In 1969, I was a grade 11 student at Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver, BC. I was looking forward to graduating with my friends and heading off to UBC to study education. Those plans were dashed when my father accepted a job in Yellowknife, NWT and my parents refused to allow me to stay behind and spend my final year of high school living with my best friend’s family.
I had no intention of staying in Yellowknife any longer than I absolutely had to. I would return to the coast as soon as school was out and carry on with my plan to attend UBC. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, however, and I never did make it back to the coast to live. Uprooted and rebellious, my life became a series of bad decisions culminating in an unhappy and short-lived marriage.
I did go to university and fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher but since I’d wasted the first year after high school, I decided to attend the University of Calgary where I could get the degree I wanted in four years instead of UBC where it would have taken five. Life went on. I settled on the Alberta prairie, married again and started a family.
Jump ahead about 30 years to 2006. That’s the year that our oldest son married, settled in Vancouver and entered law school at UBC. I hadn’t made it back to the coast but a whole generation later, Matthew had! He and Robin lived in a charming condo in Richmond until a couple of months ago when, having outgrown the condo by adding two adorable little grandsons to our family, they purchased a house and moved in. That house is located in North Vancouver just around the corner from Argyle Secondary School!
As I sit here in their livingroom, I feel as if I have finally come home! I gaze out the window across the creek that runs through their beautiful back yard and I see the roof of my school. I walk the streets that I walked as a teenager and, though many things have changed, they feel so very familiar. Life has come full circle and I am happy!