we didn’t give it a second thought when The Boy told me that he was going to be traveling to the rogers park neighborhood of chicago. of course we were going. we got out the metra train schedule and looked at the sunday trains from waukegan to rogers park, looking at our google maps to see where the restaurant we were meeting him at was located and how to get there from the train station. we will literally trek anywhere if My Boy or My Girl are going to be nearby (or even far) and we have a chance to see them.
we jumped off the train at rogers park and made our way through the streets, enjoying a nice walk, through residential and commercial areas. we turned down clark and then devon and had lunch at uncommon ground, a place known for its rooftop organic farm. when he had to leave, The Boy suggested that we go tour loyola’s lakefront campus before we headed back to the station. we were glad we did; the area was beautiful and we liked rogers park.
six sundays later a beautiful young man had flown out to chicago from new york to pursue his doctoral degree at northwestern university. he moved into a place in rogers park and, four hours after he arrived, took a stroll on clark street to buy hangers at a local store. this aspiring student – just 25 years old – the same age as MY Boy- got caught in the crossfire of two men. he was shot and killed. a mere four hours after his full-of-dreams arrival. i don’t even know what kind of flawed earth we live on when a mom has to learn that her child, following the direction and hard work of his life, has lost his life. my heart breaks for her.
indeed, my heart breaks for every mom, every parent, every human, who has been touched by needless, unwarranted, tragic violence in this world. such despair. where is it safe?
on google maps, there is a small exclamation mark with this caveat: “use caution – walking directions may not always reflect real-world conditions.” i never noticed it before. it’s quite the understatement.
rogers park. ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson