Forty-six weeks after the second day of the new year
On November 2nd, at 2:48 am, a missile warning sounded in the city we live in. Near Tel Aviv, right in the center of Israel.
We woke up, immediately alert, ran to the safe room, turned on the television, went online to see if there’s any news. Waited. We did all this automatically. The last war was only three years ago, and you never forget what to do when a missile warning sounds. Warning after warning and missile after missile exploding over your head or near the elementary school nearby or in a building full of families just a few blocks away tends to drive the point home. And so when a missile warning wakes you up in the middle of the night, you do what life in a war-ridden region teaches you and then you wait to hear that you’re safe, that nothing happened. Either that, or you’ll hear the explosion of the missile somewhere. Hopefully far enough away.
This post isn’t what you’re used to, nor is it Claire’s, who writes to you as Author. This is me, Sister. Kate. I wanted to be the one writing this week’s post, the one talking to you. It’s time I spoke, time I called out.
That night of the missile warning was scary. You might ask why we would have thought the missile warning was real, not a malfunction. Simple. There were and still are reasons to believe there will be some kind of attack either from the south or from the north. I won’t give you the details, that’s not what this blog post is about. And anyway, you might have heard by now something about what’s happening here, it’s been in the news. Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Gaza, Isis, terror attacks, missile attacks, these are fleeting news stories for you, if at all. For us it’s here. For us it’s once again the military helicopters flying overhead and the incessant supersonic booms of fighter jets. For us it’s constantly hearing about the coming war, feeling the preparations, wondering when it will start, if it’ll be as bad as they say, if we will survive this one. For us it’s real. It’s fear.
You know what, I don’t want to talk about war anymore. Or about Israel, about what my family had feared and is already coming true—the laws that will give the government a free hand to do anything it wants, the laws that will limit the power of the courts, the laws that will give power to ancient religious law and that will discriminate against us, limit our democratic rights as people and as women. Or how about the reality that anyone who thinks differently than the prevailing opinions is under threat? Just look at my Facebook page, you’ll see that once in a while I talk about what’s happening here. It always takes me quite a few hours to write those posts, you know, because yes, I have no choice but to be careful with what I write. Nowadays, every time I speak I could face backlash, I’ve already faced anger and threats simply for not complying, for voicing an opinion, for speaking honestly about things that worry me. And if I’m afraid every time I speak my mind, then there’s something seriously wrong here. And you know me, you know us, we’re moderates, liberals, respect life, freedom, human dignity. How is that wrong? Okay, yes, you’re feeling the anger. The concern. The cage it feels like we live in. The simple and sad and terrible fact that we, my family, we don’t belong here. There is no future for us here.
No, really, put that aside for a moment. How about this: in 2017 Canada’s official immigration plan stood on 300,000 people. Why not us? Right now, this very minute, while I’m posting this on our website for you to read, Claire is sitting in the next room preparing for publication the third book that will be published under our Author & Sister logo. When that’s published she’ll go on to the fourth book. Canada, look for us online. Look for our website with this blog and information about us and our books. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Amazon. An Author, her manager/publisher, our mom who is a huge help to me in my side of the work—we’re steadily building ourselves. How do we not fit? You, the readers of this blog. You who follow us on social media, read Claire’s books, hear and read our interviews—you know us. Tell us: how do we not fit Canada? How do we not fit a good, free, hope-filled country? What else do we need to do to deserve a real home, a safe existence, the life we want so much for ourselves?
You started hearing about our quest for a new home in June this year, ten months ago. Our first Canada Quest post was on June twelfth, five months ago. How about more numbers? It’s 1058 days today since I submitted the first visas for my family. In one month and nine days it will be three years since then. Three whole years. Throughout this time, I talked to whoever I could. And since the beginning of this year, while Claire spoke to you here, on this blog, I used our social media to reach out. I’ve made new friends, amazing people in a number of countries, Canada included, and Claire and I even had interviews on Canadian radio stations and a tv station, interviews that had gotten amazingly supportive comments.
And yet here we are. In Israel, with no way out to the new home, the new life we are waiting for. How about this for a call out: Prime Minister Trudeau, we’ve been following you on Twitter. You seem like a good man. A fair man. You love your country, you care about your people. You value progress, diversity, creativity. Immigration. So why not us? We’ve shown you who we are, we show this every day. We’re doing the best we can to show you why it should be us. In fact, you know, I’m betting that if you knew about us, you would say yes. That if you knew us, you would open the door and let us in. You would let us be the Canadian Everward Family. The Canadian Author & Sister. The Canadians who write and publish books they are proud of in the adopting country they are proud to be a part of.
No pride now. Just a lot of wondering. A bit of shattered hope. A lot of questions and worry and, yes, fear. Canada, where are you?