On his first day back to the United States from Canada, Gregor Packard had a suitcase full of essentials: his wallet, wallet and wallet.
It was the only thing he had.
The 48-year-old truck driver and his wife, Stephanie, were vacationing in Toronto when he lost his wallet and his cellphone in a truck crash on the way to a friend’s house in Alberta.
“I just wanted to go home and have my birthday, but I knew it was going to be a little late,” said Packard.
When Packard found his wallet at a local Walmart, he found himself in a bit of a pickle.
He needed to make a call to his insurance company, which refused to cover the cost of his phone.
“So I called my insurance agent, and he was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t cover that,'” said Packards wife, who is now working to cover all the bills.
“We’re in this kind of situation, where we can’t afford to buy anything anymore, but we’re not going to let that stop us.”
It wasn’t long before Packard knew he was in trouble.
He was stranded in a city where he’d never been before, unable to make calls to his family.
“He had a couple of hours to figure it out, but the fact he didn’t just leave, he got caught up and did everything he could to help,” said Stephanie Packard, adding that the couple had planned to take the next two weeks to make the trip back to Toronto.
“It was definitely a relief for us, just knowing that it was something we could do together, just to have a little bit of solace.”
Packard and Stephanie Packards son, Christopher, arrived back in Canada on Monday, after having spent nearly two weeks in Toronto.
They packed their bags and went to the airport to board their plane.
“At first, I thought, ‘What are we going to do?'” said Packardo, who added that they were already planning to move out of Toronto, which has a population of just over 2 million.
“I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to do this trip.
It’s just going to take us a long time to get over this feeling of ‘Where’s the fun?'””
We’ve been planning for this, for the past two weeks, and we finally got it together.”
After the couple landed in Toronto, Packard’s wife asked for a friend who lived in the city to come to her house, but he couldn’t make it.
“You just feel so grateful that someone was there for us,” said Christopher Packard of the Canadian Forces who was deployed to the region.
“This is something that we could never have dreamed of.
And I just want to say, thanks to the Canadian Armed Forces, we have a new family to look forward to.”
For many Canadians, this is the kind of story they can only dream of, said Packiard.
“If you’re not doing something, it doesn’t feel like you have to do anything,” he said.
“When you’re in a crisis, you can just take a step back and just look at everything and make sure you’re doing everything right.”
“It’s just something that makes us feel really good to know that we are making this trip.”
Christopher Packard is now preparing for his family’s trip back home, including the trip home to Calgary.
“For my family, it’s been a very big relief to know it was all going to make sense,” said his wife.
“It’s something that is so important for us to get back to.”
The couple said they are looking forward to making the trip to Canada’s capital, even though they’re still in the process of deciding where they’ll live.