It was the week before the Junior Lacrosse World Championships and my teammates and I were about to fly to Maryland to compete. At our goodbye reception my father presented the coaches with a present. They opened it to find a Tim Horton’s coffee maker with enough coffee to last through the tournament. He wanted to make sure we had a taste of home field advantage as we battled for gold.
A few months later I was leaving Canada and headed to sunny California for university… but I was going alone. The cost was too high for my parents to help move me in, and so I arrived at my new dorm with two big bags of clothes and a stomach full of knots. I looked around and saw that everyone else’s parents were there with them— helping them unpack, setting up their room, crying, and taking pictures. I sat down on my empty mattress unsure of where to begin and feeling lonely. After a few anxious moments, I sighed and unzipped my first suitcase. Suddenly a huge smile spread over my face and I chuckled. A Tim Horton’s coffee mug had been nestled into the suitcase when I wasn’t looking—a little reminder from my father that home was not so far away.
In truth, Tim Horton’s has always been a part of our lives. For 17 years my best friend and I have visited Tim Horton’s whenever we needed to talk through the quirks and challenges of our lives. I lived in California, she lived in Boston; I lived in Italy, she lived in California; I lived in Sri Lanka, she lived in India. But it never mattered where we had been because when we came back home we always met up at Tim’s talking late into the nights over hot chocolate just the same as we did when we were 13 years old.
Now that I’m back in Canada I enjoy a new morning ritual: my father drops me off while he parks the car. I stand in line and place our order. He joins just as we’re handed the warm cups of Tim Horton’s coffee. Then we share a couple of moments together before we go our separate ways to work.
Thank you, Tim Hortons—for making my moves easier and welcoming me back home time and time again.