Wednesday, November 30, 2011


John and I flew down to Kansas the 23rd of November.  American Thanksgiving and Mom's Birthday; two birds, one trip.  Actually, three birds; we got my Visitor Record on our way through immigration, coming home.

Thanksgiving was delicious.  I think we are all becoming fans of smoked turkey, especially, Mom and me.  Pop it in the oven to heat up, and pull it out.  Done.  Mom had done some pre-emptive cooking, so all the sides were about as easy as the turkey.  We changed up the seating arrangements this year, which I thought would encounter some resistance but much to my surprise, it went smoothly.

With the meal prepared and the seating figured out, we sat down to an extremely peaceful dinner.  If there was conversation, I missed it.  I single mindedly dug into green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, potatoes and gravy, and mom's family tradition : Cranberry Fluff.

In the days following, we hung garland and lights, put up an artificial tree and ate turkey sandwiches.  Whenever I go home, I find myself drawn to the back room where my sister's possessions reside.  There are boxes of what I consider to be, life's debris.  Pictures, receipts, letters, notes, clothing tags, instruction manuals, and tickets.  In this way, Kandace and I are very similar.  Not quite the pack rats we could be, but unwilling to toss tangible reminders.  I sorted a few boxes but without the feeling of accomplishment.  It's not enough.  I thought I would get to know more about her via what she kept but I now realize that isn't going to happen.

Her journals would be the direct connection to what I'm looking for, but Kandace was a very private person.  I doubt she would want every thought, concern and opinion read like a tabloid magazine.  Mine are set up as records so that one day my children and family will have that insight into my life.  Not quite a biography, just... me. On paper.  Now I just have to get back to writing in it.

With another trip at an end, I shut the door to the back room and got back to present issues.
We flew home the 27th and were met by severe winds in Calgary.  We were warned that if they didn't die down a bit, we would be rerouted to Edmonton which would make for a very long day.  Twelve planes before us were turned away, but as we approached, the pilots got the go-ahead.  I will summarize the landing by telling you what a flight attendant told us; "We never should have landed."  There is a video clip they have been playing on the weather channel, of a plane landing.  Without a word of a lie, I think it's the one that touched down after us.  It was sideways as it approached the runway, and straightened out just as it touched down... I didn't feel any sideways action, but there was plenty of surging, tipping and dropping.

After that experience you would think I'd be numb, but I still had enough nerves in me to make going through immigration a stressful experience.  It went well, which was to be expected, since we are almost all the way through the process.  The agent handling us was not convinced we satisfied the 'common-law' aspect but we had the letter, stating we had fulfilled the requirements. She gave us the Visitor Record and sent us on our way.

Monday, John emailed it to our lawyer who will pass it on the the Border Agent overseeing our case.  This is the last piece of legal documentation that we needed.  Fingers crossed for a speedy reply.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Friday the 28th of October, John called me with news.  The border agent who is handling our case had contacted our lawyer.

"I have now had an opportunity to examine the additional evidence submitted under cover of your letter dated 29 March 2011, a task made more difficult and time-consuming because it included a good deal of extraneous documents which did not relate to Ms Fisher's residence with Mr Venner, her sponsor.  However, there was sufficient relevant material to make a determination that their relationship does meet the regulatory definition of a common-law partnership, particularly if we are willing to include time not strictly within the period up to the lock-in date.  It is hoped, therefore, that we can proceed without the need for an interview."

He goes on to say that we need to acquire a Visitor Record and after that it looks pretty good.

This is all very positive, except for one small detail... Our lawyer's assistant has been the only person doing anything for us. That wouldn't be a problem but he has a VERY strong Asian accent. He told us a while ago that we needed a "Weezaderecard'. John understood this as Visa Direct Card. We couldn't find anything on it and he never mentioned it again.

If we had Visitor Record explained to us, we could have had one from the beginning maybe we could have had a 'yes' instead of a "probably." Could have freaked out if I had been anywhere near our man. Especially since we could have gotten the record coming over the border on our way home from my cousin, Jake's wedding but we didn't get notified until 3 days after we were back. Yay.

I can't tell you what a relief it will be to finally have an answer.  I already feel the tightness, that has been inhabiting my chest since last November, beginning to ease.