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Chicago Helped Me Get Through the Anniversary of My Husband's Death

Updated on July 2, 2019
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Claudette is inspired by positive thinking that she tries to share with as many people as possible to give them hope for the future.

Delectable Food, a Beautiful Garden and Shopping Was the Best of Chicago

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After about twelve hours of travel by car, we arrived in Chicago, Illinois. I was thrilled to see this sign along with the beautiful scenery along the way helped with the memories of my deceased husband.  On Friday evening, we went to Ruth Chris Steakhouse and I had one of the best steaks I have ever had. The lobster Mac and Cheese was also delicious.This magnificent sculpture is located at the front entrance of Chicago Botanic Garden. It is nestled in the midst of beautiful, green shrubs.. The Bonsai Collection at the Botanic Garden was intriguing. This looked like a little forest but it is actually bonsai trees. One within the collection was over 1,000 years old.A variety of seafood such as lobster  mac and cheese is also one of the numerous delectable dishes at Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Chicago.My spiritual children Joel and Roxanne, who have been serving in Chicago for the past few years. I am so proud of them as they give Jehovah their very best through love and dedication to him. They kept us busy during the anniversary of Walker's deathMy twin sister Paulette, joined us on the trip to Chicago which was a blessing. She has helped me through these difficult times. This is one of the most unusual plants in the garden. This was one of the delicious desserts we had at XOCO a Mexican four and a half star restaurant located downtown Chicago. They had some of the best tacos, churros and a variety authentic Mexican foods.   A well lit stairway that leads you to  some of the best steaks, pork belly, seafood and desserts. Michael Jordan's luxury Steakhouse is located at 505 N. Michigan Ave., downtown Chicago. This 4.4 star restaurant is spectacular wedding venue as well. This rib-eye steak at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse was succulent and tasty. The appetizers, salads and soups were tasty. Our service was perfect in the midst of this lushly designed environment.We were also ordered the tomahawk streak which was one of the largest cuts of meat offered at Jordan's restaurant. It was yummy as well and large enough to share with others. My daughter Wanisha and her husband Mo, did the majority of the driving to Chicago. They enjoyed the trip as well especially the delicious food and botanical garden where this photo was taken. Marcus, my nephew lives outside of Chicago with his mom Zenda who is my niece. They met us and we had lunch and did an amazing shopping trip at Macys which had a closing sale. Marcus also got sneakers he wanted. We enjoyed their visit.My daughter Wanisha and Jaleesa, prepare to go out for our adventures of shopping and restaurant hopping. They also attended Cirque du Soleil with their cousin Spencer, who also lives in Chicago. They enjoyed the show. My niece Zenda, who resides in the Chicago area met us for lunch and shopping. We had lunch at Jimmy's Thai restaurant where we had ramen noodles, with pork, chicken and beef. Joel teased Paulette because they didn't have crispy duck. It was fun.For lunch at Jimmy's Thai restaurant, we had a variety of seafood, fish, chicken and beef mixed in ramen noodles with cold sake and chi tea.On Sunday after we attended the Kingdom Hall in Chicago, we stopped in Gary, Indiana to see the previous home of Michael Jackson's family. It is no longer recognized as such. After the documentary signs and statues were removed but memories continue.Photos were in the Botanical Garden of "the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), offer guided nature hikes, free Camping 101 workshops, family fishing events and more on nearly 70,000 acres of land."
After about twelve hours of travel by car, we arrived in Chicago, Illinois. I was thrilled to see this sign along with the beautiful scenery along the way helped with the memories of my deceased husband.
After about twelve hours of travel by car, we arrived in Chicago, Illinois. I was thrilled to see this sign along with the beautiful scenery along the way helped with the memories of my deceased husband.
On Friday evening, we went to Ruth Chris Steakhouse and I had one of the best steaks I have ever had. The lobster Mac and Cheese was also delicious.
On Friday evening, we went to Ruth Chris Steakhouse and I had one of the best steaks I have ever had. The lobster Mac and Cheese was also delicious.
This magnificent sculpture is located at the front entrance of Chicago Botanic Garden. It is nestled in the midst of beautiful, green shrubs..
This magnificent sculpture is located at the front entrance of Chicago Botanic Garden. It is nestled in the midst of beautiful, green shrubs..
The Bonsai Collection at the Botanic Garden was intriguing. This looked like a little forest but it is actually bonsai trees. One within the collection was over 1,000 years old.
The Bonsai Collection at the Botanic Garden was intriguing. This looked like a little forest but it is actually bonsai trees. One within the collection was over 1,000 years old.
A variety of seafood such as lobster  mac and cheese is also one of the numerous delectable dishes at Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Chicago.
