Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Christmas/New Years holiday pt3: Dedelis passed away

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31st, 2012 by roxyfighter

On Friday, Dad, Marion, and myself drove all evening. We reached my paternal aunt and uncle’s house at 9:30 PM. It was so good to see my relatives again! We met their new Pitbull, Cannoli. LOL
canolli dog

On Saturday, we chatted and relaxed (and I ate) all day. In the evening, we had a big party with my cousins and my Uncle’s extended family. It was sooooo nice.
During lunch, my mom called me to tell me that my Dedelis, my maternal grandfather, had passed away in a hospital at the age of 101. I knew it was coming soon…they said his veins had collapsed so they couldn’t put in IVs, so I was kind of waiting for the call. :/

My grandfather, Frank Danyla’s parents came to the USA from Lithuania to give birth to him in 1911 to make him an American citizen. Then, he went back and was raised in Lithuania. When he turned 18, he came back to the US to find his fortune and….! Was IMMEDIATELY drafted into the military to fight in World War II. What lousy luck, right? He could barely speak English, but was promptly shipped out, where he served his time. Upon return to the US, he got various manual labor factory jobs and had an arranged marriage with my grandmother, Vincenta, another Lithuanian. (I carry her name as my middle name). They had four kids, my mother was the youngest. They were a working class family, and certainly worked their butts off. My grandfather also worked on a farm and grew produce. He kept working that farm until he was like 80 something years old. We think that’s what kept him healthy.

My grandmother also lived until her late eighties. I have tough, long-lasting genes in my mother’s side. Not the most healthy….like everyone has come kind of cancer, but definitely long lasting. My grandfather was very close minded and kind of kooky, but he always played with me and and was so nice to me. I’m the only child in the family, out of his four children. We used to live over 6 hours away by car, so we only visited twice or three times a year, but I loved him. He used to have snowball fights with me, boil me eggs for Easter, hand over 100 dollars when I visited, so Mom took me out and bought me some toy afterwards. She would always say, “Now, this is from Dedelis.”

After he became older and less and less mobile, didn’t get out and was very lonely, because nobody had time to stay with him. It was very sad.

There was a years-long struggle to get him out of his house and into this veteran’s home.

He liked it there a lot, we think. I think he was 95 or 96 years old when he moved there? When I visited him in the home, he was smiling a lot more!

Mom, my aunt and myself were SO happy about.
That’s where he stayed until he passed away. We think he felt loved and cared for, and that’s fantastic. It would have been a shame if he’d passed alone in his lonely house, but he was in a nice clean room, and my aunt was by his side. It’s okay.

Christmas/NewYears trip Part2 (Christmas, Boston, Q!)

Posted in family and holidays, friends, fun on December 28th, 2012 by roxyfighter

I had a very lovely Christmas dinner with my step-mother’s side of the family. I enjoyed talking to everyone and eating the delicious food. I had horrible jet-lag, though. I’ve been waking up at 2:30 AM everymorning. :/ And in the evening, if I sit down, I fall asleep, so I’ve been standing up. lol

I received very lovely presents from my family. Thank you very much. I’m so fortunate to be able to give and receive during the holidays.

The day after Christmas, I spent the day in Boston by myself (totally eating too much, lol).
ice cream cones

Then I met my dear friend Q after her work ended, and we hung out!
GIRLS SLEEP OVER!!! 😀 <3 <3 <3 We played DDR and she taught me how to play the guitar!! 😀 Kind of! I can play the first part of "sakura," this very traditional Japanese song. q and roxy and guitar

Q is very multi-talented. She crocheted me a scarf! 😀

I had such a nice time. Went back to my Dad’s on Thursday, and ate delicious left over lasagna that my step mother cooked. She is a fabulous cook!!

Today (Friday) my step brother Chris, who is awesome, took me to his gym and I entered as a guest. I did the elliptical machine for 25 minutes, and then lifted back and chest. It was my first time lifting since I injured my neck. It didn’t feel bad when I lifted! I’m really happy about that.

My step mother took me out for a Chinese food lunch. How nice.

I’m having a really nice time. My Dad will be home in half an hour, and then we’re going to visit his side of the family! Whooohoo I get to see my cousins and aunt!

