Yesterday marked an end to almost four years of documenting the details of my life, along with bit of test taking and fee paying, and multiple appointments with officials asking loads of questions as I worked to meet the timelines in my application for British citizenship.
Since submitting my final paperwork in August, I’ve spent the last two months listening for the sound of the postman’s shoes on the walk and racing to the door when I heard the rustle of mail being pushed through the letter box. When I was not able to check it myself, John would usually announce in an increasingly weary sounding voice that there was nothing for me or at least not the letter I was hoping might arrive.
He was away yesterday morning and I was in the shower when a single letter was left for me. I was rushing about as I had to be somewhere when I realized that it was past time for the mail delivery and hurried to the front door still wrapped in my bath towel. I saw the brownish envelope on the floor as I climbed the stairs and could see that it was addressed to me. It was crumpled a bit, in part because of the flimsy ultra-thin envelope, and also the force required to push it through the slot in the door.
Scrawled on the envelope of my much-anticipated letter was ordinary message written in patchy ink saying, ‘parcel in garage.’ It wasn’t until much later that I remembered to tell John that there was a delivery for him as well.
I held my breath while tearing the envelope open and saw a detailed letter with the important words below:
I immediately called the number in the letter to schedule my citizenship ceremony and in a few weeks, just before I celebrate another American Thanksgiving in Cornwall, I will complete the last step to ensure my permanent place in United Kingdom with all the rights and privileges enjoyed by British citizens.
Someone asked me yesterday why having a British citizenship was so important and I cited a few of my reasons, many having to do with my life with John, but some of which are just for me … such as the right to vote.
Having a dual citizenship was never on my ‘Before I Die List,’ but I love how staying open to change continues to enrich my life.