Tuesday, March 08, 2016

It's a lot, and yet it's not enough

The man who killed Nailah Franklin back in 2007 has finally been sentenced. He got the maximum penalty, life in prison. Since he is now 38, I suppose he has at least 30 years ahead of him. In a cage. Without access to the fine clothes and high-end cars that he so enjoyed when he was on this side of prison bars.

Now I don't have to think about him anymore.

Instead, I'm going to close this post by concentrating on Nailah Franklin. I never met her, but I remember that warm day in 2007 when her former coworkers were handing out leaflets at my el stop, pleading with Chicagoans to be on the lookout for her and her car. Of course, by then she was already dead, but we didn't know that.

What I did know is that she was obviously much loved. Her short life and sad death touched me, and I honor her here.

Nailah Franklin graduated first from Homewood Flossmoor High School and then the University of Illinois.

She spent 5 years at the prestigious ad agency, Leo Burnett.

She moved to Eli Lilly in 2006 because she believed a sales job would help give her greater control over her finances and career.

She loved "all things Oprah."

She loved clothes and had a terrific sense of fashion.

Her mother told the Tribune that she wondered why Nailah "always seemed to be in such a hurry to live life. I think her spirit knew she had such a short time on this Earth and she had to cram in as much living as possible."

An older sister remembers her "little baby voice that she never grew out of, but she was bold and spirited, headstrong and beautiful."

Her father recalled "an exceptionally smart woman" and said that not a day went by that he didn't miss her.

A younger sister smiles when she remembers CD/DVD collection because "it was such a reflection of her -- a combination of old school songs by Luther Vandross
and Tae Bo exercise DVDs."

Her youngest sister tried to follow Nailah to Urbana but she wasn't accepte
d. She treasures Nailah's words of encouragement as she applied to other schools. "When we learned she had died, I considered quitting the nursing program. But I remembered how much she believed in me and I thought it was important to keep going."

Her young brother tearfully took the stand to tell the court that he wishes he could call Nailah "for advice on how to deal with losing her."

Nailah volunteered at the Chicago Urban League. She was eulogized as "not a star, but a superstar."

She was just 28 when she died.

And to think, you could have gotten a personalized cutting board!

I finally read my December issue of O magazine today, featuring Oprah's favorite things, and learned that I could have given everyone on my gift list a personalized cutting board at a little over $150 a pop.

The magazine entertained me as I pedaled ... for the first time in 2016. I finally returned to the health club and it felt good. I warmed up on the deltoid fly and the abductor/adductor before moving to the exercise bike, where I kept my heart rate to about 100 bpm for 25 minutes.

It felt good. I'm hoping that the incremental physical activity will help my gastrointestinal tract get back to normal.