A variety of seafood such as lobster mac and cheese is also one of the numerous delectable dishes at Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Chicago.
My spiritual children Joel and Roxanne, who have been serving in Chicago for the past few years. I am so proud of them as they give Jehovah their very best through love and dedication to him. They kept us busy during the anniversary of Walker's death
My spiritual children Joel and Roxanne, who have been serving in Chicago for the past few years. I am so proud of them as they give Jehovah their very best through love and dedication to him. They kept us busy during the anniversary of Walker's death
My twin sister Paulette, joined us on the trip to Chicago which was a blessing. She has helped me through these difficult times. This is one of the most unusual plants in the garden.
My twin sister Paulette, joined us on the trip to Chicago which was a blessing. She has helped me through these difficult times. This is one of the most unusual plants in the garden.
This was one of the delicious desserts we had at XOCO a Mexican four and a half star restaurant located downtown Chicago. They had some of the best tacos, churros and a variety authentic Mexican foods.
This was one of the delicious desserts we had at XOCO a Mexican four and a half star restaurant located downtown Chicago. They had some of the best tacos, churros and a variety authentic Mexican foods.
A well lit stairway that leads you to  some of the best steaks, pork belly, seafood and desserts. Michael Jordan's luxury Steakhouse is located at 505 N. Michigan Ave., downtown Chicago. This 4.4 star restaurant is spectacular wedding venue as well.
A well lit stairway that leads you to some of the best steaks, pork belly, seafood and desserts. Michael Jordan's luxury Steakhouse is located at 505 N. Michigan Ave., downtown Chicago. This 4.4 star restaurant is spectacular wedding venue as well.
This rib-eye steak at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse was succulent and tasty. The appetizers, salads and soups were tasty. Our service was perfect in the midst of this lushly designed environment.
This rib-eye steak at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse was succulent and tasty. The appetizers, salads and soups were tasty. Our service was perfect in the midst of this lushly designed environment.
We were also ordered the tomahawk streak which was one of the largest cuts of meat offered at Jordan's restaurant. It was yummy as well and large enough to share with others.
We were also ordered the tomahawk streak which was one of the largest cuts of meat offered at Jordan's restaurant. It was yummy as well and large enough to share with others.
My daughter Wanisha and her husband Mo, did the majority of the driving to Chicago. They enjoyed the trip as well especially the delicious food and botanical garden where this photo was taken.
My daughter Wanisha and her husband Mo, did the majority of the driving to Chicago. They enjoyed the trip as well especially the delicious food and botanical garden where this photo was taken.
Marcus, my nephew lives outside of Chicago with his mom Zenda who is my niece. They met us and we had lunch and did an amazing shopping trip at Macys which had a closing sale. Marcus also got sneakers he wanted. We enjoyed their visit.
Marcus, my nephew lives outside of Chicago with his mom Zenda who is my niece. They met us and we had lunch and did an amazing shopping trip at Macys which had a closing sale. Marcus also got sneakers he wanted. We enjoyed their visit.
My daughter Wanisha and Jaleesa, prepare to go out for our adventures of shopping and restaurant hopping. They also attended Cirque du Soleil with their cousin Spencer, who also lives in Chicago. They enjoyed the show.
My daughter Wanisha and Jaleesa, prepare to go out for our adventures of shopping and restaurant hopping. They also attended Cirque du Soleil with their cousin Spencer, who also lives in Chicago. They enjoyed the show.
My niece Zenda, who resides in the Chicago area met us for lunch and shopping. We had lunch at Jimmy's Thai restaurant where we had ramen noodles, with pork, chicken and beef. Joel teased Paulette because they didn't have crispy duck. It was fun.
My niece Zenda, who resides in the Chicago area met us for lunch and shopping. We had lunch at Jimmy's Thai restaurant where we had ramen noodles, with pork, chicken and beef. Joel teased Paulette because they didn't have crispy duck. It was fun.
For lunch at Jimmy's Thai restaurant, we had a variety of seafood, fish, chicken and beef mixed in ramen noodles with cold sake and chi tea.
For lunch at Jimmy's Thai restaurant, we had a variety of seafood, fish, chicken and beef mixed in ramen noodles with cold sake and chi tea.
On Sunday after we attended the Kingdom Hall in Chicago, we stopped in Gary, Indiana to see the previous home of Michael Jackson's family. It is no longer recognized as such. After the documentary signs and statues were removed but memories continue.
On Sunday after we attended the Kingdom Hall in Chicago, we stopped in Gary, Indiana to see the previous home of Michael Jackson's family. It is no longer recognized as such. After the documentary signs and statues were removed but memories continue.
Photos were in the Botanical Garden of "the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), offer guided nature hikes, free Camping 101 workshops, family fishing events and more on nearly 70,000 acres of land."
Photos were in the Botanical Garden of "the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), offer guided nature hikes, free Camping 101 workshops, family fishing events and more on nearly 70,000 acres of land."

