I've never seen Chicago so quiet before as I did this past Sunday.
I drove along Lakeshore Drive on my way to Tessa's apartment. The sky was a light blue hue, the same color as Lake Michigan sitting below. It was as if the entire city was engulfed by one, solid shade of blue. There were splotches of pink peeking through the blue as well, the perfect touch of contrast. The vision of it can only be explained as an exquisite evening.
The city might have been just as busy as normal, but that day felt different as I came into the city. It was different. Cars sped by, runners ran, bikers biked. The city most likely moved at the same, sprinting pace. Yet I didn't notice anything but that light blue sky. My car was moving at 52 mph, my heart was moving at 1 mph. I believe they call it a "standstill" in vehicle transportation terms. The world through my front windshield was stuck in slow motion.
I'm still processing an incredibly awful and difficult week in the wake of tragedy. A friend I also call a sister, Tessa, lost a man she loved. His name is John. Hundreds of people have adopted her heartbreak as their own, attempting to imagine 1/50th of the pain she is experiencing. It's unfathomable and I hate it for her. There is no other way to phrase it.
I wish I could say I knew John better during his time on earth, but I do know the way he looked at Tessa. When I was with them, it was always joyful. He was a master cook, concocting the most magnificent meals out of the simplest ingredients. He was curious and a creator. One of my fondest memories was watching "Chef" with him and Tessa cuddled up in a full-size bed. Tessa and John are tall and lanky, so comfort that night was not an option. We didn't care. With them it was always "go with the flow." A breath of fresh air.
Tessa, if you're reading this post, I hope you know my heart is altered because of you and John. My perspective on what it means to love without reservation has changed for the better. In the midst of awful heartbreak this week, I saw you laugh. Genuine, happy Tessa laughter. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed hope in such a tangible way, and I thank you for showing it to me this week.
This morning I am praying you find comfort in the beauty of what's to come with John cheering you on, right by your side. Maybe in the lonely moments, you can picture a quiet light blue sky over the city you and John called home.
I love you.