Many years ago I came to Montreal in the month of August. I was excited and scared at the same time. Excited this was the first time I left my home Dhaka to come to Montreal so far away. I was newly married. Mine was an arranged marriage I did not know much about my husband. We were married in January, he left Dhaka, Bangladesh little over two weeks after our marriage. He was a physician in a hospital in Montreal.
I stayed back with his parents in the village for over six months. I didn’t know anyone. I noticed everyone who came to the house would only stare at me, as if I was some kind of a rare thing that they had never seen before. My father-in law was the nicest person in that house,he treated me like his daughter.
After over six months I got all my papers ready to travel to Montreal to join my husband. I didn’t know him at all. It was this part that scared me. Was he nice,will he treat me well, what kind of attitude will he have towards me? These were questions I had in my mind. I was afraid to ask I didn’t really know how he’d react.
Three months after I landed in Canada. My husband wanted to go to Chicago. He knew a family,they were Mr. and Mrs. Finlay. Mrs. Finlay was curious to see me. My husband thought Christmas time would be the best time to go for a visit. We went two days before Christmas. Mrs. Finlay invited us to stay with her. She had a decorated Christmas tree,there were gifts under the tree for all of us. One of my gifts was a ,’Better Homes and Garden Cookbook’. I was happy, I’d be able to use it for baking. This was my first Christmas. I learned a few things about this special holiday.
After celebrating Christmas day. We were out to buy a winter coat for me. I wasn’t really interested to buy anything, but my husband was determined to buy one whether I wanted it or not. Earlier that day Mrs. Finlay told me she told my husband not to marry anyone from Bangladesh. I was not happy to hear it. I was only interested to go back to Montreal. I had to buy a coat.I couldn’t leave without it.
Since the first Christmas we had many more. Our family was larger, we had three kids. We gave them what they wanted, so they wouldn’t feel left out.
This Christmas my family is down to two. My husband died a few years ago. Despite my best intentions and hard work one of my kids said in her email a few days before Christmas, “I do not wish to have more than a courteous relationship with you.”