We are Jon, Celeste & Liam from Portland. This tumblr is a photo diary (with bits of anecdotes) of our family life, wherever home may be.
It had been 15 months before we took the trek to Jon’s dad in Clarkston, WA. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the fall last year and while it took a few months before we made the trip happen, we felt it was time to see him again. The disease is progressing rapidly it seems and it was important to see him before he starts to not recognize us.
It was sad to see him and at times we weren’t sure if we were spending enough time with him. And if we were, there was the question of whether a easting in restaurants was far too much for him to bear. The first day we visited him was the saddest for me during the trip. He lost weight and aged a few more years since we saw him last. It must be hard for him because he was such an independent person during his prime years. Assisted living seems to be the best for him, but at times I wonder if having too much time alone makes him forget more.
We’d like to visit him again this year, hopefully soon, with all that’ll go on with summer coming. It was great seeing him again.
We got too busy after the last entry and it hasn’t truly let up just yet. We’d be off to another busy time if we get the house we made an offer to (got accepted!). If all goes well with inspection and appraisal, we’d be living in the Woodstock neighborhood that’s 20 blocks east of Reed College (where Steve Jobs attended and dropped out). I just had to say that! :)
We spent some time driving around the neighborhood, checking out shops, parks and Woodstock elementary. The house is about the same size as our old one in NZ, a little over 1000 sqft, with adequate yard space. I’m trying to minimize envisioning a personalized version of that house, just in case the whole thing falls through. I really hope that we get it because it does tick all of our boxes and has a good feel to it.
It’s a bit funny, and maybe even telling, that this time 2 years ago we were in the process of selling our NZ house and 2 years prior when we bought it. Maybe we do things in 2-year cycles. I hope this time around we really settle in for a while, especially with Liam entering primary school next year. It has been mobile but in a good way.
It was great to see a childhood friend after almost 22 years. It was funny to talk about the past and have different perspectives on things, mainly because I’m 6 years older. In kid years, that’s worlds apart. Maybe that’s selective memory but I couldn’t remember some of the things we talked about. It brought me back to my childhood and how the world seemed so vast back then. Their family migrated to USA and as a child, I took it for what it was but also felt a shift in my limited social life (back when social life revolved around a block or two of neighborhood kids, apart from kids at school who lived in different areas of the city). Who knew we’d see each other again and that the world isn’t really so large after all.
I had to remember what she was like as a little girl to maybe establish a connection with whom I had yet to meet. Seeing the lady she has become and still notice some demeanor I was familiar with, it continually astounds me how much of our personality as adults is predicated by our childhood. I wonder the same for myself. But you know how there’s a level of comfort seeing someone from your childhood and also feel excitement/anxiety at the same time? Liam wanted them to stay for the weekend. I had fun and it was great re-connecting on a perfect sunny day.