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.

Back from Chicago

15 thoughts on “Back from Chicago

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:17 pm

    Wow, what a poem. Poor, sweet thing. How old is your niece?

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:25 pm

    Sounds like kind of a tough trip.

    Has your Dad gotten a pain consult? There are specialists in treating cancer pain, and if he hasn’t gotten expert consultation he probably should.

    Your niece wrote an amazing poem.

    Hope you’re well and taking care of yourself. *hugs* if you want ’em.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    I have no words, just tears and hugz if you want them. You have an extraordinary niece.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:33 pm

    She’s 17. She’s gone through so much in the past few years between her parents’ divorce and this. I really feel for her and my nephew.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    I forget how much a divorce affects kids, as I was 3 when my parents split. That being said, we still deal with issues today.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:37 pm

    As far as I know, it’s just his doctor handling the pain management. I know my dad has a lot of pain meds (that’s partly what’s making him so distant and tired, I suspect), but I don’t know if the doc could be doing a better job. I’ll have to remember to ask next time I talk with my mom. Thanks.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:37 pm

    Yes, she is. Thank you.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:39 pm

    She and her brother seem so tough and strong, but there are chinks in their armor, you know? And when other things hurt them, like this, they really hurt.

    Having your parents divorce when you’re 3 must introduce a whole different kind of trouble. I’m sorry you went through that.

  • April 18, 2005 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks. Yes, there’s tons of BS my sisters and I had with Dad not in my life for most of my life. The longest stretch included a 9 year hiatus of not seeing or hearing from him. There are lots of stories.

    Dad’s death was tough, because he really didn’t know us, nor did we know him. That being said, my mother and father were able to put 30 years of hatred, fighting and court battles behind them, and forgive each other.

  • April 18, 2005 at 1:07 pm

    What she said. You’re in my thoughts.

  • April 18, 2005 at 6:14 pm

    Oh, Kate.

    I’m glad your niece felt she could share her feelings of love with your dad.

  • April 18, 2005 at 7:46 pm

    Oh, wow. Your niece sounds so amazing.


  • April 18, 2005 at 9:32 pm

    She’s a good kid. It’s a little weird to say anything more glowing than that since the family consensus is she’s practically a clone of me, but she is definitely a good kid. 🙂


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