Corissa:

It has been a full month since I posted. Life has sure been full and interesting here in Winnipeg.

Some logistical stuff like getting all the paperwork and necessary adjustments so that I could update my passport to my new married name – even though I still had a year left on my existing one…at least I got to get a new pic 😉 Don’t you just LOVE passport pics?? With my first one, years ago, I had no idea what to expect…and actually that was the best passport pic I’ve had so far! Maybe because it was back-and-white, the standard for passport pics in the late 1990s? But since then, even though I make sure I at least have my hair half-decent and some make-up on, the pics turn out…well…let’s just say they aren’t shown until the HAVE to be shown! And only to those who are on the need-to-see-it list 🙂

Then transferring my Ontario status back to Manitoba – driver’s license and vehicle insurance and the like…each time, costly endeavour. One would think that living in the same country, it wouldn’t be so difficult to change one’s provincial status! Are we or are we not all Canadians?? It’s obvious The Government (provincial and federal) must make money on each Canadian who so chooses to relocate to another province in this very fine country. But it’s necessary to do this, as my ON status would no longer be valid after 3 months away from the ON. Still not sure how we’re going to switch over Jesse’s status, as that 3-month mark for him will be when we’re in CR. Then he’s technically not in MB either. Or even in Canada.

Switching over healthcare from ON to MB has also been a challenge. Technically, that 3-month mark for me will be a whole 3 months ahead of Jesse. And yet MB Health told me that I cannot apply for MB Health coverage until my husband claims MB residency. So technically, I am a MB resident with ON health coverage. And differing addresses (residency) on both cards.

Then updating my (two) iPhones (one of my daughters uses the other one) to current and more affordable plans – and figuring out what to do with mine while we’re in Costa Rica. Last year, I unblocked my iPhone and purchased a CR SIM card from a local ICE dealer there. I received a CR phone number – and in CR every number is local – no long distance – and was able to access the internet through their cell towers (and of course, utilizing free wifi whenever possible). This worked GREAT, especially when needing GPS – google maps and/or the app waze – or contacting friends in CR through FaceBook or text or voice. I was also then able to FaceTime with my children pretty much at any time – and text them, too (they just had to do so to my CR number). And the cost for all of this?? About $20 a month! And what do I pay now? Baseline: about $75 a month. Hmmmmmm……go figure…..

I also took the leap and clicked “will not renew” for both of my provincial (MB & ON) Registered Nurse status. So that means that as of January 1, 2015, I will no longer be able to work as an RN – anywhere. This has been a huge internal process for me to work through. And it was very scary to click “will not renew”, especially in my home province (MB), but I am very much at peace with this decision. Now…figuring out what role my University Degree (in Health Sciences) can do for me without an RN status…and also discovering and honing in on my passions and gifts – outside of the practical side of nursing! (more about that in a future post)

These are just some of the (many) logistical issues I’ve dealt with since returning to my native province after an 18-month hiatus.

Another very important reason for me to return to MB when I did was to meet with a medical specialist here in Winnipeg – the absolute best in Canada for what I’m facing. Because of my inherent cancer risk, and because of my new attitude of “live life with no holds barred…let’s GO”, I have decided to have major surgery to reduce my breast cancer risk from over 75% to less than 3% (if you’re interested in what type of surgery, google: DIEP). I won’t go into details here, but recovery will be in the span of 2-8 weeks or longer, with another surgery (albeit much less invasive) 3 months after the initial one. However, if this can extend my life – and quality of life in the future – those few weeks will be oh-so-worth it. The surgery date has not yet been finalized, but will be shortly after we return from CR (so early May 2015). So that means we’ll be in MB for the summer, at least.

See how plans are coming together in this one (un)expected life?? A few posts ago, we wrote that we had no clue what we’d do after we came back to Canada from CR. Now we’ve got some direction.

But the very BEST reason for me to be in MB (without my amazing husband, as he’s finishing up his University Degree) is the birth of my (OUR!) grandbaby – Emilia Mae Reimer, born Saturday, November 29, 2014. Now, one of the favourite parts of my day is Cuddle Time with Nana 🙂

People have asked how it feels to be a grandma (especially at the age of 43!)…I really cannot put it into words…except if I have to, it would be two words: LOVE and PRIDE. Just as I remembered from having my own babies, that love that comes immediately when they are placed into your arms at birth was present…IMMEDIATE LOVE. Simple. Pure. Joyful. Full of gratitude. Anticipation for the future of that child. Protectiveness. All that, and so much much much more. Well, those feelings are there, too, with the birth of my first grandbaby. Deep, never-ending love – no matter what, I will always love her. Yet also pride: watching my own son – who I raised and poured my life into – and his incredible partner, become parents – truly an awe-inspiring sight. She’s just over a week old, and yet the maturity and ability and patience and LOVE they’ve shown has been such a blessing.

Then seeing some light-bulb moments as well. Justin: “Remember when Dad would say to me – “just you wait until you have your own kids…just you wait…then you’ll understand…” – well, Mom, the exact moment she was born, that phrase started to make sense. I’m starting to understand…” And: “Mom, I love being skin-to-skin with Emilia. I hold her like that for hours. It’s the best thing going for all of us!” Y-E-S! (Those of you in the healthcare field, especially nurses, will so understand the “skin-to-skin” concept, and just how very important it is for not only babies, but their caregivers as well.)

Being away from my amazing husband has been difficult, to say the least, for both of us, especially with the birth of Emilia – me not having him with me to share that initial excitement. And him missing out on that initial excitement…and initial greeting.

We’ve also worked through some pretty deep and intense issues – all the while communicating via text messages, emails, and FaceTime. I know, without a doubt, that some of the things we worked through wouldn’t have been so “intense” if would’ve been face-to-face, and able to be to touch each other (lots of hugging!) while communicating. It’s so true – verbal communication is only about 7% of communication, while non-verbal is a whopping 93% of any given conversation. Yet while it’s been difficult to work through some issues with the limits we had, it’s also brought us closer…and made us acutely aware of that 7%!

But Jesse will be here – by the end of this week!!!!

I will wrap up this post now – it’s pretty light and factual. I have been working on a post that is pretty deep – my grief work, my faith, my relationships – then and now. Perhaps I’ll have it done in the next few days.

Ciao!