2011 ended up being a busy but fun year for the most part. Any year you can look back on and recall that you and everyone you care for were all relatively healthy is a good one.
My father had a fight with cancer at the end of 2010 and was very, very ill but he bounced back to enjoy 2011 for the most part.
Though a lot happens in a year, our biggest news was the birth of our beautiful baby girl on July 13th at 7:06 am. Her name is Victoria Linda Pettit and she’s now the centre of our small bubble.
It was fun watching Harumi’s journey through pregnancy and thrilling to watch her give birth to our first child together. I’ll never forget that exact moment of watching Victoria enter our world. I felt useless as Harumi battled the delivery bravely.
We traveled a lot in 2011. I went to Canada on my own for Xmas as I was concerned for my dads health. He was weak when I was there but he was slowly recovering. I managed to spend a night at Ward’s and a couple days with Chris but for the most part I just relaxed with my dad. My mom was in Phoenix and I was disappointed I didn’t get to see her but if I had known what lay ahead, I would have been fine.
The horrific incident caused by the March 11th earthquake found my family and I packing and heading to Scottsdale Arizona for a month. We stayed in my moms condo down there trying to pretend we were on holidays but really, stressed about our future with one eye on CNN news and the other looking to the future unknown. We came back to Japan as I had to return to work and decided to stay here as things were looking better. Later in early December 2011, I went up to Iwate prefecture to Ootsuchi city to do a volunteer concert for the people. The Canadian Embassy had contacted me to help and it wasn’t hard to make up my mind. Photos really don’t express the heavy emotions one gets while being there. I was moved beyond words.
In mid November, my mom who I hadn’t see for a good year and a half decided she needed to see her new grandchild and booked a flight to hang with us for 2 weeks. We had an incredible time drinking wine every night, indulging in too many truffles, eating out for lunch, and always laughing. She was a great sport for putting up with our small, embarrassing apartment. Despite the lack of fluency in English, Harumi managed to share her feelings and get her point across quite well. The two of them together were devilish and great company and I was so happy to see them get along so well. Victoria loves her grandma and we all hope it isn’t too long before they reconnect.
I had knee surgery in mid January 2011 to try and repair my left meniscus. It was a 3.5 hour job and a month in a cast followed by rehabilitation. I bought a new bicycle in April though and by May I was on it riding almost every day. The knee still isn’t perfect and now the other knee is giving my troubles, but it wasn’t bad enough to stop me from riding over 7000 km and entering a couple races. I lost a few pounds and I feel rejuvenated.
2012 promises to be full of a lot of the same if all goes according to plan (which it usually doesn’t).
We will raise Victoria here for the year. I will attempt to ride twice as far as last year and enter twice as many races. We will travel. Maybe all of us will go to Brazil, or I’ll just send my family there and I’ll go to Canada. Maybe I’ll record my new CD in Nashville USA. I’m praying some of my songs that are in negotiation for movies will finally get accepted. I’m hoping financially we can save a little more m/oney (although after buying a new car and TV I’m not sure about that).