Saturday, 12 March 2011

Walk unafraid

Round 30: May 2032 (Autumn)
Narrated by Steve Nihill

When Caterina's husband Julian died at the beginning of this year, Olivia asked her if she'd like to move in with us.

I was a bit apprehensive about living with my mother-in-law but it was important to Olivia. I get along well with Caterina, so I didn't really have much cause for concern. You just never know how things will change once you're under the same roof.

Caterina didn't move in right away, mainly to make things easier for Adelaide. Caterina came to see her almost like another grandchild and she didn't want to upset her so soon after she'd lost her grandfather.

We've seen a lot of Adelaide over the last two months. She's very close to Caterina.

There have been times where I've thought Adelaide was maybe making herself a little too at home.

But she's very good with Jacinta, so I haven't complained about it. No one asks her to; she just takes it upon herself to get her a bottle or play with her for a while.

Having their grandmother around has been really nice for the girls.

Olivia and I don't get home until 5 or 6, so Ramona has been doing her homework with her grandma.

Jacinta seems to like pretty much everybody but she does seem to have formed a special bond with Caterina.

Caterina is home with Jacinta all day, so she's been her primary carer recently. I think they've both enjoyed it.

Caterina has always seemed very healthy and vibrant to me but I guess when a person reaches their late 70s, nothing is really for certain. I wasn't expecting for it to end so quickly though.

Olivia woke me up very early one morning, saying she had to take her mother to hospital and asking me to stay with the girls.

So of course, I did and got up to see Olivia and Caterina leave. Caterina was short of breath and experiencing chest pains and she didn't look well at all.

Once they'd left, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, so I checked on the girls. Ramona was fast asleep.

Jacinta was awake and fussing. I was almost grateful for the distraction.

Olivia called soon after they got to the hospital and told me Caterina had suffered a heart attack. She couldn't tell me much more but said she'd call me if there was anything else to report.

I called in sick to work, so I could stay home with Jacinta, while Ramona was at school.

I would have liked to have been at the hospital to support Olivia but I knew I couldn't comfort Olivia and wrangle Jacinta, so I didn't have much choice.

It was about lunch time when Olivia called and said her mother had died. Caterina had had a massive heart attack and there wasn't anything the doctors could do.
When Olivia got home, she broke down. I had a bad feeling about this from the minute Olivia woke me up but I think it was more of a shock for her.

Olivia was really more concerned over what we'd tell Ramona. It happened so fast and we didn't have much time to prepare her for what might happen.

I told Olivia I'd take care of that so she could get some time to herself.

I hadn't really planned out what I was going to tell her. Ramona knows a little bit about death, because we explained it to her when Julian died. This was a little different though; Ramona was much closer to Caterina than to Julian.

Ramona had already figured out something was wrong though and she had a lot of questions.

I think she understood as well as you could expect a 5 year-old to. She's upset that Caterina won't be living with us any more though and she's struggling with that.

Jacinta is too young to really know what's going on, so she's mostly carried on as normal.

Olivia is taking some time off work at the moment but when she returns, we're going to have to hire a nanny. I don't know how Jacinta will be with that, as she's mostly been cared for by family. That's going to be the biggest change for her.

It wasn't something that we were expecting but Caterina's life insurance paid out $10,000 to Olivia and $2,500 to each of the girls. She'd even named me as a beneficiary and I got $1000.

I couldn't believe it when Olivia told me but it's certainly very welcome. We have a great house but it's not like we're swimming in cash around here. We were audited last year, so our tax bill was even bigger than normal. Our bank account dwindled to almost nothing.

So that was enough of a surprise. We weren't expecting Kirstin to give us yet another one.

Kirstin was Caterina's stepdaughter and she's now taking care of her estate. Apparently, years and years ago, Caterina bought a gym here in Exeter.

She hadn't anything to do with it for years but she had remained the owner. And now it belongs to Olivia.

It was over 20 years ago and Olivia barely even remembered her mother even buying the gym.

Neither us really want to run a gym, nor do we really know how to. My personal inclination would be to sell it. The gym is worth over $100,000. That much money would set us up for life.

Olivia is a little reluctant to offload it, especially so soon. It wasn't something Caterina ever really talked to her about it, so she's not really sure what her mother would want her to do.

