It’s starting to feel real…

For the last few weeks now, pretty much since the holidays, the end-date of this first phase of my current project was set in that the return date was one of two days: the third or fourth week of February.  Even when it was confirmed last month that it would be Feb 16th, the reality of it hadn’t really sunk in.

After all, when you’re working what feels like round-the-clock, days all kind of blur together (let’s not even talk about hours). But that has always been okay since the whole reason we kicked off this Small-Canadian-Team-in-the-US phase was to get us all to live and breathe not only the lifestyle of our environments, but the company, processes, and project itself. On that count, it has been extremely successful as we have all been fully integrated into the daily goings-on and not just as participants, but as collaborators and “influencers”.

And now, this phase is coming to an end as we prep for The Voyage Home and setting up shop as an East-Coast and Northern expansion. Again, with all the work we’ve been doing, I haven’t had that feeling of “I’ll be home for good”. Until last night.

Finally, as I walked to the local Target in Emeryville and passed by the Bay Street Shopping Area on my way back, the streets and buildings I’ve been looking upon for the last 9 months suddenly looked… “different”. Always familiar, but with a tinge of “dusk” that hinted at an “unspoken” countdown clock. In that slow red haze, during an extremely comfortable 12 or so degrees, my vision of my surroundings started to gather some of that “nostalgia dust” which (I know) will cloud my future viewings with a sigh of “comfortable” feelings. Remembrances of so many walks and actions throughout this city, as well as all the good friends I made here.

It is nice to know that this “end” is really just another change and that there will still be a number of opportunities (and needs) to come back here from time to time, but the best part is that I know those future “visits” will be akin to visiting a childhood home.  Emeryville will never be just another “place” to me now.  It will be a fond reminder of Professional, Personal, and Family Growth.

I do look forward to future visits, and as much as they will be fun and enjoyable, there is still nothing that compares to the feeling that it WILL be a visit and that I will quickly turn around and go back HOME to my FAMILY 🙂  9 months away from my wife and children still feels like an eternity and it’s about time we all stop hurting at the pain of the separation 🙂

Why did we do it, you may ask? For the same reason I told one of the nurses who helped take care of my daughter during the open-heart surgery that saved her life over 4 years ago.  My wife and I wanted to do our part and give back to Canada, to HealthCare, and to the Montreal Children’s Hospital for everything they made possible in ensuring our baby girl would live.  Watching her medical folder grow and grow and grow and thinking about how easy that information could be lost, or how her Pediatrician was not always in the know of what happened to her (or what happened to my son during his asthma attacks)… it was and still is a little frustrating.

So, when the chance came to be part of a team that would help bring an Electronic Health Records solution to Canada, the sacrifice of 9 months seemed very minor in comparison to the years of my daughter’s life given back to us.  Americans have had access to the RelayHealth solution for almost 10 years now ( and very soon (for those who haven’t read all our press releases) it will be ready for Canada as well (

And that is a good thing 🙂


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