Memories of my Husband Were Lessened in Chicago through Food, Fun and Entertainment

There were plenty of things to do in Chicago, Illinois. I stayed busy which helped with the memories of my husband Walker, who has been dead for two years. My daughters, Wanisha and Jaleesa along with my son-law Mo and sister Paulette, drove more than twelve hours in an attempt to stop our hearts from hurting so much. On the way, we played oldies by the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and James Brown. We danced in our seats and sang along with these talented artists. One song that we sang was Ribbons In the Sky by Stevie Wonder. This song brought back memories since this was our wedding song as my husband and I walked down the aisle more than 33 years ago. Yes. These are my memories that I share with family and friends but no longer Walker. We continue to create memories in such locations as Chicago. Life goes on as we experience beautiful sights, food, shopping, and entertainment.

Chicago, Illinois has a rich history. Wikipedia explained how it "has played a central role in American economic, cultural and political history and since the 1850s the city has been one of the most dominant Midwest metropolises..." Chicago's real estate is booming along with its population. The city's growth is apparent through "the nation's rail center and the dominant Midwestern center for manufacturing, commerce, finance, higher education, religion, broadcasting, sports, jazz, and high culture." Chicago is a major transportation hub and tourists location. We stayed downtown at the Hampton Inn Suites which gave us access to a variety of restaurants, high-end stores and expensive real estate. With all its flaws the city is still amazing to visit.

We left around 5:00 am and arrived in Chicago thirteen hours later, after driving and lost an hour. It was dinner time we all wanted Mexican, the XOCO Mexican restaurant was only a few blocks from our hotel. This four and a half star restaurant is located at 449 North Clark Street, #Chicago, Illinois. The food was scrumptious which consist of authentic tacos, churros, fabulous sandwiches, and delish soups. We were exhausted after dinner so we retired for the evening.

