I have been to Chicago over a dozen times in the last 20 years. It is one of my favorite cities in the world. My family and I spent a week there several years ago for the kids spring break. We took in all the sights and sounds of this wonderful city including a Cubs game in great seats drinking warm Old Style Beer, eating bratwurst and stale popcorn. It was a great week.
It has been 10 years since I have been back. Based on the latest news, a lot has changed. Headline: Chicago hit 500 homicides the other day, with more killings this year than in New York and Los Angeles combined.
I have wonderful memories of this great city. It was the first time a very young Mom and Dad had a long weekend to themselves without the kids. Where we discovered Volare, a wonderful Italian restaurant on a side street that we introduced to others years later like we were old pro’s of the city. Taking the kids to Chinatown and being “forced” to buy lucky seahorses that we forgot to unpack which stunck up the house weeks later…“What is that smell?”. A romantic dinner cruise that a young couple couldn’t afford but talked about for years. Watching the sunset with a bottle of wine that equaled our car payment. The place we all met to surprise my mother on her 50th birthday. She saw me on the street walking towards her holding the hand of her granddaughter in my Clemson orange shirt and thought that’s weird, my son has that same shirt and that little girl looks just like my granddaughter (you got to know my goofy mother).
Chicago is a city I love, that we, as a family love and it makes my heart hurt to read headlines of pain, concern and fear. I pray that they will figure it out. I want to go back, to enjoy the sights, the sounds and the smells of this wonderful city but I won’t and I can’t until it is a safer. I am sorry, I just can’t.