Thursday, August 29, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Family

**I've been away at camp for a week and am now catching up at home and at work and in life, so blog posts will be forthcoming shortly. In the meantime, here are some Throwback Thursday photos**

My parents and my sister are some of my favorite people ever. 

One day when we were in our early twenties we went for a walk. 
And mom and Jenna were up to all sorts of sillyness.

That face of my Mom's is the face I miss - this new Alzheimer's version of her is less lit up. I love the spark of joy you see here. 

When I was 22 and living in Victoria Jenna came to visit. We went out to Cactus Club for our birthdays. I remember trying so hard to dress up and look nice and then feeling like I'd gotten it wrong again. Jenna has always been such a great dresser - sometimes it was hard trying to measure up. But I remember how kind and fun she always was - she never acted like she noticed any difference in our abilities to look good. Though looking back, this photo shows clearly that there were differences indeed! Also this photo was before my breast reduction surgery, obvs. 

That same trip we went out to a nearby German restaurant for Mothers Day with the Wiebes and Nana and my folks. 

My Nana is one of our favorite people and she HATES being in pictures. And in fact will hate this blog post when she reads it (thank you lovely loyal reading Nana). BUT this is one of my favorite family photos - she said she couldn't possibly smile for a photo as she'd look we decided to look terrible on purpose. It was a great memory. 

We did get one nice photo together though. See you can look awesome Nana!

Then we got a photo with Mom for Mothers Day. This is a year after we started noticing the signs of Alzheimer's but it's at least 2, if not 3 years until the actual diagnosis - still alert and clear and sparkly. 

Also in person her shirt wasn't see through - not sure what's up with that. 

And me and my gorgeous sister. 
We take a lot of sister selfies.

Case in point, this photo, circa April 2006 at a Women's Retreat on the Island. 
I'd been saved just a few months and was loving reconnecting with my sister and with God and with our home church. Despite the strange yellow hue on my teeth, this photo has in a frame in every home I've lived in since we took it. 

In 2004 (I think) we went to Europe as a family. We got a pic of mom and Dad with a Croissant in Lucerne, Switzerland. This trip was our first inkling of Mom's coming disease - and it also was a trip that brought to a head my non-Christianity and my families Christianity. It was a great family trip, very memory building, but in many ways my insecurity and personal choices took away from what could have been even better. I obviously can't change that and am just thankful for this time with my family.

We hit up 13 countries in 3 weeks - it was a whirlwhind but we laughed and talked and made so many wonderful memories. 

The summer I was living in Victoria I headed back to Port with my old boyfriend and visited with my family - Jenna came over from Vancouver and we hit up the tall ships. We had a blast. 

Classic Tara/Jenna sillyness photo.

We had a timeshare in Kelowna and would go visit every couple summers. Summer 2006 I'd just gotten saved and we'd gone to Kelowna with Lyndsay instead of Jenna. I love this picture with my parents. My memories of my mom from this trip are among some of my last where she's really herself. After this the disease starts to take over more. I'm glad for pictures like this that remind me of when she was really herself. I miss that Mom a lot. I wish I'd known how briefly she'd be herself - there's so much I would ask or say or tell her. 

And for sure I would record her saying kind things to my Dad. I'd make sure she wrote him in detail how much she loved him and who he was in her life so that now while she can't write he could still receive letters for her. I wish I knew more about her fears and concerns, so that they would be instinctual for me to work with now. I wish she'd been able to give me a cheat sheep for this new mom that she's become. I could really use it. 

These next photos are from when I lived in Nanaimo the second time, after I got saved. I thought my hot pink crocs were the best things ever. My family was over to visit me and we had classic photo fun.

Mom was wearing an outfit that Jenna and I had bought her earlier that year at Woodgrove Mall for her birthday. Do you want to know how I can tell when these were taken? Obviously it was before my breast reduction surgery, so it's before 2007 and it's also before Jenna is married Feb 2007 as she has no wedding ring on BUT it's after I got saved January 2006 as that's when I found out about Lulu Lemons and bought my first pair (which I'm wearing in the photo). I got them Easter 2006 - so my assumption is that this photo took place spring 2006. 

Am I the only one that tells time this way?

I love this walk way - right near where we are seated in this photo there's a small beach. One year the "Walk for Jesus" was held in Nanaimo and ended at this park. I remember getting to go play at the beach with my barbies - playing barbies at beaches and lakes was always the best. My barbies went swimming and climbed into caves and I had the best time. 

Here's mom and Dad at a wedding in Port around that time - I was at the Stagette for the bride and remember it being summer 2006 as the Stagette was at Gwyn and Lisa's house on Hammond Bay road. Despite the fact that my mom had Alzheimers here, the disease is still not detectable just from looking at her the way it is now. 

Here's us as a family - Jenna's "new" husband Colin. This was for my Grandma's 80th birthday and was just after I moved to Vancouver in fall 2007. I can tell because Jenna and Colin are married (Feb 2007) and I'm wearing my new "office girl" clothes that I bought before moving to Vancouver at Urban Planet in Woodgrove. 

Seriously, this is the best way to tell the dates.

Here is where I think you can start to see my Mom's disease in photos - she's less sparkly and focused - a bit more vacant in the eyes. Also Jenna's bangs aren't the best - sorry sister! her jacket is super cute though. Also Colin and Dad hated the hover/lean forward pose they had to do. There was much laughter and complaining. Also you can't see because I cropped it out, but once seated my jeans looked like high waters. 

And lastly.....fall 2003 - In this photo I've just recently left Christianity but still love my family. I remember being thankful that we can still be a family and that they can still love me despite my decisions against God. I still loved them, I just didn't want to follow God - I wanted to sin. I wanted to get drunk and have sex. I still loved my family. I'm thankful for how my family loved me through all of this and for their honesty regarding their walks to God and their relationship with me - it was how they grew and changed and got closer to God that really helped me see that maybe I could chose to follow God. It was watching Jenna grow into a godly woman that sparked something in me - this God had power! Power to change! Power to be confident and stop flailing under the weight of insecurity. That was a God worth following. I'm thankful to my family for that. 

I love this shot for so many reasons - it's in Portland at an old friends wedding - I'm at my thinnest with my rad red hair that I loved. Jenna and I are in matching silk wrap shirts and being silly. There's like 20 more photos in this series someplace and they all make me laugh. 

1 comment:

Paraphrase said...

And the last photo has a bonus way of telling the date :D ;)


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