Ken and I loved Colorado. We really did. We didn’t want to leave, but a lot of stuff happened all at once that made the decision to leave a lot easier. April of 2011 pretty much sucked for us. I guess it really started on March 31st, when I got the phone call from my doctor telling me that my pregnancy was not viable and I needed to decide if I wanted a D&C or if I wanted to wait to miscarry naturally.
At the time, we were living with someone we thought was a friend. Ken had known her for years, and I had been sitting for her daughter full time for over two years. She had been having health problems for a while and, during the previous spring (2010), would call us up frequently in the middle of the night, asking for us to come and take her to the emergency room. We had moved in with her shortly afterward in what was ostensibly a mutually beneficial arrangement. She felt better having us there and we were going to save money.
As it happened, Ken hated his job at the time and was seriously looking for work elsewhere. He did get shortlisted for something in Durango that would have been pretty close to a dream job for him, but it would have meant moving, obviously. She begged him to stay and when they asked for anyone who wasn’t absolutely serious about accepting the job to remove themselves from consideration, he did. So, he kept looking. He got some inquiries about his resume from a company in Calgary, but we didn’t take them too seriously. Who wants to move to Canada?!
Now, on March 31st, when I got that call from my doctor, this friend was in the room with me and heard the conversation. I was…upset. To say the least. So, I just said, “it’s 100% not viable” and left the room. She later told Ken that since she had paid me to watch her daughter, she should have been able to expect that I would tell her how the day went. Because I was her employee. I had always considered her a friend more than an employer, but I guess I was naive.
The next day, a variety of things happened that led to a phone call between Ken and this person in which she fired me (without ever speaking to me) and told him that we needed to get out of her house. Apparently she had told him that she didn’t think it was healthy for me to continue watching her daughter because she couldn’t be sure I was stable and he replied, “Fuck you! She just lost her baby!” Ken came home from work immediately and we spent the day looking for an apartment. We found one we liked and signed the lease that afternoon.
So that’s how it happened that in the first week of April 2011, I lost my baby, my home, my job, a friend, and any contact with the little girl that had been in my life for over 2 years. I never even got to say goodbye. That was probably the hardest week I’ve ever experienced. I can’t really explain the unreality of miscarrying in the ER one day and packing boxes into the car the next. It felt as though my entire life had been ripped from me in one short week.
That same week, the company in Calgary called and wanted to know if Ken and I would come for an interview. Ken was still pretty sure about not moving there, but he told them that I needed a little time and so they said they would stay in touch. And they did. They pretty much made it clear that the job was his if he wanted it…this was really more about them auditioning for him. He was in the driver’s seat. But it was still in Canada…Canada for goodness sake! We had nothing against Canada, but we were very attached to Colorado.
We finally went up for the interview on April 28th. We had no intention of him accepting the job. None. Zip. Nada. We figured he would go to the interview and then we would use the weekend to drive to Banff and Lake Louise because we both really needed a vacation. What did we know?
Long story short…he loved the company. Loved it. I was there for the first part of the interview and the more he talked with the people who would be his colleagues, the more I could see in his face how excited he was to be talking science with them. Actual, real science. He looked…happy. I knew that if there was anyway we could make it work with whatever they offered him, we had to accept that job.
I went back to the hotel during the second part of his interview/meet and greet, and when he came back, everything he told me said, ‘I really want to take this job’. We spent the weekend driving around Calgary looking at neighborhoods and making detailed notes on a map about where we thought we might like to live. We had no idea what to expect in terms of salary, but as long as it was feasible, we knew he would accept the job and we would be moving to Calgary. Thank god we never unpacked.
Continued in Part 2