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#LoveIsNotTourism #LoveIsEssential

When I said goodbye to Tena last January 2020, I had no regrets. That's something I make sure of. Did I hug and kiss her enough? Did I say everything I wanted to say? Did I tell her I love her so much that she felt it with every ounce of her being?

I never take for granted the moments when we do get time together because in this 'new normal', we just never know when the next time will be. I wasn't even supposed to see her that last time, but when her Aunt Bev passed away, I remember begging my work for time off because I needed to show up for her. I needed to go Home and I never hesitated to make that happen.

With the borders closing, we had no idea what that entailed, when or if they would ever open again.

The government kept us hanging on a thread, dangling a carrot in front of us, gaslighting the population with false statements like, "We're just flattening the curve..." meanwhile, fast forward to over a year later and they've taken every last right away from us.

What bugs me the most is that traveling accounts for 1.8% of transmissions and that also includes those who are considered essential travelers. I'm seeing so many people in our online community of families separated by the invisible line being ridiculed, suffering from mental illness and despair, not knowing when the next time they will be reunited with their spouses, children, fiancés. It's disheartening to have to wait for our Prime Minister to give us news on the 21st of every month to see if the borders are reopening. Waiting on pins and needles for authority to give us permission like the good slaves we've become. How many months has it been now that we have felt the pit in our stomachs, ridden in complete disappointment and gut wrenching sadness? Our online separation groups are expanding and growing, finding ways to uplift one another, comfort each other in our grief, lend a virtual shoulder when yet another break-up occurs. One thing with people who are so quick to judge is that they lack empathy in understanding that we have someone on the other side that matters to us, someone that we love deeply. We have all gotten crude and callous remarks from people who have said the unthinkable. They are quick to put us in the same category as those traveling for all-inclusive vacations. It boggles my mind when they call us selfish for wanting to go visit our own families, meanwhile they can go straight home to be with their loved ones that they probably take for granted. Does it ever occur to others that we aren't going on a fucking vacation and that we just want to go Home? Does it make any sense to people that the air borders are open to fly, thus exposing ourselves to thousands of people around the world BUT I can't drive in my car by myself across the land border? If this was a deadly pandemic, we would not be able to go anywhere, even essential services would be shut down and the government would take extraordinary and logical measures, right...? People do not understand that we (those who are separated from loved ones at the border) would respect the rules because we have much to lose and have lost so much already. Do you absolutely think we would fuck that up if we were granted that privilege? Think about it! I've been asked, "Why are you with someone who doesn't live in the country?" At this point you just have to exhale and move on along. Even my own ex-husband has empathy and compassion for my situation and supports me when I want to take the grand leap to visit. Because that's exactly what it is these days.. a grand leap of organizing, spending thousands of dollars, and holding onto that fear and shame around our travel plans. The government has made it so difficult to travel that it doesn't matter if our loved ones live 20 minutes away or thousands of miles away, we still have to endure the following: booking and spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on flights, booking a specific PCR covid test with the result 72 hours prior to departure, the fear of potentially getting a cold- hearted customs agent, the plane ride itself and hoping all planes run smoothly because if we have a connecting flight, let's hope our covid test result makes the allotted time stamp, spending more money on a PCR covid test in a foreign country 72 hours before getting on the plane, another covid test upon arrival, thousands of dollars spent to book a 3 nights stay at a government quarantine facility, finishing off the rest of your quarantine at home despite a negative covid test, another covid test on day10 of quarantine, AND probable PTSD from this entire experience.

We're not left with very many choices because not everyone has the time and money to put aside. The one time I used my vacation to visit, I was able to see her for 2 full days before I had to use up my entire 2 week vacation to quarantine.

I'm just sad for those that are feeling like they're getting beaten down through it. I mean even for me, not seeing Tena takes a toll on my body because going to visit was a much needed reset. She is my safe place. Having that control from the government, my body doesn't understand why we are stuck here and unable to go Home. I used to visit once, sometimes twice a month and now there are hundreds of very long days in-between. There are so many families that haven't met their newly born children or grandchildren, seen their parents, even their spouses. People who weren't able to go to bury their family members because they couldn't quarantine for the 14 days. It's inhumane and unjust and illegal on so many levels.

Crimes against humanity. The rollout of the vaccine felt like another promise of freedom but at the same time feels so far from the solution. This pandemic has brought many to a point of desperation and it honestly feels at times that there is no end in sight. What I've learned from this experience is that even though this has caused a huge divide in our world, we're learning to let go of those who don't have the capacity to understand or empathize. And we're replacing those with new chosen family who share the same experience of this forced separation. I have made many new and beautiful friendships with people who live on the same side of the border as me in Canada and we share comfort and support together being away from our loves on the other side. It has been over a year now that the borders closed. They may have gotten to me on a physical level of my health, but they will never take away my experience and my freedom within. The time apart has taught me and Tena that our love is unbreakable. That our love can move mountains even if we are physically apart. Energy knows no bounds so we are completely connected by our heart and soul. I miss her so much but we are not letting life get in the way of our love. We are using this time apart to alchemize our own inner transformation so that we can hold the light created from our sacred union. My love has continued to grow and expand despite the circumstances and that is priceless. I know there is hope and light at the end of all of this. I look forward to the day that I am reunited with the love of my life. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it is that I fought tooth and nail to come Home, that love was always enough and that my Tena was well worth the wait.

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