The heat had been fluctuating in Chicago for the last few weeks, changing temperatures from I need a sweater and thick socks to if I can't get out of the sun I'm going to melt. We left early in the morning because of the holiday and fear of traffic on our way to Detroit, Michigan to visit Nick's family. Because the weather was changing so rapidly, towards the end of each day Chicago was getting massive, rolling storm clouds that covered the sun and drenched the city in humidity. I loved it. For our entire drive we had the view out of the sun roof of gray, blue, and black swirling clouds along the highway and around Lake Michigan. Nick and I always drive up to visit his family together for the holidays, but this one was a little different than most.
This weekend was about remembering your loved ones, honoring their memories in every way you can, and reliving old stories with family. It was about telling the stories that make you laugh, the ones that make you cringe, and the ones that make you tear up at the bittersweet records. I got to see old photographs of Nick in family albums ranging from his baby years to when he was barely a teenager and obviously way too cool to have pictures taken of him. Nick went through his late papa's clothes and belongings to take home a keepsake. I told the story of one of the last times Nick and I came to visit for the holiday and we weren't 21 yet, so his grandpa snuck us vodka and orange powder as a right of passage and how it tasted so terrible but the gesture meant the world to me. We talked to his family about my art, what we want to do now that I'm about to graduate, and about Nick and I moving in together this summer.
New and exciting things are on the horizon just above cloud level, but it's so important to remember the ones you love and the memories you've shared together once they're gone.