When I get to thinking about it, there should definitely be a Chai-town… you know where they give you free chai tea drinks…mhhhhmmmmm! That first statement has nothing to do with this blog post, but hey who doesn’t love a good chai latte?
This year for volleyball we headed back to the Chicago, Windy City Qualifier. This three day tournament took place on Easter weekend. That was a month ago! I am a month behind on my crazy life! Help!
Going back to Chicago this year was a new experience for me. I had no idea what this infamous town would have in store for me this year, with what memories it have given me the previous year. Our entire team had a series of unfortunate things occur (stolen wallet, stolen hubcaps, and a stolen antenna- but the folks were nice enough to replace it with a crappy one) over a short period of three days! Easter Sunday had been the most eventful day of them all.
Flashback time… It gets deep, beware.
It was Easter Sunday, 2015, and we had the morning wave in our pool, playing to go to the championship! I had made sure to set my alarm a little earlier the night before, in order to capture the perfect Easter morning, Chicago skyline, sunrise picture. I left the hotel room and began to look for the window with the best view. Flashback three days earlier, when I had first arrived Thursday night this hotel had given me an eerie satanic feeling. No joke, I remember walking through the old lobby, observing all the commotion. There was so much going on. Now it may have just been me, a small town Iowa girl hypnotized by the busy people below me, (I was on the second floor of the lobby while looking for a public microwave to warm up my chili–THEY HAD NO MICROWAVES! Another odd occurrence.) but it seemed as if everybody in the lobby was straight out of the Lotus Casino in the movie Percy Jackson. HERE is the link if you don’t know what I’m talking about. This lobby weirded me out. Big time. Now flash forward to Sunday morning. It had been 10 minutes of walking around and I still had not found a window with any view other than a neighboring grey wall of cinder block. In the meantime, I was trying not to get lost, because this old hotel was a literal maze. Normally, hotels are pretty symmetrical, each hall has the same number of doors on each side, with an elevator or an ice machine marking the center. Not this hotel, every turn was different and I knew I had to get back soon, because it was almost time to leave. I found my way back to the three pairs of elevators and finally found some windows that did not have a wall of cinder block obscuring the view. As I got closer, I saw that the back of the hotel was shaped like a U and I was on the 8th floor looking down at a patio from what would be the bottom of the U (picture the patio covers the entire inside of the U. I look out the window, ready to judge whether it is a worthy view for my picture or not. It is not a good view, there is no skyline and no sunrise to be seen. And as I look around, I notice someone lying on the ground. Now, I had been to big cities before, and homeless people sleep basically wherever, in front of buildings, city parks, etc. (Just the night before, two of my teammates and I had been walking back from a movie and saw one sleeping on a retaining wall of sorts.) So I knew this kind of stuff happened all the time. The person was lying on their back with no shoes. No one was around for a few minutes and when a couple girls from an unknown team began walking to get their elevator I had called them over, to check it out. I was confused and the end is somewhat of a blur, but next we cracked open the old window and the wind of the city shot up through the crack. (I remember this because it seemed like a dramatic movie scene.) With the window open, we were able to get a better look, and we could see blood. The unknown girls quickly got their moms, I just stood there, I did not have a plan of action.
It was later concluded that the thirty some year old gentleman had committed suicide. I always wanted to think something else could have happened earlier that night, but who am I to make that call. This story is not as gruesome as it is sad. And I am okay talking about it because this is real life. It happens. People need to hear about it, and knowledge is power. Real-talk here people. It was Easter Sunday. The day Christ had risen so many years ago, leaving an empty tomb. But there was still a body out there on the patio. No one knew if he knew about Jesus and had gone to Heaven or Hell, no one knew if he had a family (at the time), no one knew why he did it. Even worse, this kind of stuff happens every single day. Somebody takes their life into their own hands making a temporary problem a permanent “soul”ution. I’m not sure why God had put me in that place at that time or why I had the urge to get up earlier that morning and take the perfect picture, but in a weird way, I’m glad I did, because I know I was strong enough to handle the questions and thoughts the situation brought. My faith helped a lot.
Chicago this year was great, I was able to make light of what had happened a year earlier, people joked that they would never let me go somewhere alone again. But if any of you know me, that did not happen. The typical “Where’d Morgan go?” will never go away. When I get a chance, I like to be independent. I am not too sociable, and I would rather wander by myself than hang with a bunch of people. This year, we were right on the edge of Chicago, about 1/4 mile from Lake Michigan. My coach had offered to take me to see the sunrise over the lake on the last day, I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious. Bless his heart. Mother couldn’t believe it and I figured what the heck, mindswell. So the next morning I woke up at 5:45 with the intention of meeting my coach in the lobby at 6:00. The only thing was I didn’t check my phone until I got down there. It was 6:05 when I had finally checked my phone to see the missed text at 5:40. He couldn’t make it. I had already dragged myself out of bed, gotten my GoPro ready, and had received a couple weird looks while waiting in the lobby, and I wasn’t climbing back into bed. So I walked out to the edge of Lake Michigan by myself. I was going to get that sunrise and nothing was going to stop me this time. The sunrise was peaceful, it was hope, it was reassurance that a year had come and gone. I also shot some other fun videos and pics in Chicago that you can see down below. Enjoy! 🙂