This has been a whirlwind of a week. On Monday, we learned of my husband’s childhood friend dying of a stroke at the tender ager of sixty-five. He had lived his entire life in the same house in Chicago, on the East Side, bordering Indiana.
Dennis was eight years older than my husband but influenced him in so many ways, especially in music. Dennis and his brother Joe, formed a garage style rock and roll band and called themselves Wet Sunday. My husband ran the sound board for the group and when I met him, I too got wrapped up into the band family. I was the only one who had classical training as a musician but they had way more talent than I ever did.
As we grew older, we went our separate ways. The guys argued and quit. Some got real jobs or like us, we ended up in Pennsylvania and now in Dallas.
Just recently, some of the band members got together and Dennis, who was now older and wiser, ran their sound board with amazingly new technology. They had just wrapped up a performance about three weeks ago which we missed due to a conflict of work schedules. We wish we would have taken the time to see them perform, not knowing it would be Dennis’ last time.
On Monday night, we made arrangements to fly to Chicago to attend the Friday night wake and the Saturday morning services.
Tuesday, my latest book, Not Just an Act, was released. I’m very excited about this, so my emotions are like a roller coaster; down with the loss of a friend, but then again up for the release of this work.
At the crack of dawn on Friday, we leave for Chicago from the Dallas Fort Worth area to Charlotte. and then to connect to a flight to Chicago. We learn that some disgruntled employee has purposely set fire to the control tower in Aurora, IL causing O’Hare to cancel flights for about four hours. We waited and waited trying to think of options of how to get to Chicago. Do we fly into Milwaukee and drive down? Or do we fly into Indianapolis and drive in?
Finally, our flight is released to go to Chicago. We were only delayed by twenty minutes. However, when we tried to pick up our rental car, there is no car. Why? Because of the flights being cancelled, everyone has decided to rent cars to drive to their destination. After about forty minutes, we have a vehicle.
The roads were unbelievably packed. What should have been an hour drive, turned out to be over three hours. We didn’t get to the funeral home until eight and it closed at nine. We barely had the chance to say good bye to Dennis.
At the next day services, we were able to have a private moment with the family and headed back to O’Hare. The traffic was just as bad as everyone returned their cars. We barely made our flight.
People ask me where do I get the material for my next story and I tell them. Live in my shoes and you will see where.