My Kinda Town

My Kinda Town – Chicago is. . . . 

Chicago has always been divided into the Southside and the Northside. I grew up on the Southside in an Irish – Catholic neighborhood. No Irish blood runs in my veins but the nuns still show up. Introducing myself as a Southsider people comment, “You’re not black.” I look at my white skin, rubbed it, and reply, “No.” In my neighborhood, there was a line distinctly drawn between black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods. Western Avenue was the dividing line in my life. 

Looking back on Chicago’s history, I would say the greatest thing that happened was when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started the Great Chicago Fire. Although the fire itself was an enormous tragedy, an amazing lakefront formed in Chicago as a result. 

Back in the day, the railroad and stockyard consumed Chicago’s lakefront. From what I have read, parks were always a part of the plan to attract tourists and locals alike, but finances leaned toward animal products back in the day. It took many years, huge revenue, and extraordinary effort to make Chicago’s lakefront one of the most beautiful cities to visit in the USA.

Lake Michigan makes Chicago unique. Although Lake Michigan is a freshwater lake, it is more unpredictable than the ocean. In my sailing years, I learned a great deal about the lake and how quickly things can change on Lake Michigan. The view of Chicago’s skyline from the water is stunning, especially at night. As the sun sets, the skyscrapers light up. One day I walked the lakefront and then my friend Bob picked me up on his boat and I took it all in from the water. It was quite a day in Chicago. 

The city of Chicago is linked together by a walkway that goes along the water, through parks and leading to museums. From the Shedd Aquarium and Planetarium to Millennium Park, you can enjoy the sights. With gardens galore and Buckingham Fountain standing in the midst of it all, it is definitely something to see and experience. Throughout the summer, people from all over the world are drawn to Chicago for sights, sounds, food, and fun. 

Unfortunately, due to violence, people miss out on Chicago. One client told me he would never tour. That saddens me because Chicago is MY KINDA TOWN… friendly people, music, food, beaches, museums, and a lakefront you can walk for miles and miles. One of my favorite places to sit is by Buckingham Fountain. If you haven’t visited, perhaps you will cross the divide and check out ~ Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town.

Happy Holidays. May 2020 be dazzling. Be well… Nancy T

A Force Beyond Measure – Game Changer #3

Ronald Michael Turcich arrived on December 20,1954. Named after two kind and influential men, Ronny had a good start. The eldest of eight, Ronny also had challenges. He took to life with a smile and continued to forge his own unique, adventuresome path. Ronny used to tell us (siblings) that he did “everything” so we didn’t have to worry about getting in trouble.

There are eight years and four siblings between Ronny and I. That left him far ahead of me in life. It also left a wake of sibling exploits beyond him. Ronny was my BIG brother and he always treated me kindly. Being a Tom Boy may have helped my cause. 

Without Ronny, my life would have been completely different. Unknowingly, Ronny guided me to my career as a Natural Therapeutic Specialist, aka Massage & Polarity Therapist. By opening his home to me, I was able to attend the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics (NMSNT). As I wrote in my last blog, NMSNT was a game-changer. My time in New Mexico also gave me an opportunity to participate in Ronny’s life. It was no surprise that Ronny had many great friends. To me, it seemed like Ronny walked down the street and he came to the end of the road with a handful of new friends.

In August 1989, I returned to NMSNT for the first time since graduation. With three years of having human bodies pass under my hands, it was time to refresh my skills. Once again, my class experience was life-changing. However, my home life was disturbing. From the moment I arrived, Ronny wasn’t Ronny. A shell of himself and a person I didn’t recognize at times, that was the 1989 Ronny. To say Ronny was LOST would be an understatement. I spent my off-hours being with him, listening to him, sharing whatever I could to raise him from his funk. I left New Mexico feeling as though it was the last time with my BIG brother. Unfortunately, on September 22,1989 my thought became a reality. Ronny took his life on that day. From that day forth, my entire life was a game-changer. With extreme pain, I went on with my life without his smile, without his stories, without his sense of adventure, without his generosity. Nothing would prepare me for the loss that followed. At one point, I even debated my own existence. 

Suicide is like no other loss. Each and every moment of each and every day you wonder, “What could I have done?” Family, friends and even acquaintances ask this question. And you also wonder, “WHY?” 

For decades I was stuck in the loop of loss. Even as joy and love entered my life again, I internally chastised myself for even a sliver of happiness. Initially, I stated, “How can I be happy when my brother is DEAD?” As you might imagine, that scared away many friends. But those who stuck around were a real gift. It didn’t matter if I was sad, they were in my life. It didn’t matter if I was angry, they were in my life. 

Journaling came into my life in 1989. Without great communication skills, I turned to paper and pen. Writing became a game-changer. In fact, it saved my life and resulted in two books: “One of Eight – my perspective on our brother’s suicide” & “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life.” The foundation of both books rose from my journals. Writing became A Force Beyond Measure. It became a place where I could put all of my dark & scary thoughts. It became a safe house where I found ways through those ugly places. 

Even in his death, Ronny touched my life. He led me to another avenue to explore. Just like the men who came before him, he influenced my life beyond measure. Be well… Nancy T

For more about “One of Eight – my perspective on our brother’s suicide” & “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life,” visit http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/