Front of Mind

Final Fortnight Day 2

During our wildfire evacuation, our desire to protect our children came into stark relief. Tim and I were in no immediate danger due to the wildfires, but the air quality was so bad that it endangered our daughter’s breathing. Her bone disorder affects the body’s collagen, and lungs are made of collagen. All her life, we’ve been careful about respiratory infections, knowing how dangerous they could be for her.

Our choice to evacuate was based on two issues; preventing health effects of wildfire smoke, and the ability to find accessible accommodations. We left when the “get ready to think about evacuating” zone had crept to within 3 miles of our home, because the chance that we could find any place to stay that would accommodate three adults, a wheelchair and a dog dwindled each day. Even for regular trips, we have to plan well ahead.

Tim has brought up the possibility of us moving to Canada should the situation in the U.S. get worse than they are. Like the approaching wildfire “get ready to evacuate” zone, we see a storm coming. We don’t have any way of knowing how bad that storm will be, but watching the degradation of the fail-safes designed to prevent total collapse of our system of government has destroyed our sense that everything will be okay “no matter what.”

We discuss the possible evacuation to Canada more seriously these days. Tim’s a Canadian citizen, and has looked into the rights and protections that affords. He has researched the effect such a move would have on his job. He has, as he is wont to do, run through the checklist several times. He knows where we would go, and how it would work. He is very thorough.

The potential for another move, a departure from the life I have built here from nothing, initially sent me into a tailspin. How could I leave this place I love so passionately? Tim and me leaving presupposes that our 26 year old daughter, who lives with us right now, would be leaving too. But of all the kids, she is the most rooted in her community by nature of her job and volunteer work. When asked what she would choose, she has stated she’s not going anywhere. She would find a place on her own and stay here.

Our boys, 31 and 25, are living with their significant others. Ideally, we would all go as a family. That’s the only way the kids would be allowed to immigrate to Canada: attached to the Canadian citizen.

None of those factors consider my commitment to working and advocating to make this country better again, or my desire to be an agent for good should the darkness of a second term for the current president take over our country.

And there is absolutely no way I will flee to Canada if my kids still live in the U.S. I won’t be that far separated from them, and certainly not if the world descends into chaos dragged by a corrupt, totalitarian administration whose goal is to grab as much wealth as possible for a very few and destroy the lives and spirits of the many.

So the decision about what our family will do is not yet final. It is distantly comforting to know that we could all leave, should the flames of violence burn out of control.

We’re in the “get ready to think about evacuating” stage, and I’ve been fighting it with everything I’ve got. But I see smoke in the distance, and we must plan ahead.

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