Thai Food at Jimmy's along with Shopping and Dinner at Ruth Chris Steakhouse

Friday, June 21st was the date Walker was killed. It was a Wednesday two years ago. Each of us cried as we remembered why we were here and what we wanted to remember and forget. It was time to get busy for the day to help the heart feel better. My spiritual children Roxanne and Joel, who currently reside in Chicago, arrived at our hotel. Zenda and her son Marcus who lives outside of Chicago arrived as well. For lunch, we ate at Jimmy's Thai restaurant. The food consisted of spicy ramen noodles with seafood, chicken, and beef. Immediately after lunch, we went shopping at Macy's which was having a closing sale that was spectacular. Afterward, we toured the expensive real-estate with its yacht clubs, aqua colored water, and jazz clubs. Dinner that evening was amazing. We went to #Ruth Chris Steak House, located at 431 N Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. Without a doubt, this was the best steak I have ever had. The side dishes were excellent as well. The lobster mac and cheese was filled with succulent meat and cheese. This restaurant earned its four-point four stars. It was an uplifting day that kept the sad memories away.

Chicago Botanical Gardens and Michael Jordan's Steakhouse for Dinner

On Saturday, we were able to see the magnificent #Chicago Botanic Garden. Within the brochure, it states that "The Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum. The flowers, trees, and shrubs are here as exhibits for everyone to enjoy." It is filled with "landscaped gardens displaying millions of plants and flowers in a variety of settings." The Botanic Garden has 27 spectacular gardens with 2.5 million plants and is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois. Various lakes, flowing fountains "About 5.7 miles of shoreline encircles the Garden's lakes, so it is not surprising that the Garden is keenly interested in protecting its shoreline soils and enhancing aquatic habitat." We spotted at least two weddings being performed within these tremendous creations of beauty. Unique plants and shrubs with bonsai trees that were 100-1000 years old. This garden was awe-inspiring and unforgettable.

After our tours of the botanical gardens, we went to #Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, located at 505 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. This four-point four-star restaurant was like a resplendent venue filled with captivating lighting, marble columns, and walls where weddings, gathering, and events can be held. The prices range from $30-$50 with special features of Jordan's that cost over $100. On their website a description was given as to their purpose by "Focusing on seasonal ingredients, pure bold flavors, and authentic hospitality, we elevate the classic steak house experience to the Michael Jordan level in a warm and energizing environment." Their desserts, soups, and side dishes are also yummy. After we left the restaurant my children along with their cousin Spencer, who resides in the area as well went to Cirque du Soleil. They described it as an amazing performance that they thoroughly enjoyed. Our Saturday adventure was a unique experience and I look forward to returning in the future.

Our Final Day in Chicago we went to the Kingdom Hall and Gary, Indiana to visit the Jackson Family Home

The final day of our trip to Chicago had arrived. It was time to start our long journey back home. On the way home, we stopped for religious refreshment at the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, one location is 1301 N. Mohawk Street, Chicago, Illinois. The speaker gave a vibrant spiritual talk concerning our wonderful hope for the future where no sickness, death, pain or sorrow will exist on earth in the future. This special talk went nicely with the Watchtower article we discussed entitled, "Uphold the Truth About Death." This article was so powerful and appropriate as it mentioned, "Satan lies about death exploit the way we naturally feel about death. Because we were created to live forever, we do not want to die. (Eccl 3:11) 'He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has even put eternity in their heart; yet mankind will never find out the work that the true God has made from start to finish.' We consider death an enemy." These words touched my heart because I know based on the Bible why I have such tremendous pain in my heart two years later because death is an enemy and is not normal. I will always love and miss Walker but I know just as Jesus was resurrected, my dear husband will be also in the future. I gain tremendous comfort from that.

One of our stops on the way home was for chilli dogs in Indiana. We decided to go see the Jackson family home located in Gary, Indiana. We were shocked to see that the previously posted pictures of what was once desribed as Michael Jackson's home has now been stripped of statues and signs. There is nothing at the 2300 Jackson Street location that reminds you that at one time that very talented family lived there. I assume after the documentary Leaving Neverland, all reminders of the family were removed. That was my only source of disappoitment that once a very talented family lived there that is all that should matter. Remove Michael Jackson's name if you must but a beautiful history about such family members as Janet Jackson and the Jackson brothers continue. We would never want to punish the entire family for Michael's mistakes. Please can we learn to show love and respect toward each other rather than being judgmental about the entire family. Remember "God is love." (1 John 4:8,20)





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