or payment but give a bill in the afterwards. Luckily, he was a healthy man and didn’t need anything during his waiting visitor year other than a doctor visit for a cough or cold. Marcus was also a very high candidate for migraines. They would hit him hard. He suffered from nasal infections constantly making him gag from draining. The altitude change would set his migraines screaming. They would hit more often than usual. He would have to succumb to a quiet dark room, lay down holding his head with tears in his eyes and rock back and forth. I felt helpless. Most of the time, all I could do, was tie a belt around his head and help him pull on it as tightly as I could. This would offer him some temporary relief. I had never had one headache in my entire life. I had no idea what a headache or a migraine would feel like. Watching him suffer always broke my heart. I felt helpless. We spoke to mama in Alabama on several occasions because she suffered from migraines as well. Mama would help by sending is some medications that worked for her. Over the counter vitamins and such to help prevent the migraine from getting worse. It helped somewhat, but his body was also adjusting to the new climate and altitude. Canada was known for getting amazing amounts of snow in certain parts and not so much in others. In Calgary, some years, the snow would be over three feet high, other years almost one foot. It would also get downright freezing with temperatures dropping below -20°c/-4°f. To Canadians, that is normal weather. We are so use to it. To visitors, that is down right freezing cold. Snow was now upon us. Marcus was going to discover Canada’s winter months. The first snowfall would fascinate him! He loved watching it. Marcus told me in Alabama, they would get snow rarely too but it was heavy and wet. They would not get very much of it and it would melt right away. If more came, it would shut down the entire city, county. In Canada, even in years of sometimes having an upward of 5+ feet of snow, it would never shut the city down. We would still have to drive or walk on those slippery roads to get to get to our destinations. Planes would still fly. Busses and trains would still function no matter what flurries or deep freeze we were undergoing. It would now be cold but not what was usual. We were having an ok winter season. To too cold at all but cold enough to freeze the hair on your head or in your nostrils. Marcus went out to brush the snow off our vehicles one morning. Two hours later, we still saw no sign of him. I had ended up getting busy and then falling back asleep for a nap. After a few hours, upon waking up i noticed Marcus was no where in the house! I asked my family where he was and they said he was still outside clearing snow off the cars! They were giggling a little. I was so confused! I was more concerned than giggling or laughing like the rest of them until I went and looked from the window. In an instant, I started giggling like the rest of them. He had the snow brush in his right hand and slowly waving the snow off the cars in segments within a pattern design. He looked hilarious. It was like he was waving a magic wand over the snow and delicately, with long strokes, fluttering the snow off the car. From far it looked like a magical dance he was performing. I knocked on the glass window and asked him to come in for a sec. He walked into the house, his nose red like rudolph, his hair frosted over including the hairs in his nose. The first words out of his mouth was ” I can’t believe how fluffy the snow is here! I love brushing it off and watching it fall. I Alabama the snow is so heavy, wet, not fluffy like this but there is so much of it”! He was ecstatic! It made me laugh harder. I was worried about him driving on the slippery roads when he wasn’t use to it but he assured me he was a professional driver and had a class one truckers driving license. I always trusted and had faith in everything he told me but no matter what, deep down, I would always worry. I loved him so much I would worry about everything. I needed to protect him from everything. He was so precious to me. He saved me. I always felt like I had to return the favor. It wasn’t even like that….I wanted to. Government paperwork was all completed and sent in. It was now the waiting game. It would take one year for the paperwork to go through. Marcus would go stir crazy not being able to work or do anything for that long. We also had to pay is American bills in Canadian funds plus the bills I already had. That, in time would prove to be so difficult. I was now just teaching piano privately. I was not working full-time. My studio set up was not ideal for more students. There was no door to close for privacy. We stayed downstairs and the entrance was just the stairway. The time would soon come that we would have to declare bankruptcy in both Canada and The United States. It was hard to do but it sure relieved us of financial stress.