Last Wednesday my home city of Ottawa made headlines when a masked shooter ran into the Parliament buildings and shot and killed an unarmed guard. Generally speaking, Canada has very low gun violence. Last Monday, another man in Quebec drove his car into a couple of soldiers and killed one of them as well, so this was a double-blow to our country.
This also hit close to home because, like I said, Ottawa is my home city. I grew up there. I don’t live in the city any more but it’s the closest city to us and my husband works there. My father also works there, in the downtown area.
I guess I was naive, but I tended to think that we didn’t really have to worry about terror threat. And I think it’s shaken us to realize that it can happen here, too. And it has happened here now.
But it’s also made me realize how thankful I am to live here. I wouldn’t live anywhere else if I were paid to. Canada isn’t perfect of course, but I love it. We have wonderful freedom here. It’s beautiful. The people are kind and friendly and polite (yes, it’s a stereotype, but it’s true!)
We have low violent crimes compared to many other countries. I feel safe here, despite last week’s attacks.
I’m reminded that we’re commanded to pray for our leaders and government, and this is something that I frequently forget to do.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
This week, I’ve also been very thankful for our healthcare. I know that most Americans don’t really understand why we love our healthcare so much because the “universal healthcare” that Obama is trying to create is so different than what we have, and yet it’s generally called by the same term.
My little guy has had a cough for a few days, and then started to breathe hard and fast and wheeze. I brought him into the ER yesterday morning to find out that his O2 saturation was only 89% (they usually like to see 98+)
When a baby isn’t breathing properly, you’re seen quickly. I never even made it into the waiting room; we were brought in immediately and within about 5 minutes he had a mask on him and steroids given, and soon after had an x-ray taken.
In Canada, care at the hospital and Dr’s offices are covered by provincial healthcare. I never have to worry that we won’t be able to afford care. Money is never on my mind when my kids are sick. Yes, our taxes might be higher (I really don’t know, as I don’t know what American taxes are like) but I do know that it’s much easier to plan for taxes than to have to deal with sudden bills that can easily run into the thousands when someone is sick.
Our healthcare isn’t perfect. There can be long wait times, but people are seen in order of urgency. So I might need to wait a bit if we’re not urgent but I know we won’t be left hanging when we need care immediately. Our hospitals may not have as fancy rooms as those in the US, but I’m going for health care, not a hotel trip. I can deal with a hospital looking like a hospital instead of like a hotel. There are other areas in which I’m sure things could be improved, but our healthcare truly is available to everyone.
All of that to say, the tragic events of this past week with the soldiers, and the more personal events of having a baby sick, has made me realize how thankful I am to live where I do. I also realize how much I take for granted.
Please keep the families affected by last week’s attacks in prayer. For the families of the soldiers, but also for the families of the attackers, who have also lost loved ones.