Christmas/New Years trip: part 1! (wedding&Mom)

Posted in family and holidays on December 25th, 2012 by roxyfighter

Dec 19th

My flight from Japan left 40 minutes late. I worried about my connecting flight, because it went through O’Hare, in Chicago, which is horrible and notorious for losing luggage, causing people to miss flights, etc.
Turns out my fears were realized. First, there were no TVs on the seats, so I read my book “Flashforward” by Robert J. Sawyer. I love that sci fi author. Talked to a 15 year old high school student on the plane and realized, hmm she is exactly half my age. lol

Once in O’Hare, I cut people in line for Immigration and Security. Then, BOOKED IT SO hard from my terminal through the B concourse to the C concourse all the way to C1, and SAW MY PLANE at the gate, but they shut the doors! I was just about to attack calmly discuss this issue with the airline employee, when this British lady holding a baby started screaming at her, “What do you mean you can’t let us on the plane?! We PAID for a ticket! It’s right there! Just open the doors!” The staff lady said, “I’m sorry, they already shut the doors, I can’t open them!” The poor woman started crying and shouting about not being able to get back to London because flights were all sold out. The husband looked like he was just barely holding it together.

So….I figured me adding my two cents was not going to help, so I left and rebooked for a flight two hours later.

I shouldn’t run because it aggrivates my back injury. 🙁 Bad news: my back kind of hurt from running. Good news: in case there’s a zombie apocolypse, I still got my speed from high school soccer, and will still be able to outrun them, if they’re the fast type. lol

I met my mom at 9:30 PM in Philadelphia! We rented a car and drove to a nearby hotel.

Dec 20th
On Thursday, we drove though my hometown of Kennett Square and Chester County, PA, to my friend Arrie’s home! It was so nostalgic! I’m not from Massachusetts, guys, I only moved there for high school and stayed through college. 🙂 I grew up where we passed corn fields on the way to school, and had to drive over 30 minutes to get to any remotely large shopping mall.

I spent most of the day with Arrie, and my mom hung out with her mom. You know, kids make friends, the moms makes friends. 🙂
Arrie and roxy ice cream
I had first met Arrie in kindergarten or first grade! She was my first, and one of my only, friends! 😀 I was pretty escentric, even as a kid. It was sooo awesome to see her and her family again!! She took me to Amish stores and I ate this prezel cheese steak sandwich. oooh man!

Dec 21st
Friday I spent the day with my mom. She had refused to rent a GPS, claiming she knew the roads, but come on, it’s been over ten years. We got lost a lot, and at one point, went 30 minutes out of our way before I could convince her to pull over and look at a map. -_-; Honestly, I didn’t care, because I was still spending time with her! 😀 We ate good, American Pizza, Chinese food, and ice cream ;D We watched Jim Carry’s “Scrooge” on TV in the hotel. weeee. We drove through the spectacular Christmas light display at the Herrs factory!
Christmas herrs lights1

Dec 22nd,
On Saturday, we kind of just killed time in the morning. (I was amused walking through Acme…I don’t go to American grocery stores much these days) Then went to the wedding!

Seriously, that was the most emotional wedding I’ve ever seen. The mother and the bride and the groom’s lips were all quivering, trying to hold back tears, on her walk down the asile. They read their own vows, and Arrie could barely get hers out, she was crying so much. I was like…choking and half suffocating, trying not to cry. It was so beautiful.
arries wedding group1

Dec 23rd
On Sunday, my mom and I just caught our respective flights. Now, I’m here in Boston with Dad and Marion, and Mom’s back in New York. I just heard that my grandfather (on my mother’s side) just got admitted to the hospital and it doesn’t look good. Uh oh. 🙁 He’s 101….

Well…my grandfather on my father’s side passed away on Christmas. Wouldn’t that be ironic… :/ I hope he’s okay….

Now, it’s 4 AM Christmas morning!

what came after Jewels 22….part 2 of 2

Posted in fight, friends, training on December 17th, 2012 by roxyfighter

Saturday was very hard for me, as I mentioned in my previous blog. I had to watch my friends and former teammates fight knowing I should have fought, apologize to everyone in Japanese, and deal with my injuries.

I’ve been depressed all week, and on Sunday, I tried to make plans with a friend so I wouldn’t have to be alone, but it fell through. u_u After reading one of my depressed Tweets, one of my teammates offered to meet me for tea. That was really nice. We chatted about everything, and I realized some things about my training. I won’t write them all here, but I need to tweak my schedule. I hope these things will also help me become injured less often. I also need to add personalized physical training into my regime. I will have to ask my boss to change my work schedule.

