A week ago I was flying to Edmonton to mourn the loss of my grandmother and now, seven days later, I am propped up in my chair with ice on my right knee. In less than a blink of time, I am without Oma and unable to go on my George River expedition. This day, rather than sitting quietly in my writing chair, I was supposed to be running around like a headless chicken attending to all the last minute details of launching an expedition. There was food to pack, gear to sort, a home life to put to bed, and three weeks of wilderness journey to experience, following in Mina’s footsteps and paddle strokes.
Where life is supposed to lead and where it does lead are often two different destinations. Oma so often said, “Whatever comes, comes.” So despite my wanting to rant and rail about what was supposed to be happening today, I am trying my best to take her advice and settle into wherever this change of plans leads.
My family has a cottage on Lac St. Anne. I grew up there every weekend and four weeks a summer. The small summer village of Ross Haven provided the rich soil for growing an outdoor explorer. I climbed trees, swam in the lake, chased birds, and generally played outdoors from dawn to dusk. Wild raucous laughter and games of chase abounded. On our birthdays, and other random occasions, we were tossed in the lake.
Tuesday evening after a wonderful meal of one of Oma’s favourites, schnitzel and potato salad, I decided to throw Xander into the newly filled backyard pool. Being new to the family tradition, he came up to the surface a bit upset and my cousin Doug, to help him feel better-picked me up and tossed me in too!
It had been about 30 years since I was last tossed into a body of water. Everyone laughed deeply and tears fell from the joy of the moment instead of the depth of our grief. Then, Rayne wanted me to toss her in so I ran and caught her and she joined into the wet and wild fraternity. Then I tried to toss Doug in and the rest, as they say is history. In the midst of a game of chase to try to land Xander in the pool once again (we had a gentle person’s agreement that I would just dip him in by the feet) that I hit a wet patch of grass, my foot twisted and I went down in a heap.
“Aunty’s down, ” came the cry. I stayed down because I knew by the sensation, that my knee was hurt. Badly. I hobbled up and we instantly aware of the pain at the side of my knee-I’d felt it before. Likely a meniscal tear or injury. Sigh. I had to leave for the airport shortly there after to fly home overnight. A doctor friend met me at home and said that it seemed like it was an injury that would require two to four weeks to heal at least…time will tell. That knee has been scoped once before and I hope it doesn’t need that depth of treatment.
It was tough breaking the news to my expedition team and I really hoped they would chose to continue on the trip without me. We’re meeting again today to decide. We might find a “knee injury” appropriate route to do somewhere else in the province…sigh. I was so looking forward to following Mina’s river and losing myself in the simple rhythm of expeditionary life. Marian had been working so hard while I was in Edmonton to get the canoe ready as were the rest of the team taking care of all of the last minute details. I feel so bad for all of them.
So instead of packing, I am writing. Instead of doing details, I’ll attend to work tasks that have been on the back burner. Instead of crying over what was supposed to be, I’m trying to open to whatever is coming my way. Sigh.
Miss you Oma.