She doesn't really want to make any decisions while she's still feeling raw. So we're going to leave it alone for six months and then discuss it again then and see how she feels.

Caterina Sitko, 1955-2030

Caterina Sitko (née Moretti) died at Lukas Novak Memorial this week after suffering a heart attack. She was 77 years old.

Caterina Sitko was born on her family's farm in 1955, to parents Jonah Draper and Simona Moretti.

She grew up with her twin sister Arianna, who died two years ago and younger brother Filippo, who died in 2025.

While still at high school, Caterina started dating Ben Nihill.

While at university to earn their Philosophy degrees, Ben and Caterina became engaged.

Shortly after graduation in 1980, they moved into an apartment in Exeter and got married.

Son Max joined their family in 1987.

10 years later, Olivia was born and the family moved back to Sullivan.

Caterina continued working in professional sports, while she and Ben shared their home with Max, his partner Zaria and Caterina's only grandson, Josh.

Some years after Ben's death, Caterina fell in love with widower Julian Sitko.

Two years later, they married at Sullivan Town Hall and remained together until his death in January of this year.

Caterina leaves behind son Max (45), daughter Olivia (35), grandson Josh (18) and granddaughters Jessica (12), Ramona (5) and Jacinta (2).

  • Title is from Walk Unafraid by R.E.M.
  • When I realised Caterina and Julian were due to die in the same year, I had to rearrange some things. This was the technical reason Caterina moved in with Olivia, though I also wanted her to spend some time with Jacinta and Ramona as well.
  • I completely forgot Caterina owned the gym. I bought it for her, played it for two rounds before deciding that owned gyms suck. I never sold it because she and Ben already had so much money that they really didn't need an extra $115,000! After she died, I got a little pop-up telling me it had been bequeathed to Olivia and I was like "What? She owned a gym? Oh yeah...she did own a gym!"
  • I think Olivia will sell it but just this minute, I thought about maybe re-purposing it instead. Or maybe she'll sell it and buy another (smaller) lot for herself. I'll see what I feel like doing next round.
  • This obituary was really hard to write. I sat looking at it for like two hours and just couldn't get a handle on it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I should probably start planning those out in advance again!


  1. RIP Caterina!

    I would've like to have seen Adelaide's reaction, since they were so close. Did she get any inheritance?

    It's always hard to have an elder die that you've played since birth.

  2. Aww man :( RIP Caterina! I know that has to be hard on everyone losing 2 family members so close together. Even though the one half was only related by marriage. I feel so bad for her older grandchildren since they understand what's going on. But at least she got a chance to spend time with her youngest grandchildren before she died.

    And yea! I forgot about the gym, too LOL. I've been thinking about how to get a gym to actually work out and have been playing with ideas. I haven't fully tested them out yet, though, so I'm not sure if any of my ideas will actually work (you know how EA had to complicate things). I was thinking of using the pay doors at SimLogical to charge sims their "membership fee". And then I was thinking of putting a restaurant in that served only healthy food so it'd be like a health club. I'm not sure if sims will pay attention to the machines if the restaurant is there but I want to try it out. I think I tried that ticket machine to charge admission and a restaurant and the 2 didn't work together.

    Anyway, I thought you did a nice job writing her obit and the update.

  3. LaurelCrossing, it is hard! And I've lost three this round. :( That's the end of elder deaths for Round 30 though. The others can rest easy for a while.

    I didn't include Adelaide's reaction, because it would have felt odd to include hers but not David or Kirstin's, and not Max's, and not Josh or Jessica's. It would have ended up crazy long, so cuts had to be made.

    But Adelaide did get a little payout from Caterina's life insurance, actually. I noticed it when I visited the Sitko house briefly last night. I'm not sure how much though, as David and Kirstin also got some money.

    Thanks for reading. :)

    Danielle, I did actually think it was kind of sweet that Julian and Caterina just happened to have exactly the same amount of time left. I mostly felt bad having to kill off Julian when they'd only had 5 or so years together. :(

    Never again will I run a gym! I had it set up all awesome like, with a little massage room and everything. But did anyone come in to buy a massage? No. They just kind of wandered around doing nothing. I had to make them selectable in order to get pictures of them using anything. LAME! It's a shame because Caterina wasn't the only Sim of mine who I could see running a gym.

