I have the amazing privilege of being a dual citizen. I was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. and lived there until I was the grand age of 25. Dave and I moved to Novato, CA (half hour north of San Francisco) in the spring of 1989 and lived there until January of 1997 when we headed north to Seattle, WA. Our three children were all born in the USA. Bethany and Becca graced us with their presence in 1992 and 1994 and were both born at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa, CA. A few other towns in Marin County were home for the four of us: Larkspur Landing, San Anselmo and then San Rafael where we bought a 3 bedroom ranch style home with a swimming pool out back. I loved that pool. I have many fond memories of swimming, pool parties, and late night swims in the heat of summer. On February 4, 1997, Nathan graced us with his presence arriving in the wee hours of the morning at Swedish Hospital. At this point both Dave and I had green cards and had begun the process of applying for American Citizenship. That was a profound moment for me when I attended the swearing in ceremony. There were many, many people from numerous countries and I was struck by the journeys that many of them had undertaken to immigrate and become American citizens.
This all flooded through my memory last night when I was watching the Stanley Cup first round playoffs, game 7, between the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks. Ice hockey was ‘the’ sport that was watched in my family when I was growing up. During playoff season as I child we would eat our dinners in the ‘den’ where our tv was, on tv trays – it was that important that we watch the Canucks play. As the crowd in Rogers Arena rose to sing the Canadian anthem my heart was moved. As a child whenever the national anthem was sung at an event, we all sang along. That has not been my experience with the American national anthem at sporting events. I don’t remember the name of the fellow who was singing the anthem last night, but at one point he stopped singing, and all you could hear were the fans, singing the anthem – I was almost moved to tears. I missed my ‘homeland’.