A funeral in Chicago, Part 5.

Finally. Flying home from a depressing trip to Chicago. Figures it’d be rainy. And cold. There’s nothing left to do here but wonder what to do. My grandmother’s buried now and my other grandmother is in a state of perpetual confusion. I have accepted the fact that there is nothing fun about Chicago anymore. I’m really glad to be leaving this sorry city.

Gone are the days of Grandma’s tasty dishes, gone are the trips to the park, gone are the good times. They are buried now. Somewhere in Chicago is another cemetery for all the good times and laughter. That was the second funeral. There was a little laughter at the wake service as my dad cracked some tasteless jokes but I needed the laugh. That was all the laughs there were.

Now the plane’s left the terminal. It is cold and rainy outside. At long last, I am leaving Chicago. I remember the sorry, sad feelings I had before when it was time to go home but now I couldn’t be happier to be leaving.

Come on plane, get me out of here.

I do carry home memories of Grandma, the way her remains radiated a long life well lived. She was truly a “grand” mother in the fullest sense of the word. And now she’s gone.

I am trying to stay in touch with her spirit. Surely I can do that. I just need to know how. Sounds crazy but I really want to be closer to her than I had been. It feels like Lisa was more of a close friend than I was. My mom had given me pictures that was once in Grandma’s room. Pictures of Lisa and pictures of the kids, but no pictures of me.

Maybe that’s why she’s not answering my attempts to reach her. Whether that’s true or not, I will never know.

Plane is just sitting there, but now it’s moving forward. We must be in line now. It doesn’t matter, I’m not driving this thing anyhow.

I just want to go home.

Now the plane’s taken off.

High above this sad, grey city.

Below me, my grandmother sleeps.

Below me, Oma sits in her chair, wondering if anyone is coming by to visit.

Oh yeah, Oma.

Alone by  herself in an old house in a bad neighborhood.

She’s not safe there anymore.

I remember visiting that house and can recall happier times, playing ping-pong in the basement with Opa.

Now, I can only what goes on in the basement now. Is the ping pong table still down there? What about the washing machine? And Opa’s workshop? I wonder if his jacket and winter hat are still hanging in the corner, wondering if someone will ever wear them again.

Now we are high enough in the sky to be blessed by the sun. It’s lighting the cabin with its warmth but I don’t think anyone on board takes notice.

Everyone here on this plane, all united in their intention to leave Chicago but having different destinations on their minds.

I really am looking forward to coming home to a loving wife and cat. And work. I know the rest of the team is working today and I am sure speculation and rumor will fly when they see I’m not there.

Time to close this sorry story. I’m done with it now.

The End

Just over one year later, my other grandmother passed away. My family and I made a return trip to Chicago for her funeral, of which I kept a second travel log. I shall post it another time.

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