I'm just bumming around this morning and Molly is napping, so I'll put off what I've been avoiding and try to deal with day three of our trip. I think I've been avoiding it because there are lots of emotions tied to seeing my dad and it is a lot of processing. I'm good at avoidance.
Molly and I drove back in from Glenview to downtown Chicago and parked underground near Millennium Park. We were 20 minutes early, so my dad was 20 minutes late. We met by the lions in front of theArt Institute of Chicago
. Tuesdays are free admission, which was nice for all of us. When Dannye and I visited Chicago together in January 2000 for the LSA (Linguistic Society of America) meeting, we stayed downtown in the Palmer House Hilton (the school paid for lodging) and made side trips to the Field Museum and the Art Institute. We visited with my dad at the Art Institute and had our pictures taken by the lions. It was less than a month after my dad's kidney transplant.
Anyway, my dad showed up. I wasn't sure who all might be with him, but it was just his new wife Rita and him. Rita brought along pictures of their wedding
which was in May 2003. I didn't attend, but my brother and sister did, as well as my dad's mom, one of his brothers, his ex-sister-in-law, and three of my cousins. They were married on a Sunday morning at their church, so there were like 700 people there. Fortunately the reception was smaller. Dad and Rita live in Chicago with two of Rita's grandchildren, twins (a boy and a girl) who are about 5 or 6. Rita has two or three children and four grandchildren, I think. This was the first time I met Rita. She is very friendly and nice and gives good hugs. This was also the first time Dad met Molly, and he was very kind to her and welcomed her to the family.
We saw lots of things at the museum. I made sure I saw the Georgia O'Keefe, since she is one of my favorite artists. We saw the armor and weapons gallery. We saw early American art and furnishings. Rita saw many things she liked. We went to lunch at a COSI across the street, and Dad told us a little about his church (some sort of Pentecostal church) and about his doctoral studies there. We just didn't have enough time to talk. After we ate we looked around the museum a little more, before my dad and Rita were feeling tired and unwell and needed to go. I got a picture of them, so when I get it developed . . . . I felt really sad when they left, because it had been such a short visit and we didn't get to visit very much. Molly and I stayed at the Art Institute until closing and bought some postcards at the gift shop. Since it was rush hour, we walked around downtown for a bit. We stopped in Marshall Field's
, because my mom had worked there a couple summers in the late 1960s. We went to the basement level, because I remember my mom saying that she had worked there. We found a bookstore and browsed and ate some dinner. I bought some Frango Chocolate Mints
, which are melt in your mouth delicious.
We finally felt traffic was better and got the car and headed back to our motel. Wednesday we ate breakfast at a pancake house and drove back to Ohio. It was very, very hot and the drive was long and sleepy. We stopped somewhere in Indiana and walked around a Target trying to wake up. We listened to an audio book of Patricia Wrede
's Searching for Dragons
, which is a good story, but had some annoying characters.
Blech, I'm still avoiding my feelings. I guess I'll write later about how I felt and how my dad looked and how I sobbed Tuesday night in the motel about my dad. I'm tired of writing now, but I'll post more later.