Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekly Roundup - Bittersweet Goodbyes

Saying Goodbye - I knew this past week was going to be overwhelming with our big move happening on Tuesday, but what I didn't expect was having to say goodbye to more than just the place that I've called my home for 25 years. Bright and early at 8AM on Tuesday, the moving van loaded all of our furniture to take to our new apartment. With so much on my mind, not to mention just as much weighing heavily on my heart, it felt surreal to receive a text message from my dad saying that "Baba is fading fast". My Baba is my grandmother on my dads side and had been in and out of the hospital for the past month or so. We knew things weren't looking good for her, but had hoped that we would have at least a few weeks to spend some quality time with her and say our goodbyes. As soon as I got that text, I just knew that this was it. I messaged my sister Justine to get out of class as soon as possible to go see Baba at her condo. 

At around 2PM we joined Baba's sister Dina, Dina's husband Harold, and Baba's caregiver Patrima in Baba's bedroom at her condo. We told her some of our favourite memories with her growing up like having tea parties with our cousins in her and my Zhada's old house, mixing all of her perfumes with crushed crabapples and selling them at the end of her driveway to unsuspecting neighbors, playing Harriet the Spy in our front yard, and much more. After about a half an hour of storytelling, Baba's breathing began to change. With my mom and I holding one hand, Dina holding the other, my dad rubbing and kissing her head, and Justine, Harold, and Patrima looking on, Baba shed a single tear and took her last breath. It was devastating and heartbreaking, but at the same time I wouldn't have had it happen any other way. At 92 years old she had led a very full life. She had married the man of dreams, had travelled the world, raised a beautiful and loving family, had many friends that she stayed close with her whole life, and even got to live to see two great-grandchildren grow into beautiful little girls. She left us very peacefully, in her condo as opposed to the hospital, looking as stunning as ever, surrounded by some of the most important people in her life telling her how much she meant to them. It was heartbreaking, but it was beautiful. It was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life. Baba, I couldn't have asked for a better grandmother. Although I took it for granted growing up, you were always one of the most supportive people in my life, always telling me that I could do anything I set my mind to. You taught me to be myself, be strong, follow my dreams, and, most importantly, smile and the whole world will smile with you. I will love you forever. xoxo
First Pics in the New Place - Nothing makes a new place a 'home' like those special personal touches. A week before we had even brought any furniture into our new apartment, my mom had already displayed a few family photos in our living room. This one in particular grabbed my attention as I couldn't recall ever seeing it before. Here is my sister Justine, myself, and my cousin Kim all cuddled up in a hug together, dressed in random bits and pieces from our dress up box. It's little trinkets like this that are starting to make this strange new environment feel like a home. 

First Blog Ever? - While doing some last-minute packing last week, I came across an old school journal that I wrote when I was six and seven years old. The journal starts off with lots of typical posts about playing with friends, going to musicals with my mom, and visiting family, but I clearly start to run out of things to write about halfway through the journal. It became painfully evident that I had officially run out of writing material when I came across this little gem of a post. It reads: "The badr is geting hordr", a very poorly spelt notice that our butter was getting harder, with a drawing of butter to accompany it. Absolutely hilarious, I cried laughing finding this. I guess you could call this my first blog post ever?

Boehmer - Although I probably should have spent my time doing more packing, unpacking, and organizing, I gave myself a much-needed breather by having a ladies night with two of my close friends Robin and Rommi the Friday night before the move. We began our night at Boehmer on Ossington for drinks, snacks, and, what we were most anticipating, oysters! The oysters, which were selected from Oyster Boy's finest, lived up to all the hype that Robin was giving them, having tried their oysters just a few weeks prior. Paired with simply fresh grated horseradish, lemon, and a shallot vinaigrette, they were to die for! We were a little disappointed when our second round of oysters arrived alongside a different vinaigrette than what they were first served with, which wasn't near as delicious as the first.

Boehmer -  I couldn't possibly just have oysters at Boehmer with the great selection of other offerings on their menu, so I decided to indulge in their Harvest platter. I selected three choices from their many options, choosing their house-made sausage, Balderson Cheddar, and their smoked salmon spread, which were all delicious. I only wished they weren't so stingy on the accompanying crostini and sausage. Boehmer was a great experience, but for the price, you can easily get much more bang for your buck at many of the other Ossington hot spots. 
Ladies Night - After oysters at Boehmer, Robin, Rommi, and I hopped in a cab to catch a performance by the Hallowbodies. Robin's boyfriend is the guitarist for the Hallowbodies and probably one of their biggest fans, always present at every show, and promoting any new material that they release. Once again, they put on a great show and had the crowd going wild. Here's Rommi and I with big smiles, excited for the show that was about to begin! Check out the Hallowbodies newly released music video here

Goodbyes Are Tough - After one of the longest days of my entire life on Tuesday, myself as well as my family were all absolutely wiped by Wednesday. Still lots to do at the house, we had to keep our energy up in order to get all of those last-minute chores done. My sister Justine and I were able to sneak away for a bit to work on one of her photo assignments for class. Exhausted, both emotionally and physically, here we are face planted on our parents old bedroom floor feeling the weight of all these goodbyes.

Baba & Me - Here's one of both mine and Baba's all-time favourite photos. Here we are in the backyard that I will always call my home. Baba crouched down to be on the same level as me. I didn't quite understand and crouched down with her. I love this photo.

Gourmet Food & Wine Show - After such a heavy week, it was such a relief to get out, take my mind of my troubles, and spend some time with friends and good food and drinks at the Gourmet Food & Wine Show. Here is one of my favourite tastes of the fest, The Food Dudes BBQ Pork with Lime Spiked Slaw, Smoked Garlic Aioli on a Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuit. To die for! Another standout for me was the Tre Amici Imports booth, which was serving up delicious, refreshing prosecco and one of the best tequilas I have ever had (maybe even the best!).

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