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Public Solicitation, or The Story Behind The Story



My mom is a semifinalist in the EIA Great Jetaway contest! Here is my shameless request for all of your votes (daily, per device. Please vote often!).

The thing about vignettes and video clips is that brevity is key, so my mom's story got heavily edited, despite the amazing work of the EIA media team. I just wanted to backfill the details a little bit more.
Mom was born and raised in China/Hong Kong. When she was in her early twenties, she agreed to an arranged marriage with my Dad to obtain her citizenship status, so that she could eventually sponsor her entire family to come to Canada. As the eldest daughter, this was one of the things her family had expected her to do, even though it meant uprooting her entire life and relocating across the world when she was just 23. She had only known my dad for about 2 months when they exchanged vows, and three months after their first meeting, she left behind all of her friends and her family, and essentially moved from her father's house to her husband's, and relocated to Canada. Her English was poor, she knew virtually nobody, and the people she was closest to were thousands of kilometres away on a different continent.

While my mom did fall in love with my Dad over their 40-year marriage, their lives in Canada weren't easy. With 4 children to support and raise, they both worked 2-3 jobs to try to make ends meet during the lean years; at one point, both my parents worked full-time during the day (Mom as a bookkeeper and Dad as a chef) and then they cleaned movie theatres from 11:00 pm until 3:00 in the morning. They still managed to find time to attend all of their kids' recitals and create a meaningful childhood for all of us. When my Dad finally retired, my parents sold their home and moved into a condo in the city to be closer to their children and grandkids. My mom still continued to work at Wal-mart to try to save up for their golden years. They dreamed about taking a Caribbean cruise together, and about taking my Mom to Australia to visit her best friend, whom she hasn't seen in over 40 years.

However, just a brief couple of years after their move, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He fought the disease as long as he could, but succumbed to it two years after the initial diagnosis.
Now widowed, my Mom is navigating her way in the world as a single person living alone for the first time in over 60 years. She is trying to carry out the plans that she and my Dad had dreamed of, and was recently able to go on a Caribbean cruise with the money her part-time job provided her. Her 65th birthday comes at the end of this month, and she is finally set to retire. Her greatest wish is to reunite with her best friend, who she hasn't seen in over 40 years and who now resides in Australia. This friend, who is also widowed, has been a constant in my Mom's life, and a tremendous support not only throughout her last several decades as a wife and a mother, but also during my Dad's battle with cancer. They have kept in touch via handwritten letters, emails, phone calls and FaceTime over 4 decades, but they haven't been in the same room or even the same continent since my parents got married in 1974.

This contest gives Mom an opportunity to finally see her best friend again, and to give her a long-deserved hug for being there for my Mom during the hardest, saddest and most joyful periods of her life.

Please vote for Katie. I can't imagine a person more deserving of this, after a life of selfless devotion to her family. Voting is allowed daily and from every device. Thank you for hearing more of her story, and for voting.

Here is the link:



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