Tuesday, September 6, 2011

hosting iddo

we have a cousin visiting from Israel.  he will only be in town a few weeks for a project and some school work he is doing at Northwestern.  yesterday we played tourists and did the architecture cruise on the river.

it was the coldest day of the summer- Labor Day - really for most of us the last day of summer.  kids in Chicago go back to school now and we start noticing how the days are shorter and cooler...

we have a busy fall so it will fly by but here is our brief Chicago tour of yesterday before we are off on another tangent and another trip:

Phil and Iddo in front of Anush Kapoor's Cloudgate (aka the Bean)

where's Waldo?  see if you can spot the three of us in the bean reflection below:

Phil and Iddo - humoring me for another photo in front of the talking heads fountain (or at least in front of one half of the talking heads fountain)

the last shot I could convince them to "sit" for - in front of our temporary Marilyn at 401 N.
Michigan just over the DuSable bridge:

a favorite of lots of Chicagoans - 333 N Wacker- reflective of the curve in the river and the color of the water:

part of the Civic Opera House facade:

a water taxi from the train station to the Michigan avenue bridge:

lunatics kayaking in 60 degree weather with a stiff breeze!

and one last shot of the inside of the bean-

we worked up quite the appetite so, after the "cool" (in more ways than one) river tour, we headed to Sun Wah for Peking Duck

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I really miss my mom- but I miss her from my end - she would have so loved seeing the Africa photos and remembering her own trip to Africa.  I don't begrudge her decision to end the life she was living- it wasn't her life any more.  She hated being confined to - at best- a hour or two's drive from the apartment she lived in.

I remember one week, in summer weather, last year when I was down for a few days we drove quite a long distance to go to a sculpture park she had once been to.  It was one where the whole point was to drive through- so she could get "out" of the Lodges (her retirement home) but not have to do any actual walking.  By then she was wheelchair-bound in all but getting to the bathroom (used a walker.)

So off we went in my little car- and spent the better part of the day "OUT" - she was so happy just to have the change in scenery.  For someone with her wanderlust, being in the same place for (at that time it had been just over a year) was sheer torture.  As we turned toward home I suggested one more detour and introduced her to frozen custard at Culver's.  That was the last "trip" I took with my mom.  This must have been before my sister Janna died because I remember no conversation about the loss that day.

After June and the ordeal of Janna's death - she was never really the same.  She carried the shadow of that loss over her.  I was there in July and in August and in September.  In October Phil and I visited her for four days but November was so busy with out of country travel that I didn't make it until after my December Board meetings - and by then we had arrived at the ending stage.

I had always told her she couldn't die on me-  that I did NOT want to be an orphan.  In the end though, how could I not give her permission to leave?  It wasn't about me- it was about her- I loved her so much I had to let her go.  It was no longer her life.  I understood that.

But the loss is still so great - almost nine months later I still get whacked by the grief.  I want my mother back- the mother who only looked at her "portfolio" (LOL) when the market was up and who was always talking about where she wanted to go next.  That's the mom I miss.  She was a spectacular mother; how could I not miss her?

I chose this photo today because my mom loved the meerkats and this was one we saw just hanging out at the Elephant Sanctuary in Knysna, South Africa.