Just A Bite Blog is a food blog, but I feel extremely compelled to share my one nonfood related post. This blog adventure has been dedicated to my grandma, GT. She recently passed away and this past weekend, we celebrated her wonderful life in her city, Chicago.
People came from all over, 8 family members from Canada, Washington, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, small towns in Illinois, and a large amount of Chicagoans to celebrate her fabulousness.
I wrote the majority of this blog post on Thursday evening when I was having difficulty getting to Chicago, in a turn of events, that was very symbolic for me, I got to Chicago for one of my favorite weekends with not only my family, but my extended Dunn side of the family, that came together after many years and reunited because of one common denominator, GT and her magic.
There is something extremely nostalgic about riding on a train. As my flight from Atlanta to Chicago detoured and landed in Milwaukee, and stayed there… I grabbed my bags, and thanks to my father- ditched the plane idea, and switched gears to the train idea to get me to Chicago.
I feel like my transportation issues were GT’s doing… she knew, that the only way I used to come see her was on the train (except for the disastrous mega bus ride- another story). This weekend is in her honor, and she started me out on the right foot… where my incredible relationship with her started- in Milwaukee. I went to college in Milwaukee, and she lived a mere 1 hr and forty five minutes away in the Windy City- not just in the suburbs of Chicago, no, she lived in the heart of the city- on 9th and State. And she became home, my escape from a bad week, my weekend of laughs and exploring, but most importantly she became a dear friend of mine in those 4 years.
(Meghan, GT, and I- Chicago)
This weekend is in her honor, for a life I can only hope to mirror. She was incredible, and I think of her daily. She was one of those people that, no questions asked, I truly believed she would out live me (even though she had about 60 years on me). She was kind, genuine, had a laugh that will never be forgotten, but the trait I respect the most and try to emulate was her motivation. She lost her husband at a young age, and maybe in her way of mourning, she became her own. She worked and volunteered and explored her city that brought her “everything she ever wanted”, as she was quoted on an ABC Chicago interview. She was business savvy and smart, and my role model.
I know she will always be with me, in so many aspects it is like she never left. But as it saddens me that when I get off the train, she won’t be there squealing for me, she now has a backup, and that person is my Mom (her daughter) and in my opinion, what a great stand in.
(My Mom (GT’s only daughter) and my Dad)
GT thank you for all you taught me, and the signs you continue to provide in my life. You had a standing room only event in your honor at the Cultural Center, you would have loved it.
(The Dunn Cousins)
*Not pictured, yet remembered throughout the weekend: Hope (her sister in California), Beth (niece), Gary, Vicki (niece), Dolly (niece), Alex, and Jessica.