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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

It's monday and I'm at home. The last day of my extended weekend. I just spent three wonderful days in Maastricht in which I explored the city center again (they just can't stop redesigning and changing it) and acted as unofficial crew during my friends' summer LAN party. Much fun was had with games both old and new. Played along with Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Call of Duty (the first!) and Trackmania, and watched others have fun with Killing Ground (?), Battlefield and Warcraft 3. And while some of the kids pulled all-nighters fueled by energy drinks, I played the responsible adult and actually got 8 hours of sleep both nights.

Back up a few days: thursday night, I visited granddad who now has his own room in a 'recovery home', even though there's not much recovery going on. He lay in his bed, and I talked about my life, helped him take a few sips of water and cooled his forehead with a wet cloth. He can't talk anymore, just nod or shake his head a little. His right arm can move just enough to let his hand scratch his head or pull a handkerchief from his pocket. He looked much better than in the hospital, but it's hard to accept that he's not going to get better anymore and that he may pass away any day now. He's getting morfine to numb any pain. Let's hope he's not going down the same route as dad's mother who stuck around for a year and a half after her stroke, reduced to an empty shell. After visiting granddad, I went to grandma as well. She's holding up, hiding behind a mask of stoicity. "He brought it down on himself, he'd been having headaches and trouble sleeping for weeks, but that stubborn old goat just wouldn't want to visit a doctor!" And I sit there, sip my coffee and nod. We know. We all know how stubborn he is, and has been for as long as we can remember. When he passes, their children have the work cut out for them. Grandma and granddad each have their own bankaccount and their own financial administration. But one is slowly losing her memory and the other can't speak anymore. And they both were negligent in keeping any kind of record. So basically: no one knows if and how much money they set aside and who's responsible for paying the bills. Add to that the tasks of having to sell the house and find grandma a spot in a nursing home and you can see that 'the family' still has their work cut out for them.

Final newsflash, this just in: I went to my knee therapy session today and my knee gave way again during an exercise where I had to take big steps sidewards. The therapist wasn't happy with that and neither was I. Since my instability is still there after 2 months of firm therapy, he says I should seriously start to consider going in for surgery, getting a new ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) made from a piece of my hamstring. We're talking about surgery, a month on crutches and 7 to 9 months of new therapy to make my new ACL take the heat. Bah. So not looking forward to that. I might want to get a second opinion, but the second doctor will most likely concur with my trainer's findings.

The Africa trip will continue though. And after that: new knee.

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