On the 24th of August , I opened my heavy eyes as I lay awkwardly on the hotel’s rock hard couch (which I had turned into a makeshift bed for my family’s relatively stressful Chicago vacation). My mom was already up in the other room folding her clothing and carefully organizing it into her ocean-blue suitcase. Both my sister and dad were in some sort of comatose state as they are definitely not morning people. Eventually my mom forced both of them to pry their tried eyes open and head on down to the hotel’s main floor to fill their bellies with wondrous processed breakfast items that the general population considers food.
As everyone made their way to breakfast, I poured myself a bowl of fiber-rich cereal that has the bland taste of a dough consisting of nothing but flour and water. That day I made the decision to not drag myself to breakfast. After 2 days of constant family interaction and the occasional verbally-abusive battles, I just wanted to be alone and eat my dull food in peace. Once I completed the amount of cereal I allotted for myself, I began to throw all of the crap I brought in my suitcase. I had no desire to take the time to ensure my suitcase was perfectly organized. At that point in time, I wanted to get out of Chicago and back home as soon as I could.
But before we went home, we had to visit my dad’s mom (my grandma) in Des Plains, a suburb of Chicago. I am certainly not close to my dad’s mom and really have no personal connection to her. I know that sounds cold, but it’s the truth. My dad really does everything he can to keep contact with his side of the family to a minimum, especially when it comes to his 6 siblings and plethora of nieces and nephews. Not one of my dad’s siblings went to college (yep, my dad is the ONLY one in his ENTIRE family), one of my dad’s sisters is a “recovering” meth addict, the other sister manipulates my dad’s mom into giving her cash, and there’s apparently another sister who lives in California who I haven’t meant. The two living brothers (the youngest brother died after struggling with a rare, extremely serious genetic disorder), K and J are relatively normal. I believe J has a stable, well-paying job and is probably the most normal of the two. I am unsure of K’s job status, but he really doesn’t take care of himself at all and one of his daughters (he has two, one has severe cognitive delays) is rather troubled and had a child out of wedlock (she was only 17!). Actually, I believe ALL of the cousins on my dad’s side who have a child have had that child out of wedlock. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Well anyway, we drove to Des Plaines and visited my grandma in her tiny, neglected apartment. The moment you walk into that little space, the odor of cat food and feces hit you like a brick wall. The tattered carpets look like they haven’t been cleaned in centuries, piles of incredibly old bills and magazines lay around, and old books laying in aging bookshelves collect an incredibly unhealthy amount of dust and dirt. The sad thing is that my grandma was living in worse places than this health-hazard prison cell. This year she took a terrible fall and broke her hip. She was taken to the hospital and required surgery. Unfortunately, during that surgery she had a stroke and had serious complications with the anesthesia. She made it through that hard spot, but my dad’s sister (the one who takes my grandma’s money) somehow convinced my grandma to leave her apartment and move in to her house which could actually be on the hit TV show Hoarders! My dad’s sister probably just did it to get my grandma’s social security check to be honest with you. Recently we finally got her back in her old apartment and though it is obviously better than my dad’s sister’s house, it certainly is not a decent place to live the final years of your life.
After visiting my grandma, my mom and sister decided to head back home in my mom’s car while my dad and I decided to go to Naperville. There I could explore the best grocery store on the planet (Whole Foods) and also visit the campus of North Central College. Though we didn’t get home till after dinnertime (which forced me to not follow my strict routine) and I also got a terrible headache due to the unforgiving August heat, I actually had an extremely pleasant time with my dad. It was just absolutely incredible to spend some one-on-one time with the man who raised me so well.
So that was basically what the trip home was like. I am planning to make a YouTube vlog today summarizing my vacation experiences and what I learned from my short time in Chicago. If you have suggestions for videos you would like me to do in the future, just comment below.
Thank you ALL for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate it so much and it means so much to me. I love you all!
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