This is a long post and I'm not really sure I'm saying much in it, but I need to write it out anyway. Thank you in advance to anyone who reads it all.
So much, yet so little, has happened during the last 2 weeks that I'm not sure where to start. Two weeks ago, June 19th, at 6pm my time, I got a phone call that changed my life forever (not to sound cliché, but it is so true). I knew it was my stepmom calling and that there was something horrible in her voice, but our connection was so bad that I couldn't hear what she had to say before we got cut off. After about 30 minutes of trying to contact someone in my family and rebooting my phone, I was able to talk to my stepmom. My mom had died of a heart attack. She was only 53 years old/young. I was (and still am to some extent) in complete and utter shock. I needed to get to the USA as soon as I could.
I always knew and feared this day would happen. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. I knew that by moving half way around the world from my family that if anything ever happened, it would take time for me to get there. But at least now I know that if/when something does happen they will call me immediately. I had fears/concerns that it would be some time before anyone would notify me that something had happened. Kind of an 'out of sight, out of mind' thing.
My husband and I booked flights to the USA. We left Finland early in the morning on Thursday June 23rd and we were due to leave for home again on the morning of Wednesday June 29th. Not much time for us (my siblings and I, with the help of our Dad and step-mom) to get everything done.
After 26 hours of traveling (door to door), we arrived in my home town, exhausted. We stayed at my mom's place (now my sister's). Friday we took care of bank stuff, got our copies of the obituary from the newspaper office and who knows what else. I have no idea what we did Saturday. I think my Dad, youngest brother and DH went crabbing. Sunday was my mom's memorial. And what a beautiful event it was! My mom touched so many peoples' lives and she was/is so loved.* The rest of our trip was mostly spent going through my mom's stuff and dividing things up. I think the 3 of us kids did quite well. Tempers only flared a little bit.
On our trip home, every single flight was late! From the first one from my hometown (due to bad weather at the plane's departure, I think it was fog), to a 2 hour wait ON the plane in San Francisco (the evacuation alarm wasn't working) which caused us to miss our 3rd flight in Frankfurt, but we managed to get another flight to Helsinki, 4 hours later. And even that flight wasn't immune from a late departure of about 40 minutes. The lateness didn't stop there. If our last flight would have been on time, we most likely could have caught the earlier bus to our hometown. Instead, we had to wait 50minutes for the next one. Thankfully the sun was still shining (gotta love Finnish summers) and it was a lovely 26 degrees outside with a bit of breeze.
We finally arrived to our town (at 10:20pm), got the car, loaded the suitcases and went to get the cats. Rusty came running at the sound of my voice. Mansi was her normal spazzy self. Both cats went into their carriers nicely, but Rusty made it be known that he was not happy to be in it, the whole trip home. Thankfully it was only 15 a minute ride. I didn't get to sleep until 1:30 and was up at 7:30 to go to work.
I worked a 9.5 hour day and was in bed by 10pm. I was so freakin' exhausted! I woke up around 4am, read a bit, chatted with DH and then fell back asleep until 9 or 10. We spent some special time "wiggling" together and then we went outside for a while to read. I did a quick food shopping trip then back home and slept some more. I woke up at some point, only to still feel totally exhausted. I think I finally woke up around 5 or 6pm. I was so thankful that DH made dinner the night before, so I only had to reheat stuff. We watched a bit of wacky colored TV (our TV is on the fritz again. The middle circle of the screen is red and the outer ring is green with the 4 edge corners something else). Then I played catch-up on the computer, where here I am writing now. It is 3:15am and I really should get to bed.
I sure do miss my mom. And my family in the US.
*I intend to do a separate post about her memorial.