Missing Home: Three attempts to get home dashed for Kilskyre native living in Canada
A LOCAL expat living in Toronto who has had to cancel three trips home this year says he is missing home this Christmas more than ever as the pandemic continues to keep loved ones apart.
Pat Jordan grew up in a small village between Kells and Oldcastle, a far cry from the busy multi cultural Canadian capital he now calls home a long side his wife Marie and children Aoife (6) and Sam (3), but says Ireland is never far from his mind.
The dad of two did make it home for a short trip in September but is desperate to bring his children home to show them where he grew up.
"It has been seven years since I have been home for Christmas and I think with kids you start building your own Christmas around that but it is always trickier, you miss your family and your friends, nights out and meeting up with people but I'm sure that has been very much curtailed over the past couple of years.
"We haven't been back with the kids since my youngest was christened at three months old, we ended up cancelling three trips we had planned over the pandemic so that was very disappointing."
Pat who is a senior director of pension fund company explained the challenges of living abroad in lockdown.
"It was tough, my wife's family are about six and a half hours drive away, a short spin up the road in Canada terms but still far away that it's not practical to visit so neither of us really had a support network here outside of our friends and thankfully the Irish community are great here."
The Kilskyre native whose two children were born in Canada says it is hugely important to instill Irish heritage in his children.
"I grew up on a dairy farm there with my parents, Paddy and Finola Jordan and my brother John and two sisters Orla and Sharon.
"That was life working on the farm most days and heading into school in Kells. Growing up on the farm is very different to what my kids are growing up with here in the city but it was a great way to grow up, you learned a lot growing up on a farm.
"I became a Canadian citizen about five years ago and it's great to be able to say I have that citizenship but certaintly doesn't diminish my sense of being an Irish person.
"My daughter Aoife always says I'm half Irish and half Canadian so I'm definitely very conscious of keeping that tradition and culture alive in both of them.
"My wife Marie is from Montreal and is French Canadian so I have a six-year-old and a three-year-old who are fluent in both languages too which is great."
The Irish community in Toronto is a great support according to Pat.
"There is a great Irish community here. My daughter does Irish dancing down the street and she absolutely loves it.
Pat and his family are going to make the most of being in Canada for Christmas this year as he explains:
"We have a little place up north in the city that we go to that is the quintessential cabin in the woods type of Canadian break so we will spend Christmas in the snow by the lake that will hopefully be frozen over by then so we will be skating!"