My teammate also taught me a lot of Japanese, too. Boy, he talks fast. u_U My brain couldn’t keep up. Well, some people are like that, and I just have to do my best. <3 Thank you so much, my friend! I really am so lucky to have such dependable friends. 🙂 My neck feels slightly better. It is recovering, so that's good. Mentally, I feel better. I'm hoping my lifestyle will improve if I'm able to make these schedule changes, and I'll be able to get more of a benefit from my dojo. And also....I need to do more 'shugyo.' That means 'mental training.' I used to do it all the time early in my career. Like, I went into bakeries when I was cutting weight, looked at everything, but never bought anything. It sucked and was hard, but that's why I did it- to toughen myself up mentally. I'm going to start doing that again. Watching practice but not doing it. I HATE just watching. I'd rather stay home. But that's why I should go watch. The harder it is, the stronger I'll get. I think I've become weaker. I'm excited to have a new direction, or rather, I got pointed back on the path I used to take. This entry didn't do justice to what my teammate did for me. Talking to him really turned my mentality around. Thank you thank you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

leading up to my non-fight…pt 1 of 2

Posted in fight, Uncategorized on December 16th, 2012 by roxyfighter

In November, shortly after my fight was set in Jewels, I injured my leg. I couldn’t walk well and couldn’t squat or take stairs. A trainer at Gold’s Gym said, “It’s the tendon. You should rest it.”

Fine. So I rested it and limped around for 5 days before going to the doctor. Doctor said, “It’s the tendon. You should ice it and rest it.” Fine. Iced. Limped around. Okay, one week & some days later, no more limping, so let’s go back to the dojo. I promptly injured my ankle on my OTHER leg. During work, I tucked ice packs into my socks! Limped around for another 1.5 weeks before I was able to go back to the dojo to do technique.

It’s okay, as long as I have a good two weeks, I can get into some resemblance of shape for my fight, right?

Did sparring. Hurt my neck and screwed up my lower back. I couldn’t hold my head up straight without feeling sharp pain and pressure on my spine. Just freaking great. Got orthopedic treatment, made it worse.

Every five-minute break between lessons at work, I lay an ice pack on my neck. And the ice packs in my sock for my ankle. What a mess. My boss was like, “Roxy…you keep shifting the ice packs all over your body…”

I thought, “It’s okay, it’s just my cartilage inflamed. It’ll go down and maybe I can fight.” It had happened before. But no, one week before, my neck had a small range of motion.
“Well, maybe it’ll get better fast,” I thought, and went on the elliptical machine Sunday, to get my heart rate up. Then my bum knee started hurting again.

I got off the elliptical machine. That was when it hit me: I wasn’t fighting next Saturday. The tears wouldn’t stop for 20 minutes.

The following week was TOTAL HELL. I was getting pressure to fight anyway, but I didn’t properly communicate in Japanese the severity of my neck. Why oh why didn’t I get an MRI? So I made the call that I couldn’t fight, and tortuously waited out the week dealing with various issues, feeling like a horrible weakling, a big disappointment to my team and coach…. Went back to the doctor’s to get an official letter, and he took an MRI and was like, “OH YOU HAVE A HERNIA! You shouldn’t fight!”

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. ;__; So I was right! It looks more like bulging disks than a ‘hernia,’ but keep in mind these conversations are all happening in Japanese, so…. Gosh, medical care in Japan. ;_;

I was soo so stressed out. I don’t know if it was because of that, but I collapsed at work on Wednesday. I’m kind of embarrassed, but it was true. At the end of my second to last lesson, the room started spinning. I staggered back to the teacher’s room and fell over on the sofa. ;_; So dizzy. My boss had to teach my last lesson. I could barely make it home- my co-wokers had to escort me to the station, and the next day, I stayed home most of the day. I took a sick day on Friday, but didn’t feel dizzy, so I saw The Hobbit in the theaters. It kicked butt.

fast forward On Saturday, I went to Jewels. It was really really hard to watch. I knew most of the fighters, but at the same time, I didn’t want to go. It was so painful to be there and know that I should have fought. I ran into my opponent Shizuka Sugiyama, and apologized to her. ;_; It’s not just my fight that I wrecked, it was ‘our’ fight. It takes two to tango, right? But she told me to heal my neck, and said something about the futures, so I’m hopeful that she would agree to fight in the future!

Rina Tomita, former training partner, and Naoko Omuro retired. Celine won her fight! She has improved so much! I’m so proud of her. Her distancing and technique are all super improved and I’m so so soooo proud of you, my friend! Kikuyo Ishikawa, Groundslam teammate, won her fight! I have mixed feelings, because she was able to fight and represent our team, and I couldn’t. ;_; She looked good. I wish I could have done the same, and pulled off a win, but it’s not the same situation….

I had to go into the cage and apologize to the audience in Japanese. Yeah, Saturday was hard. I just want to especially thank my good friend Brittany Decker for forever supporting me, meeting me, and text messaging me every day throughout this. It really kept me sane. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

… coming soon, part 2