    Restaurants, in my experience, completely cancel out everything else on a lot. Except having things for sale - that cancels out even the restaurant. I love OFB but I wish EA had thought to make the different parts of the pack work better together. :\

    Thanks for reading. :)

  4. I know dead is always around the corner with elders, but I didn't see this one comming, not so close after loosing Julian that is. But it's kind of sweet they went so close after one another, though I would have loved to see Caterina live with Olivia a little bit longer, I think Olivia feels the same.
    Anyway, she had a good life, that's for sure, and I'm sure she will be missed, not only by her own family.

    Aaah, yes a gym, it's hell! When there's a treadmill, sims only go there and ignore all the other equipment, I hate that!! I have one family myself that owns a gym, and the owner hardly goes there, because, as you already said, it's boring! I don't think I'm going to let her sell it though :)

  5. Aww, it's always sad when elders that you've had forever die, but it looks like she had a good run and got to spend some final time with her daughter and grandchildren.

    It's funny, gyms are some of my favorite businesses to have, but I tend to have pro shops in them to see clothes and sports type stuff. I have mostly treadmills, ballet bars and bikes, which have high advertising as well as a pool. I also use the ticket machine to charge dues. I usually play the gym in rotation after my custom restaurants so all my Sims that got fat don't stay that way. I love community lot skilling. It's always funny to hear how different everyone else's experience is.

  6. So sad, especially since it's been such a short time after Julian's death. It feels like Caterina died from a broken heart. I'm glad that Ramona and Jacinta got to spend some time with their grandmother.

    I haven't had any sims own a gym in Wellington but I've tried it before in other hoods and my experiences were pretty similar to yours. I think it was before we had treadmills and exercise bikes though so maybe I'll try it again some day. My sims are crazy about the exercise bike so I imagine it would appeal to gym customers as well.

  7. Tanja, yeah, it was Caterina's time unfortunately. :( I would have liked to have kept Caterina around for one more round but I keep to my schedule very strictly.

    Ha, glad I'm not the only one who's had problems with gyms! Olivia is definitely not the kind of person who'd own a gym, so I'm 99% sure she'll sell it. They need the money anyway!

    Thanks for reading. :)

    kalynn06, it is, though I'm always so much sadder when I have to kill off someone younger. But I was sad about Caterina and actually played with her for quite a while before I killed her off, so she could spend time with Olivia, Jacinta and Ramona.

    Hmmm, I think I'm turned off owned gyms forever but that's interesting. I had exercise machines, including treadmills and bikes and a ticket machine. After they bought their tickets though, Sims would completely ignore the equipment and linger around the clothing rack and perfume display. Or they'd go eat at the cafeteria. :\ I couldn't get them to do much "gym stuff" at all!

    I do love community lot skilling but I guess my Sims will be earning their body skill points at home, or at an unowned gym. ;)

    Thanks for reading. :)

    Sari, that crossed my mind as well. Ramona and Jacinta got to become quite close with Caterina in a short time though, so that was nice.

    Haven't we had treadmills since uni? LOL, I can never remember what was added when! Anyway, that's what I thought with the exercise bikes but the Sims just weren't into them at all. :\ It's strange because I know they work on community lots, because I used to have a gym at my uni (need to put that back, now that I think of it) and I saw Sims using all the exercise equipment all the time. :\ Frustrating!

    Thanks for reading. :)

  8. Just to give you a little update (in case you ever want to give owned gyms a chance again or if anyone else wants to try), I took a break from my Reid family and tested out a tiny owned gym in my test hood using one of those 1x1 community lots. I placed 2 treadmills, 1 exercise bench, 1 bike, and added the podium to have a tiny restaurant (only 2 tables). I used SimLogical's pay door so everyone who walked in would give the owner 20 or 30 simoleans.

    With that setup, the business was very lucrative. I ran the business for 2 sim days straight and the owner earned like 2000 simoleans. The restaurant worked with no problems and sims used the equipment without issues. The bike didn't get much attention with the treadmills in the room. Even the workout bench got more attention than the bike (not one sim used it, to my surprise). The only "problem" was that occasionally there'd be a traffic jam at the treadmills because 2 sims wanted to use it at the same time. When the customers got stinky, I used MATY's Business Controller to make them "bugger off" and then more customers kept showing up. Their stinkiness didn’t impact the customer stars.

