It was evening time on Valentine’s Day 2009. Life was in flux, uncertain, and exciting as it had been since I decided to move overseas. The previous month I was in Washington, DC for the Inauguration of Barack Obama followed by a trip to Boston, MA to visit friends. Back in the comforts of my flat, a converted piano factory on Robert Street, I looked forward to what the rest of the year had in store. Just the day before I had celebrated three years in Northampton, England. A new hospital was built in Birmingham and would open its door the beginning of March 2009. I accepted a position there as an occupational therapist (OT) and was excited about moving there. It’s the second most populated city in England after London and boasts more canals than Venice, Italy. Winter brought snow and I was happy as a little girl since it was the first time in my life I lived in such weather conditions. My first pair of wellies sat at attention in my bedroom ready to brave the cold and wet streets of town. Don’t ever recall an article of clothing that brought so much joy.
My flat was on the third floor that could only be reached by stairs. The renovation of the piano factory did not include a lift/elevator. Except for the tiny refrigerator in the kitchen I loved that place. It had a view that faced west, peppered with smoke stacks from bygone days. With my recent vacation stateside behind me, a new job on the horizon, I had to find a place to live in Birmingham and make arrangements for my pending move.
The landline phone rang. The display screen on the phone indicated it was my daughter. “Hi, Sweetie.”
“Hi, Mum. Happy Valentine’s Day. I have something to tell you. I’m pregnant.”