In the early months of 1996, I was slowly adjusting to the new environment. I was a stay at home wife because I was still waiting for the acceptance as a landed immigrant. We adopted a Golden Retriever puppy named Jessie, I started a weekly painting course at the Ottawa School of Art, I continued creating teddy bears, and was planning our church wedding which would take place in June in Germany. This was a major endeavour because I took this task on all by myself.
The closer the date of our wedding came, the more I worried about wedding details. For example, I dreamed about problems with my wedding dress that we had ordered the previous fall. Unfortunately, they proved to be true. While my dress had arrived, the lace for my veil had not been ordered. I was just glad that my sister was there to pick another veil with me. When I went to the store to pick up the dress, I was almost in tears when the dress was not pink like the one I had tried on, but a light peach. The clerk in the store told me that the manufacturer would not guarantee for colour deviations, but offered that I could return the dress. It was not really a choice as all dresses had to be ordered. The delivery for the dress they had received had taken about half a year, and my wedding was only two months away.
My sister, who had arrived for an Easter visit, and my sister-in-law assured me that the dress was still beautiful, but I was devastated. It was just not the way I had envisioned my dress. All our table decorations were colour matched with my pink dress. It was too late to make any changes.
Picking a new veil was also a problem because I needed it in a week, when I would come to Mississauga for the last time before my trip to Germany. Usually, the delivery time was 6 – 8 weeks, but in the end the store managed to get the order in within the week. However, I had to attach the headpiece by hand to the veil because there was no time to have it done.
The wedding invitation of one of my good friends from Germany made me feel quite homesick again. Her wedding date was two weeks after our wedding. Unfortunately, I would already be back in Canada at this time. Events like this still get me down. It still makes me sad that I have missed almost all of my friends' and relatives' weddings and special birthdays.
It did not help that I was also disappointed about my sister's visit. While this was her vacation to relax from the daily struggles as a teacher, I wanted to make the most of our time together. I had a hard time to accept that she was more interested in sleeping, her books and her school materials than in any activities I suggested. I felt lonelier than ever. It took until the second week until we finally had a good time. At the end of her visit, we both were sad that she had to leave. However, we knew that we would see each other again in five weeks. I also was very happy that two of my good friends had announced their visits for the summer and fall.
After my sister's visit, I felt quite homesick again. It had been almost half a year since my last visit in Germany. While I had met some women through the Newcomers Club, they all had small children and therefore different priorities. Meeting for a chat or an outing during the day was difficult for them.
On the first anniversary of our immigration to Canada, I noted in my journal that my world had changed drastically. While I did not miss work in my old company at all, I still missed my family and friends badly. I wished I could see them more often, or at least hear from them by phone or letter more frequently. The thought of being able to see them only on a yearly basis seemed unbearable. I hoped this feeling would change once we had children. Little did I realize at the time that this would mean even less trips to Germany.
Our standard of living was definitely higher than in Germany, despite living on only one income. We never could have afforded a house in Germany. Moreover, life was definitely less stressful.
While we lived in Germany, Ingo and I both had a very good salary. Our life in one apartment made it possible for us to have a comfortable life. We had two cars, were able to travel, and did not have to worry about money. However, it also came with a price. Especially since I had to work a lot of overtime hours. It would have been hard to live on one salary if we had decided to raise a family.
If you enjoyed my blog and would like to read all about our German wedding, please return to this blog on Friday, December 16, 2016.