June was a heavy month in 2020. The murder of George Floyd split the country wide open. Peaceful protests, looting, arson, rioting … just as Chicago was trying to partially reopen amid the pandemic, people were sheltering back in their homes.
My parents live in downtown Chicago. Bridges were raised to try and control movement of people. Expressway exits were blocked or closed to stop the flow of traffic. They had limited access to groceries or medications. Their building was blocked by police. I was worried what would happen if they had a medical emergency. My dad, out of desperation, paid over $400 for insulin for his type 1 diabetes. Our institutions were failing us.
June was also a lovely month. My fiancé and I had planned a March wedding in Vegas. We were going to run away for a few days to elope, but Covid changed those plans. After waiting for life to get back to normal long enough, I started making phone calls to see who would marry us! No courts in Illinois were officiating, and we preferred a place where we could make a day trip.
So Indiana it was! The beautiful little town of Lafayette welcomed us with open arms. We were happy to see the small town practicing social distancing. Almost everyone was wearing a mask. Restaurants were open indoors and out with limited capacity. Life was going on. It was a gorgeous day for us to say “I do”.
Returning from Indiana, we headed into downtown Chicago to pick up our dog from my parent’s house. We drove through the eerily quiet streets in silence. So many buildings were boarded up. Graffiti messages covered plywood and various buildings throughout the area. There were no words to express the sadness.
2020 raged on …