As most of you now know, we lost our dear Baba a few weeks ago. It was a bit of a shock to our family - I know that many of you are questioning, "How could the death of a 95-year old woman be a shock?" But Baba was doing really quite well just days before she passed. In fact, her family Doctor contacted our family when she died, saying that he really couldn't believe it. He had just seen her, and overall, she was doing quite well. Her Doctor explained that they had a conversation about death and Baba told him, "Mike (my Gido) is pulling me up, but my family is pulling me down." He told us that he'd rarely worked with someone of that age who had the ability to so eloquently communicate her thoughts and feelings. Baba had just turned 95 and my hope is that she could still smell the beautiful birthday bouquets in her room when she was reunited with my Gido. I will miss my Baba very much. I always felt like we had a special relationship - although perhaps everyone felt like they had a special relationship with Baba? I loved her candid, humorous advice. She was direct, but always kind. There have been many instances in which I say something short and blunt, and Evan replies, "Ok, Baba." I laugh, but I feel proud because I should be so lucky to be likened to such an incredible woman. Over the past 10 years I've felt like giving up...well more than a few times. Sometimes the pain or the obstacles just seem to be too much - but I always remember that I possess Baba's DNA. It's the good stuff! That DNA is packed full of resilience, commitment, and strength. And so I keep going. Baba will always be a part of who I am.
My family asked me to write the obituary, which I really enjoyed doing. Part of the process is collecting memories and stories from aunts, uncles, and cousins. Although I didn't make the trip home for the funeral, I felt like I was able to reminisce with family as I put our memories into words. Writing has always been cathartic for me, and it made me feel closer to Baba - my way of saying goodbye. The day after I completed the obituary, I had a very vivid dream. Baba walked past me nonchalantly. She was wearing an outfit that was familiar to me - it seemed very real. She shuffled by with her walker, then suddenly tossed her walker to the side, gave me a little smile, and carried on. I choose to believe that she paid me a visit that night. I woke up feeling so happy! It felt like a proper goodbye.
During my break, I tagged along with Evan on a business trip to California. Cayman Airways is now offering a direct flight from Cayman to LA, which is super convenient. In 5.5 hours and 2 complementary rum punches later, you arrive at LAX, where us islanders are immediately overstimulated by traffic, people, and noise! We quickly exited LA, I removed my N95 (I'm very paranoid at the moment), and we settled in a small community called Oceanside, about halfway between LA and San Diego. As Ev ran an event for his west coast gyms, I rented a bike and cruised the beach, watching surfers do their thing. I indulged in a spa day and took myself for oceanfront lunch. It was nice! We had a beautiful spot on the beach, where I would join Ev's crew by the fire every evening for a cocktail. Once Ev's event was over, we took a quick trip to the Temecula wine valley, where we participated in a wine tour. We visited 4 wineries, where each provided about 5 tastings. You do the math! By the end, I had no idea what I was even drinking anymore, but we had a great time and my body was feeling very warm and fuzzy...which was vital, given the fact that it was snowing in southern California. Yes...snowing. Now you may recall that Ev and I had the great fortune of experiencing the coldest Christmas in Florida in 15 years, just a mere few months ago. Obviously we promote unprecedented weather. So...let us know - is your area expecting record lows? We'll do our best to hop and flight and experience that with you! haha. By the end of the trip I was desperately layering each and every piece of clothing in my suitcase over my hypothermic body. Although I enjoyed a change of scenery, I was pretty pumped to step out of the plane and immediately be hit with that humid Caribbean air.
It looks like my 3-month Covid sentence is almost up! As you may recall, my Nov 29 surgery was cancelled suddenly when my pre-op Covid PCR came back positive. As long as I'm Covid negative on Monday (please please please please), I should be receiving my new right knee on Tuesday! And let me tell you, I am so ready.
Courtknee turned a corner at the 4-month mark. She is strong, stable, and mostly pain-free. I've never experienced this with my knees over the past 12 years. Physiotherapy is no longer this tortuous event that causes me to swear profusely. I am so proud of the progress that I've made! When I go to the gym I feel like a regular person again. I lift weights, I squat, I stair climb - I feel strong. In addition, the activities I was told would be painful like kneeling and some yoga poses aren't painful at all. Courtknee has been willing to try new things, and doesn't seem to be limited by the hardware. This is awesome! The right knee, on the other hand, is seriously cramping my style, locking up regularly and causing embarrassing falls. The falls have resulted in a smashed cell phone screen and a cracked Fitbit! It's starting to get expensive. I'm over it. I can't wait to replace it with metal and move on.
Mom is scheduled to arrive Sunday - although this massive Toronto snowstorm is keeping us on our toes (please don't cancel the flight, please don't cancel the flight). I'm totally ready to move through the post-op shitty- ness as quickly and as gracefully as possible (please don't pee the bed, please don't pee the bed), and begin introducing this knee to my body. I feel so hopeful. I haven't felt hope in a very long time. I am still nervous that something will derail this surgery on Tuesday (please don't test positive, please don't test positive), so I don't think that I will take a breath until I've been awakened from my anesthetic and see the Frankenstein scar on the my right knee. Aside: Do I gently ask the surgeon to try a little harder to make a straighter cut...or will this seriously piss him off? (please don't screw up my surgery, please don't screw up my surgery). Haha!
Thanks for the all the messages of support. I really appreciate them!