Mother’s Day in the Not So Windy City

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photo2 300x225 Mothers Day in the Not So Windy City

There are a few friends with whom I share a special bond because we have one unfortunate thing in common – we’ve all suffered the loss of a mother. Losing that core caretaker who loves you unconditionally is never easy. As you can imagine, it is especially difficult on Mother’s Day. My friend Mari Koda lost her mom unexpectedly at the age of 12. She was one of many friends that was extremely supportive during my mom’s last days with us.

We had been trying to get together before we each had to leave New York for business, but it wasn’t working out. We were completely shocked when we realized that we’d both be in Chicago on Mother’s Day. Mari was certain that our moms had orchestrated this ¬†meeting, she said “They must have met in Heaven!”

photo5 224x300 Mothers Day in the Not So Windy CityWhen we landed, my friend Alicia and I jumped on a train to go meet Mari whose hotel was located in the corporate district. Being that it was Sunday and Mother’s Day, most of the restaurants in the Chicago Loop area were closed. In our attempt to connect with Mari and search for a place to eat, we repeatedly passed by the same group of homeless men. As we traipsed by for the third time, one of them yelled out in a frustrated tone “where are you trying to go”. Seemingly out of nowhere, the sign of the Triple 1 Chinese Restaurant caught our eyes. The outside was fiercely designed with a massive Buddha in the front. As we climbed the escalator, we stumbled upon a dated decor – a large cafeteria styled room with florescent lights, clouds painted on the ceiling and fake humming birds hanging in a cage. But none of this mattered, our waitress Sandy was the sweetest thing and the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Dea, made sure to check on us and were exceedingly hospitable. The experience put me in the mind of the movie A Christmas Story, the scene after which the dogs eat the turkey and the family had to have their Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant because it was the only place they could find open on the holiday. Like the owners in that movie, the proprietors of Triple 1 were attentive, friendly and expressed so much joy.

photo3 300x224 Mothers Day in the Not So Windy CityWe decided to really feast – family style. We ordered ribs, a vegetable stir fry (with tofu the size of a boulder), vegetable fried rice, soup, salad and Duck (√° la A Christmas Story). The food was delicious. Our bellies were full from the large portions. I could have fed two families with my plate of fried rice alone. After we left the restaurant, we strolled around town. We had such a great time laughing and enjoying the street performers on State street. The day was beautiful – the sun was shining with a slight breeze and everyone seemed to be grateful that the sun was out and it wasn’t windy. It was a fabulous day.

As I get older, there are more and more people I care about that unwillingly join this club. Although there is nothing I can do to prevent the increase in this membership, I will continue to be strong and supportive, the way my friends were when I had the misfortune of joining this club.

I believe that our mothers did meet in heaven and are looking after us. I’m not sure why they chose that particular restaurant, but I’m appreciative that they supplied us with Food, Fun & Friendship on a day that would otherwise be somber. I hope that you all had an amazing Mother’s Day.

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