Not going home for the holidays

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For the third time since I moved to Alberta, I will not be heading home for the Christmas holidays and, although I am getting used to the feeling of not going home, I’m going to miss my family.

Since moving to Calgary in 2008, there has been one time of the year that I look forward to more than anything else in the calendar year and that was going back to Manitoba and spending close to two weeks back in the most-central province, which I’m proud to call home.

At the age of 27, you think I would be getting used to creating my own Christmas memories, but there is always something about going home and getting back into traditions that make the holidays feel complete.

Being it watching the entire Harry Potter series with my sisters, waiting up late with my mother because she can’t sleep when any of her children are out late or heading out to the old curling rink with my dad, this is what Christmas is to me.

Sadly, I won’t get those this year and, although I had perfectly good reasons not to head home the prior two times, this third time has been the most difficult.

In October 2016, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She fought an incredible battle and was able to overcome her illness. I knew, just three months into her diagnosis, there was no way I was missing that Christmas at home.

Although 2016 was a much different holiday season than what we’ve become accustomed to at the Halipchuk household, I knew I made the right decision going home and spending quality time with those who matter the most to me.

Fast forward 12 months, and I had to break the hard news to my mother – I wouldn’t be home for Christmas. I could hear her devastation over the phone. It pained me to my core, but it just wasn’t going to work out this year.

Less than two weeks ago, my parents did the next best thing and flew to Calgary for a weekend to spend some time with me and visit the city I now call home. As awesome as the visit was, it was such a short time and it was painful to see my mother tear up when I dropped her off at the airport.

With these emotions going through my head as Christmas fast approaches, I know I will never miss a trip home for the holidays going forward.

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