Skip to the Content

Missing My Mother As I Make My Home in Canada

Time 0:03:04


My childhood was in Nairobi, Kenya where my first memories are of growing up with loving parents doting neighbors and children of my age. I lived in a flat with my parents and my brother. The big house had five other flats and all of my neighbors doted on the only little girl in this place. I felt completely free and a sense of belonging.

When I was ten we moved to England. I was excited to go to a new place. My life is England was difficult but I adjusted with the support of my family. When I was twenty, my parents found a marriage match for me. This was okay as that was a part of my culture and I consented; the husband was nice so I said yes. I was married in London on June 22nd and I was excited as I was now going to live in Canada. We did not have computers then but I went to the library to read about Canada, it seemed very nice.

My first few days in Victoria were a big adjustment: there were not many people in this city and it was very quiet. My husband said he would take me on a tour of downtown. I was very excited and dressed in my latest London fashion. When we were driving home, he asked how I enjoyed the downtown. I asked him “Where was it?” I was expecting Oxford Street and I got 3 blocks of stores.

After a week of feeling very alone, I asked my husband to call England. Nobody called overseas unless it was an emergency as it 3 dollars a minute and I was apprehensive that my husband, who I did not know well would think if I was being unreasonable, but I was so lonely that I just had to talk to my mother. After hearing my voice, my mother came to Canada to stay with me for 3 weeks.

After that initial year I started to adjust. I got involved with the Folk Fest, a community that celebrates different food and culture. This was the first time I started to enjoy my life in Canada. My first job in Canada was after my children started school, helping immigrants settle in Victoria. It gave me such pleasure to help others go through the transition that I had gone through and their success was my success.

My children have grown up to be lovely human beings and I now have 2 grandchildren. My husband has turned out to be a wonderful person, who is supportive and also puts up with my still sense of not belonging. I miss living near my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family. I see other people in Canada who have that and it really brings home to me that I don’t. So, my morning begins with a cup of tea and a chat with my mother even though Canada is now my home.

Return to Victoria gallery >