When my parents first separated and my dad moved out, he didn’t go far. In fact, he just moved down the street into an apartment building on the lake – about 4 blocks away. It made it a tiny more bearable for me while I was trying to deny that my family was changing forever.

The best part about all of it was actually that it was right on the lake. Seriously. It had a private little beach. Summer in Chicago is already the greatest thing ever, so when you have a private beach it’s even better!

One day during the summer my dad came and woke me up and got me out of bed. To this day, I have no idea where my sister was or why he didn’t wake her up as well if she was there, but it was just the two of us. It was early. It was still dark outside.

As a pre-teen in the summer, you can imagine that the last thing I wanted to do was be awake before it was light out. My dad insisted that I come with him, though.

We took the elevator down to the lobby and walked across to the giant doors that opened onto the patio above the beach. Despite being mid-summer, it was frigid from the night and the breeze coming off of the lake. We sat in two chairs by the stone rail and looked out at the lake.

I don’t remember what we talked about or if we talked about anything at all, but I remember seeing the sun peak above the horizon on the water.

It was completely calm. It was one of the first times that I felt completely at peace since my parents had announced their divorce.

This is not my photo

Chicago Sunrise

To this day, watching the sunrise is one of my favorite things. It’s relaxing and clears my mind. It’s beautiful. It’s something I see a lot less of than I’d like. It reminds me of sitting on the patio with my dad in the summer.

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