“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Earl Grollman

Lynda was in touch with Margret and she was so helpful to find a place to rent in Fredericton.   Lynda got the contacting information to get in touch with the home owners and got on the phone to find out the details about the property.  A young couple owned the house which was built only a year back.  The guy was an engineer and his company needed him in Waterloo, Ontario for a couple of years.  Lynda was told that the house was located outside of the city close to the highway with an excellent city view and it shouldn’t take more than 12 minutes for your husband to drive to work in downtown.  He said the school is not too far but the kids will get a bus to school.  She said he sounded happy that we got only two kids and he didn’t like to rent the house to people with more than two kids simply because it was only a four bedroom house.  He was also happy that you will be working for the government with a reliable source of income. Lynda told him that we will be there in a week to take a look at the property and further discuss the details.

The next Saturday we took a flight to Fredericton.  The flying time was only around 2:00 hours.  The airport was very small and when the plane was landed, we had to walk to the building.  Gord came to pick us up and he took us to a nice hotel in downtown which was booked by Garry, the HR guy, for two nights.  As soon as he dropped us off, Gord said Margret had planned a Barbeque and I will come and pick you all up around 4:00 PM.  We said sounds great. 

We checked in.  We thought it was a very nice hotel with a suite with nice furniture and comfortable beds.  I asked if anybody’s hungry for lunch.  They all were hungry.  We had a nice lunch in the restaurant and decided to go out for a walk. 

We were waiting for Gord just outside of the hotel around 4:00PM when he showed up.  It didn’t take too long to get to their place.  Everybody including Dorothy was waiting for us.  Melody and Stephaney were pleased to see Adam and Maxine.  We all went in the garden where Margret had already setup everything for barbeque.  She was always so organized. It was nice to see Dorothy, she looked great.  It didn’t take too long for Gord to start barbequing hamburgers, hotdogs, and steaks.  Drinks were served and we never stopped talking.  We had a wonderful evening. 

Gord gave us a ride to our hotel and asked Lynda when is your appointment to see the house?  She said it’s for 10:00AM tomorrow morning.  He said I will pick you up around 9:30AM and he left.  We got to our room and watched TV for a little while before we went to bed.  Lynda’s always the first person in the family to get up in the morning.  There was a coffee machine in the room, she made coffee and brought it to me.  I sat up in my bed and asked her what else she would like to do after seeing the house.  She said we could have rented a car if we wanted to but Gord was kind enough to offer his services.  She said we will just come back to our room then go out for lunch then mooch around.  I said it sounds like a plan.

Lynda liked the house very much.  It was practically new and with almost 2,000 square feet living space.  It had a huge kitchen and living room.  Nice garden in the back, spacious 4 bedrooms, a TV room, and a double garage.  The next neighbouring house was located at least a quarter mile away.  I signed the papers and Cheque and told them that the moving truck will be arriving either on July 5th or 6th.  He said I wouldn’t be here but I will make it easier for you and give you a set of keys right now.  Lynda was happy with that kind of attitude.     

Gord dropped us off at the hotel and said you have an appointment with Garry at 9:00AM.  He will take you to a group of managers to meet and they will ask you questions about your background, etc.  Then he will take you around to introduce to the folks you will be working with.  Finally, he will bring you to my office to spend a few minutes with me.  He said you should be back in less than 3 hours.  I said no problem as our flight isn’t until 3:00PM, so I got all the time we need and Lynda will take the kids for shopping. 

When I got in the conference room with Gary, I saw five senior managers siting there.  I already knew one of them – Tony as I worked as his counterpart in Beaver Lumber Company and Gord brought him to Fredericton as soon as he got here.  It was very friendly atmosphere as Tony already told them enough already about me.  One of the senior managers said we are looking forward to working with you and we were very impressed with your level of confidence and performance in all different capacities working with Tony and reporting to Gord.  I said – Is Tony lying again?  Everybody laughed and then everything went smooth.   

The time we got to Gord’s office he was waiting for me with a cup of coffee.  Garry said I will be back in 15 minutes.  I sat in the chair across from Gord.  He had a nice office.  He had a couple of frames of family pictures at the credenza which included the girls and Margret.  He asked – how did it go?  I said everything was just fine.  They seemed to be a pleasant group of folks.  He said – Appearance could be deceiving.  I was surprised with his comment but decided to let it go. Gord and I chatted for a little while about the project I will be working on and it didn’t take too long for Garry to show up.  I came out with Garry and he said – I know you’re going back this afternoon and I told the hotel not to bother you with the normal checking out time and you will have the room as long as you want. He also said – please send me all your receipts for your expenses and make sure that you get a cheque ASAP.  I thanked him and walked to the hotel.

Before we left for the airport, Lynda called Margret and thanked her for their hospitality.

Kids were really tired when we got home.  It was a meaningless activity for them to go through whereas they missed one rehearsal for their annual school play as Adam and Maxine were assigned to play important parts in the play.  If I remember correctly, Adam was supposed to play a main character “Mickey Mouse”. 

It was only Tuesday the next day after work I drove to Brampton to get mom as kids wanted their nana to be there when they will be acting in an important play.  This way she could stay with us for a few days and we all enjoy her company.

On Friday when I was leaving for the office, asked Lynda if we were going out for the cheap spaghetti supper.  She said, you don’t remember anything, do you?  I said please remind me.  She said the kids had to be at the school for their makeup and costumes around 5:00PM.  The show doesn’t start before 6:30PM but we have to be there around 5:00PM.  So try to get home soon enough to have supper at home and go to the show.  I said I think I got it now.

There were all kind of little acts before the main act started.  The main character, Mikey Mouse, was played by none other than our son, Adam M Ali, a six year old kid in Kindergarten.  We were completely blown away with the performance of those little people on the stage.  In addition to superb delivery of their lines and direction, the costumes, lighting, sound, and special effects were unimaginable.  Everybody enjoyed the play.  The clapping, standing ovation, and applauses went on for minutes.  Once the play was over, we waited for Adam and Maxine for a little while and when they arrived they were really tired.  We told them how wonderful they did.    

Next morning Lynda got a telephone call from her girlfriend.  She asked Lynda if she has seen the newspaper.  Lynda said which newspaper, she said the local newspaper.  Lynda said I will go out and get it which we did only to find out that a huge review on the play was published in the paper with Adam’s picture.  He was indeed the star of the show.

Our Story – Chapter 29