The best thing to ever come out of our time as a family in Nova Scotia was the birth of our third daughter, Storm.

She is a constant reminder to me of all that is good in the world. A smile when she sees me, her tiny body fighting sicknesses to get better and beaming when she does, trust in me as she lays her head in comfort on my chest when I hold her. Reaching out to me with her little hands and arms in faith that I will be there for her, and of course I can’t resist picking her up when she does.

GTF might be gone, but it is not forgotten. Out of death comes life, and as we know from the bible and biology a seed must die in order to live. I am longing to see what will come out of these literal burnt ashes, the death of a dream, and I am excited to see it present itself when it does.

For me, its not an easy road. I miss my family, I miss my daughters. I miss having someone close to talk to, and I miss all of the workings of a family living life. I miss the discussions and the camaraderie and the inside jokes and shared celebrations.

Of course I dont miss the negative side of it at all. There have been plenty of painful lessons to learn along the way so far, and I am sure there are more to come. Taking stock and spending months upon months of reflection on what went wrong and why tells me that there is more to reflect on, more to change, more to learn about, more to internalise. So, much, more.

I am inspired by simple things these days. Outside of myself, its seeing my daughters. Seeing them play, seeing them play with each other, seeing them interact with others, seeing them grow tall and strong and more capable. Caring for them. Playing with them. Seeing how they respond to changes in my fathering style. Enjoying their closeness and enjoying doing what I can to encourage them to grow in self belief, confidence, conflict resolution with each other, forgiveness to others, taking time for self, being happy with what they like and not relying on what others think (ie: encouraging their formation of self), and so on.

I’m also enjoying the idea of making home for them the way I want to. I’ve enjoyed hand crafting their beds, their toys, their indoor monkey bars and climbing wall in my lounge. Enjoying the process of bathing them in a steel tub. Enjoying them using the kitchen table as I made it – a gathering place to use and if it gets dirty and dented then thats part of the fun at this time. I am proud of these things, and I look forward to making home more to my liking. Truthfully, I want to make all my physical things going forward, for my family and I.

Check this out if you are ever curious. Best 24mins I ever spent watching anything on a screen

Inside of myself, its a storm sometimes. I do feel differently at times about where I find myself in life now and what its brought. Its certainly no straight line day to day, night to night. I appreciate the few good friends I have had the blessing on leaning on emotionally and talking to. Having the opportunity to talk honestly and getting good, useful feedback in return that is helpful. Kevin, Carlo, Sam, Pat, Myra. In Nova Scotia, the love and gentleness and help of Menno was my Godsend, and the genial support of George helpful. There are others who have helped along the way too and I am grateful for what they have done for me.

At times, I feel peaceful inside, that Canada is the right place to be. At other times, I feel that a culture more like my own might be better like New Zealand. Thanks to a discussion I had last night, I came to the realisation that for the next 17 years I have the adventure of raising my girls till they are ready to exit the coop. I love framing it like that, because it makes those 17 years exciting and something to look forward to, instead of feeling forced to live in a part of the world I don’t want to for a number of reasons. With this reframe, I am sure it will my improve my experience, engagement and therefore enjoyment.  I really do want my family and I to live as best as we can, and have the time of our lives doing it too.


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