February has been really hard for me.
My husband, my son and I just spent Christmas at my parents house. It seemed like I just arrived back to Denmark and I was already flying back to Cleveland, Ohio to visit my Mom in the ICU. My Mom went in for a heart valve replacement surgery to replace the aortic and mitral valves. She was so excited about the surgery and very positive about getting better and traveling again to Denmark come Summer. She said to me on the phone the night before surgery that she'd be pretty out of it during the week, but she would call me again on Saturday.The sad news is that she never woke again from the surgery and passed away a week later in the ICU. I've never lost anyone close to me before. It's a special kind of sadness I've never experienced before.
I am grateful that we, as a family, were all together at Christmas. We celebrated my Mom's birthday together, she had just turned 80. My parents had just celebrated their 60 year wedding anniversary. I am grateful that we took my Mom on a little day trip together while I was back home. We had cabin fever after Christmas, so we drove to Pittsburgh, Pa. Some thought it was a strange destination. We had a great day. It's been said Pittsburgh is the second most beautiful city in the US, I agree. We went shopping at Ikea and ate some Swedish meatballs for lunch (which my Mom really enjoyed). We went to the Andy Warhol museum. The museum was very crowded and her energy level was low, so my Mom sat in the lobby and people watched. Afterwards we drove through the downtown and over the the Duquesne Incline and took in the sunset over the city and three rivers before driving back home again. I'm grateful that my parents drove us to the airport and stood and waved until went made it completely through airport security. And waved one final time goodbye.
February is coming to a close now. We are all slowly moving on with life. I don't know how to end what I'm trying to say here except that I'm appreciating life right now and I miss my Mom.