Well, actually, we were never once in Chicago. Schaumburg, yes; Park Forest, yes; Chicago, sadly no.
But we drove there, spent 6 hours in IKEA, spent the night with my parents, and drove back. All in the space of a weekend. Whew!
IKEA was frustrating. Most of what we wanted was out of stock. What we ended up with was insignificant enough to fit in the car, so we skipped on shipping it and just loaded up the Camry.
Seeing my parents was tough. My dad is in such pain, and is just not himself. My parents shared with me and Karsten a poem my niece had written a few weeks ago for school. You can imagine how wet our eyes were.
The medicine’s made you so tired now,
And you’re fading away,
Little by little,
Like an old picture.
I remember your voice,
I remember sitting on your knee while you sang me a silly song or a
And I remember our family singing together in church,
Like a small choir.
You didn’t sing the notes on the page,
But the harmony.
I always loved to hear you sing.
You don’t sing anymore,
You’re too tired,
And it hurts you too much.
I remember your laugh,
You loved to tease and pull little pranks.
You still like to laugh,
But it hurts you,
And every time you laugh,
I see the pain flood your face.
We used to play sports,
Like softball and soccer,
But sports require energy,
Energy you don’t have.
You’re so brave, Papa,
To fight this disease.
I’m so proud of you,
But I’m scared.
I’m scared because I don’t want to lose you,
You’re scared because this family needs you so much,
And our family’s scared of the gaping whole that will be left if you go.
We love you Papa!
The whole family loves you,
And you’re in all our prayers,
I know it’s hard,
But please hold on,
We’ll get through this,
Everything will be all right.
Love, [niece’s name]
And the drive was exhausting.
But this week, we’re focused on getting the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room in working condition, and then we’ll probably move in early next week.