Yay! Here we go! An African Journey

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

Who knew that two years ago when my husband and I were wrapping up our evening of bathing, feeding, homeworking (yes, that is now a word), our pre-school 5-year-old son and grade 1 daughter that the question of… “who is going to die next in our family” would spark an adventure even I couldn’t see.

Now, wait, I feel like I need to back up a little... cause that question probably isn’t “normal” on the radar of family communication - so you have to understand that we were at one point both First Responders. He a 21-year Calgary Police member and I was wrapping up a 6-year stint in 911. And well, those occupations completely fry the sense of humor from colorful to dark.

But when the answer for both of us came back to Glenn. We both knew we had to make some drastic changes. The j.o.b. was literally killing him. So we did. Last Christmas, just 2 years away from a “full-CPS-pension” Glenn quit the Calgary police, submitted his resume to become a contract bomb technician abroad (he had been trained at this specialty for 14 years in the TAC unit). The time between hearing he was shortlisted to him getting on a plane to Africa was 5 weeks! He left just after New Years on January 6th, 2019.


Glenn started the 3-day-layover-UN-plane-vaccination-stuffed flight to Mali… and well I got on Google.

I thought it would be a great idea at night in my newly empty bed to see where he was traveling. After a couple of videos on architecture and culture, the Canadian Embassy warning came flashing in red across my screen of the Isis crisis and threats that the Malian country was under. I called Glenn of course! Did anyone warn him of this? Was he aware of the looming civil war brewing and that no Canadians would be rescued by our government if they chose to wander into this terror-infested land?? Ugh… voicemail.

Glenn had warned me that I probably wouldn’t be hearing from him for a couple of days as he needed to get hooked up with an African cell-phone and other necessities so I did the mom-tasks of getting the school year re-started for my kidlets, making lunches, attempting to keep my financial business running amidst a lack of concentration. Three days after he landed,10, 000 kilometers away from me, and at 9 pm our time (4 am Mali time); I finally heard from him.

We FaceTimed. And he was giddy. On a high - I thought he was drunk! He apologized for not calling earlier but there had been a mortar attack warning and he was unavailable to call. As he proceeded with details and a smile I hadn’t seen in years the tears started to stream down my face (“He just got there, what have we done” echoing in my head). But it was Glenn on the other side of the call. The Glenn I fell in love with.

And it was at THAT moment I knew…

I knew this door wouldn’t have opened for us to just take Glenn away. We have a bigger purpose. The Universe has our back. And that night as I tucked myself into bed, Glenn crawled into his bunk and we’d never felt closer. By choosing to not settle, by living our Purpose… Our Story is written.