Tragedy strikes when you least expect it…

I went out with Husband the night before, enjoyed some food and drinks, and laughed while listening to a country rock band we couldn’t understand. I was up late but I slept well, better than I had in weeks. I got a message from my cousin to call her, as I missed her call while checking on our garden with Husband. Before I returned that call, I had been drinking wonderful coffee, enjoying a sunny, spring morning in the low 70’s. I was smiling and feeling really good, that is, until I heard my cousin say that her mom died hour an a half ago. She kissed her husband after getting ready to drive one of her grandsons to work, then mentioned she didn’t feel well. Seconds later, her mom collapsed on the floor.

I spoke with my aunt on Easter evening, almost a week before her death. She was in good spirits after spending the day with her adult children and grandchildren, before visiting her second oldest in the hospital. I’m glad I had that brief conversation with my aunt, our last conversation. My aunt is dead… so hard to believe, but true. She is someone who lived to care for others, so full of go-go-go, passionate, a fighter who God must have needed for a very special reason… I hope. She had a few health problems but you still thought she would live forever through her endless pursuit of helping large family. My heart is broken.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

There a few reasons I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, but I’ve made peace with it. I spent the night before the funeral writing about my aunt, all the things I would have said if I had gone to the funeral and been give a chance to speak. It was cathartic and healing to write about her, and it helped me remember so many happy moments with her and my extended family. Not wanting to burden my cousins, I sent my comments to my father with a request to read them on my behalf if there was an opportunity. I knew that in asking him I was putting my father in a position to say things that may come off disingenuous, excepted that they were my words rather than his. I found out later that he did not deliver my comments, there wasn’t a chance, he didn’t feel well, etc. I wasn’t there, so I can only take him at his word but experience tells me that it’s something he didn’t have in him to carry out. The comments were forwarded to one of my cousins to be posted on the family Facebook page, which one of my cousins confirmed recently.

They say that life is short, and that things can change in an instance, so you need to hold those you love near and dear while you can. I wonder why tragedy continues to strike the best of us, while those seemingly deserving of punishment and suffering for all of their wrongs, and I’ve been told to leave it in God’s hands. From what I know, it seems that my aunt died from a massive heart attack, a few weeks after she received a COVID vaxx and was subsequently taken off of several medications, including blood thinners. I shutter to think that many families may suffer a similar fate at the hands of far-reaching medical negligence, fraud, and manipulation by powerful people around the world. This happened after one cousin died from cancer treatments that she became too weak to endure, and another cousin suffered misdiagnosis and painful medical negligence, with all three events occurring in less than three years.

cross silhouette on mountain during golden hour

I hope that God brings swift justice to the evildoers in the world, and that He brings peace, hope, and comfort to those who have suffered.

Chicago on my mind…

I was scrolling through my photos and reminiscing on my trip to Chicago last August before traveling to NYC.

Overall, I had a great trip. There were a few rocky family interactions, but lessons learned. I saw extended family, a few friends, one of my favorite bands, my White Sox, and got to eat my favorite foods. Best of all, I got to soak in the city, walking, taking the “L” (elevated trains, it’s what we Chicagoans call it), and enjoying beautiful, mild summer weather.

Even though I moved away and I have a life in Texas now, I doubt I will ever feel as free and as comfortable as I do hanging out in Chicago, whether downtown or in other parts of the city.

I love you, Chicago!

I keep telling myself…

Live in the now. Breathe. Whatever you’re feeling will pass. Walk, meditate, listen to music, and stop creating stories of what might happen. And then I think of my co-worker, who says, “Take it as it comes.” Or as others say, “this, too, shall pass.”

Nothing like Chicago-style food!

I heard about Wiseguys – A Chicago Eatery about a year ago but Husband and I were afraid to eat there. We have been disappointed while eating at other places claiming to have Chicago-style deep dish pizza and other items, and didn’t want to be disappointed again. But, we decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot.

The verdict… we were pleasantly surprised to each enjoy an Italian Beef with mozzarella cheese last night. The picture does not do the sandwich justice! We were out running errands today and decided to go back and each get a Vienna beef Hot Dog . Husband got a true Chicago-Style Hot dog with mustard, onion, relish, tomato, sport peppers, pickles and celery salt, while I broke the rules and got a Hot Dog plain that I then covered in ketchup. This is sacrilege for true Chicago-style hot dog aficionados, but I’m not a fan of mustard, nor tomatoes or raw onions. However, we both enjoyed our hot dogs immensely. We now have a place to go to scratch our Chicago food itch once in a while. If only we could find a local pizza to fill our void for Chicago Thin-crust tavern style pizza…

The Four Tendencies… and other reading interests

So, I’m about 100 pages into The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I read The Happiness Project a few years ago and I enjoyed it, but hadn’t thought much about it until saw The Four Tendencies at a FedEx Office store. I picked it up, intrigued, since I have been feeling stuck again lately- wanting to do something different but not wanting a pay cut, missing home but knowing that’s not the best place to be (except on a vacation so I can gorge on Pizza, burritos, beef sandwiches, and my other Chicago food favorites).

I took The Four Tendencies quiz online, which said that I am an Obliger. From what I understand, there is variation within each tendency and a little overlap – you will have a main tendency but may have some of a neighboring tendency, too. The thing that is interesting to me is that I pegged two family members almost immediately but I am still trying to pinpoint a few others.

Psychology stuff is interesting to me, so this book is right up my alley. I am hoping it will help me figure myself out and will help better deal with family and co-workers. I like the book so far and I am trying to pace myself to fully absorb the information, rather that devouring the book as I often do with fiction books that I enjoy. Other books on my radar include: Stuck by Anneli Rufus, The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, and Positively Unstoppable by Diamond Dallas Page. I have been doing DDP Yoga for four and a half months with my husband, and we both really like it and benefit from it. Husband read the book and recommended it. What books do you recommend?