Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grass: Chicago's Next Endangered Species

I am glad to report that all is going well. I have officially begun the second phase of the mobilization process, which includes giving myself Neupogen shots and taking my antibiotic and anti-fungal medicines.  Also during this time the doctors have informed me that my blood counts will continue to drop and possibly bottom out on Monday, making me Neutropenic.  Since I will be at such a higher risk for infection, I have decided to stay close to the apartment.  This will give Ann and the girls some much needed Mommy and Daughter time. 

Last night I had a bright idea of walking to the end of the street to watch the Navy Pier fireworks.  As we were leaving our building, I asked the gentleman at the front desk if he had any recommendations for a good spot to watch the fireworks.  He suggested walking to the end of our road and setting up camp in a grassy area in front of the neighboring apartment building.  Making our way toward the recommended location it felt like a perfect night for watching fireworks.  We quickly located the grassy area, sat down, and watched as the boats on the lake jockeyed for their spot to view the upcoming firework display.  While all this was going on  and we were settling into our perfect spot, Ann had made the comment that we would most likely be told to stay off the grass.  It was just about that time that I noticed a silhouette  of a man carrying a flashlight approaching from the shadows of the apartment building.  We had been caught!  I could not believe they were actually going to kick us off the grass. With every step the man took toward us I could feel my defiant nature growing. This was going to be a matter of principle. In an area that has so few grassy areas they should be enjoyed by all; not simply admired from afar. As I played the scenario out in my head, I kept coming to one conclusion that ended with me laying in the fetal position on the sidewalk surrounded by a cloud of pepper-spray.

Now the security guard was upon us giving us the "Stay off the Grass" speech. I still was not sure how to handle this situation. I did know that a man with a suppressed immune system should not be getting pepper-sprayed or spending a night in the Cook County jail.  In an effort to stall, I took a long drink from the Pepsi I had with me. My attempt to rationalize with the security guard resulted in me trying to explain where we were staying and this spot had actually been recommended by the doorman from our building. My pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears and the security guard just kept repeating, "You just can't be on the grass. I don't care where you sit, just not on the grass." I could see that the man was merely giving me his standard orders and he was not even listening to what I was saying. So I did what I hope anyone would do. I had my family move to the sidewalk only inches from the building's precious grass.

Finally, the fireworks were underway. Crisis adverted. We were now enjoying a wonderful display of fireworks. The girls were oohing, aahing and discussing their favorite fireworks. I, however, could not help but notice that we were being constantly watched by security.

All in all, another lasting memory has been created. It will always be nice to look back on the night we sat on a sidewalk in Chicago and watched the fireworks.


  1. Bryan, what a night you guys had but bet they were pretty,so glad you didn't get hurt or be hulded off to jail(ha)I have been answering you but never sure it got to you, your Mom put on last night how so hope i did it right.If i didn't no why you are there i would think youall are having a great vacation.Still praying and have more people praying so hang in there GOD has something good for you, Love and prayers AUNT Shirley.

  2. Thanks Shirley. We are having a vacation. We have learned how to make the most of our situation. It was important to me that my daughters get to see the city of Chicago and make memories that will last them a lifetime.

    Thank you for all the prayers.

  3. Hi Bryan,
    I was wondering if you guys are staying @ the Residence Inn or a short term apartment. I ask because I am considering getting a 30 stay at an apartment, which would be a bit cheaper for the time I am there.
    Reading your post everyday, thank you for the time and effort. God Bless you and yours.

    1. We are staying at DeWitt Place. It is a short-term apartment. It is very close to the hospital and clinic. If you need any information let me know. Also, Kim Bacy, one of Dr. Burt's secretaries, can help you with housing.

  4. Jim G, your brother in ChristJune 24, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Sorry to hear that Chicago hasn't changed in the last 51 years but I hope and pray that your visit is rewarded by recovery.