    I think the business might have worked out for you in the past because of the ticket machine. I think it might cancel out the restaurant and exercise equipment (maybe because they're looking for fun stuff and the equipment aren't fun objects). So you could essentially have a gym but focus on the restaurant portion of it, since I know you don't mind running restaurants. And if your sim is the fitness type, you can just pose the few shots you need and then continue with the restaurant side of things.

    So... yea.. That's what I discovered. I might try out that yoga/wellness center I had in mind for Sofia if she ever wants to own another business.

  9. Danielle, oh, wow, thanks for testing that! Maybe I'll try it again (briefly, because I still don't want Olivia to own a gym) but get rid of the ticket machine and track down the pay door instead. I'm thinking it might work well for Jonas's arcade as well.

    I do have some ideas for a community lot that I was planning to build along these lines. I might try it with an owner if my experiment with Olivia works out and if I can think of someone who'd own a gym/spa type place! Thanks again for testing all that out. :)

  10. Not a problem! You had me really curious and since I needed a little break from playing the Reids, without quitting the game, I decided to try it out. The only thing that sucks is that the pay doors aren't very attractive. So eventually I'm going to have to make some recolors of them (they're not slaved to their Maxis look-alikes).

    I don't see Olivia running a gym, either, but good luck testing it out!

  11. Danielle, ah, well, I guess ugly doors are a minor inconvenience, in the grand scheme of things!

  12. How sad for Caterina's family! At least she got a little time living with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters. I really wasn't expecting her to die so soon after Julian. Both of their families have had so much tragedy this year.

  13. Sarah, yes, Caterina and Julian have both left quite a hole for each of their families. Hopefully next year will be a better one for all of them. Caterina had a happy final few months though, after her grief over losing Julian.

    Thanks for reading. :)

  14. I don't even want to think about how Adelaide is dealing with all of this right now. At least she was able to bond with her other granddaughters for a while.

  15. Apple Valley, Adelaide will be having a tough time at the moment. We'll probably see a bit of that with the next Sitko update, though by that time, it won't be so raw for her.

    Thanks for reading. :)

  16. Awww... RIP Caterina. This whole post was a sweet tribute to her. I love how Adelaide even kept in touch with her. It's obvious that she meant a lot to a lot of people.

    Kinda funny to look back and also see old CC too, you know? Sims don't really have a change in styles the way we do IRL, but there is a change in style in miniature. Kinda, lol.

  17. Lunar, Caterina promised she'd keep in touch with Adelaide and it was really important to both of them that she do that.

    LOL, yes, you're right about seeing changes in the CC! I still have most of that stuff in game but I either don't use it as often or I use it in better ways. I was just looking at those yellow/orange chairs blending into the walls! Yuck.

    Thanks for reading. :)

  18. Oh no! Caterina's death was so unexpected. She did have a fairly long run though. Poor Olivia--she wasn't living with them very long at all.

    How crazy about the gym! Maybe Olivia could make it into a clothing boutique. :)

  19. Rachel, Caterina aged to elder after I adjusted the age span and 77 is around about average now. It used to be about as old they ever got! It felt like she was around for much longer though; I still remember playing her as a child.

    Olivia could turn it into a clothing boutique and it's something I'm considering. It's a really big lot though, so I may sell it and buy a smaller one instead. Especially seeing my Sims actually don't have another gym!

    Thanks for reading. :)

  20. "I wasn't expecting for it to end so quickly though."

    Once I read this, I knew. It was so sad too!! I can't imagine losing an elder you've played since birth. That is really crazy.

    The three girls (and Adelaide) are very cute! I feel terrible for them!

    And how crazy about the gym is right! I vote for selling it and buying a smaller lot. Its it's really the only gym, sims need fitness!! haha

    oh btw its billybop428 on my dads account, lol!

  21. billybop, LOL, I was wondering if it was you!

    I figured most people would know at that point but I didn't think there was any point dragging it out any further! It's definitely sad losing a Sim you've played from birth, though Caterina was not my first or my favourite. All deaths are sad but I think Adam will be the one to kill me when I have to let him die. :(

    Before Sims start using this gym, it needs a tiny makeover! It's all just looking a bit empty, because it was so big and I had no idea what to put there. I have some ideas now, so I might have Olivia sell it and then fix it up a little before I open it up, so to speak.

    Thanks for reading. :)