September 23, 2021
When I met Sean, he had been in this country for a year having moved from London to Boston for a jobOne of the first things he shared with me was how he did not feel like America, specifically Boston, was the right fit for him His plan, at the time, was to take a road trip down 95 then return to England On our second date, I asked to see his Visa I needed proof he was here legally He was On our third date, we shared: Political views - he was more liberal than I Musical taste - we like some of the same 80s stuff but I love Neil Diamond and folk music way more than he thought a person should Books we like - science fiction and fantasy for him, what he calls tough guy books (think Vince Flynn) and Harry Potter for me Movies we watch - we agreed more here than anywhere though he declared himself to be more of a Pretty in Pink Guy than 16 Candles Religious Beliefs - he did not believe in organized religion at all and thought Catholics were the worst, I attend (Catholic) Mass every week Pizza Toppings - he loves pepperoni and onions, I like white pizza with spinach Ice Cream Flavors - he like black raspberry and strawberry, I'm chocolate and any variation thereof Travel - he's been all over the world, I'm a bit more of a homebody but find myself more willing to travel with him A month later, I asked him if he thought about returning to England He said not any more A few months later, he was still in this country and I was sitting in my usual pew at Mass when I felt someone touch my shoulder It was Sean I slid over to make room for him He's been coming to Mass with me ever since When we got married, we had a Catholic service in our Church and when we had Lucy, she was baptized there A few years later, when he was ready, Sean converted to Catholicism After we got married, Sean's Work Visa turned into a Green Card Our marriage was officially a Green Card Marriage Not "that" kind, the good kind Our family and friends even wrote letters on our behalf for Customs and Immigration confirming our wedding was indeed the real deal and not a sham I pull those letters out around our anniversary and re-read them.....best gifts our families (and families include friends) could have given us We bought a house together We lived there for almost nine years and had lots of laughs We also had lots of tears, some sadness, and some disappointments But we had each other And more love and laughter than anything else We sold that house and bought a new house A house that had even more room for our laughs And some tears, and sadness and disappointments But mostly, love and laughs Then, his Green Card which he had secured 10 years ago, was nearing its expiration date We talked about getting it renewed But then, Sean announced he was going to apply to become a citizen of the United States of America So in November of 2019, he applied for Citizenship We filled out all the paperwork, pulled all the necessary documents and downloaded an app to help him study Lucy and I studied along with him and quizzed him on long car rides and at dinner and sometimes, when he least expected it, we'd just spring a random question on him He was given a test date of early spring which meant his swearing in ceremony would be in May, close to Memorial Day Now you all know how much I love America and Voting and Truck Day and Opening Day So Lucy and I started planning a celebratory party because if the stars aligned, we would be throwing one helluva Housewarming/Anniversary/5th Grade "graduation/You're an American and get to Vote Party And you all would have been invited Instead, COVID- 19 hit And Sean's test was pushed back And then it was pushed back again And again And then it was pushed back indefinitely So there was no party For anything Then his green card expired He spoke with immigration and was assured there was no issue with him being here; nothing would happen as his application was on file We kept on quizzing him and would periodically check the website for updates There were none Until mid August In mid August, his test was scheduled for the beginning of September We started studying again Even Tony and Rita and my Mum and Dad got in on the studying/quizzing action The test was on a Wednesday, smack dab in the middle of our vacation Sean drove back to Boston for the test We waited for his phone call He passed Lucy and I could not have been more proud We bought an apple pie and even managed to find a small American flag to present to him when he returned to our vacation spot that night A week later, we received his swearing in date: September 23 Today, Sean took the oath and was sworn in as an American citizen The participants were masked and so was the presiding judge, We were not allowed to stand with Sean - we were actually quite a distance from the ceremony but, we were able to watch and sort of hear it (by hear it I mean we heard muffled murmurs from the crowd) But we saw him stand and raise his right hand and saw his mask moving so we knew he was saying something Then, he placed his hand over his heart and we saw him turn to the flag pledging his allegiance And our hearts burst And Lucy hugged me and whispered Daddy's American now!!! Sean was all smiles behind his mask as he walked towards us pulling the certificate that says you're a newly minted American out of the envelope to show us We could not be more proud and I'm thrilled he gets to vote Mostly, we're relieved he's staying Congratulations and Welcome to America Sean I'm proud of you, I love you, and I like you And I am so glad you cancelled that road trip down 95........
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