Today I'm typing from the surgery center waiting room while William goes through pre-op for his ACL repair. The surgery has been on our calendar for over a month - we postponed it so that William could go on the Italy trip - but it still feels like a big, unpleasant surprise. Our minds have been occupied by train times, COVID tests and itineraries as opposed to pre op therapies. I hastily read through a number of articles last night and was alarmed to see that patients should forgo alcohol and caffeine for a week or two before surgery - two things William definitely consumed in large quantities via espresso and red wine. But only one article mentioned that, and his diet was certainly healthy and varied, his legs in good shape from all the walking.
We were so fortunate on our trip to only have one day - really just one evening - of rain. The surgeon specifically warned us to be careful on rain-slick cobblestones as slipping or tweaking the knee could cause further damage, so on our last night in Venice as we ran through a downpour to the train station, I hovered by William's elbow yelling, "hold the railing" on every slippery bridge and city square. We don't think he did any further damage, but won't know for sure until the surgery in a few hours.
Rob and the kids teased me unmercifully throughout the trip, for my panic in the rain, my proclivity for (very) long walks, my occasional misunderstanding of where to wait in line for a tour. They really got a kick out of the evening I left my purse in a Florentine restaurant after a meal full of the local specialty - beef - and a full glass of red wine. The young waiter came running out in to the street holding my purse extended in his hand, yelling "Madam, madam!" Fortunately our VRBO was across the street and we were lingering in front of the door as Rob manipulated his key in the faulty lock.
My eyes flew wide open as I felt the purse missing at my side and realizing the full force of my mistake. I nearly bowed to the waiter in relief, saying "Thank you! Grazie! Thank you so much!" The kids laughed at my expression, claiming that I liked the young Italian men and just left my purse on purpose so one would chase after me. They reminded me of how much I liked the proprietor of our Venezian VRBO, a young man named Tiziano who had grown up in the small home. I protested that he just reminded me of them - my kids - but they chuckled each time he used "What's APP?" to send me recommendations or make sure that we were OK.
I was alone in Venice due to the one major mishap on our trip. Rob's flight from Newark to Venice was delayed a day due to mechanical difficulties with the plane. After sitting on the runway for hours, his plane was taken back and he was moved to the same flight 24 hours later. That second flight was also delayed, and Rob landed in Venice with just enough time to take a cab to the train station so he could join us on our trip to Florence. We cheered as he ran through the plaza to meet us on the station steps, sleep-deprived and jet-lagged but finally able to catch up.
Today Aden starts her new job and Rob dives back into his. I plan to wait on William all day and make sure that we have what's needed to recovery: crutches, an ice machine (still unclear about this one but friend told me to ask for it), pain medication and whatever food he can stomach. And so our next journey begins, closer to home but still to parts unknown.