Week 29 – Remembering Lola

#199 Skinner’s Butte

17 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

We spent the day showing Deanna’s family around town, her grandma in particular, since she had never been to Eugene before.

We did some wandering around campus and Hayward Field in particular. Then we had lunch at the market (finally got to try their cubano) and found ourselves on Skinner’s Butte.

I feel pretty ready to move on from Eugene, but I also want to rack up the goo memories for as long as we have left.

#200 Top of Lillis

18 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

It’s official– my job hunt for life after grad school has gotten underway!

I’m looking widely. Mostly communications work or nonprofit work, especially interested in jobs in cities that’ll let me be a lot closer to family and to be ready for a new season of life.

So far I’m feeling pretty good and excitement. Hopefully that translates into something good.

#201 In Laws In Eugene

19 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This past week has been one of the craziest ones this year. It’s been a difficult one for obvious reasons, but there were a lot of good things that happened too.

One of those good things was having my in laws visiting Eugene for the week, along with Deanna’s grandma.

Lots of good nights on backyard patios, wine tasting at vineyards, playing tour guide around Eugene, and reintroducing them to Ticket to Ride brought a lot of needed light into this week. Glad for that.

#202 Layover in the City

20 July 2016 // San Francisco, California

Spent quite a while in San Francisco’s airport today. A six hour layover flew by surprisingly fast. Actually most of this day flew by surprisingly fast.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of SFO. Too expensive, for sure. Also, massive and kind of impersonal.

Today, though, I discovered that it makes for a pretty nice workspace. I guess that’s a sweet perk of being such a start-up hub.

Philippines, here I come.

#203 Hong Kong Layover

21 July 2016 // Hong Kong

I’ve made it to Hong Kong to stretch my legs! Being on international flights, in new airports makes me wish I weren’t on this journey for such a short time and under these circumstances. There are so many places and people along the way that I’d love to see and I’m getting flashbacks of our adventure two years ago that stir up good memories I’d like more of. I’m glad to be on my way to see family, though.

On the plane I discovered a Korean detective movie and actually really liked it, which was good because the three other movies I saw were big letdowns! I had much higher hopes for Deadpool and Hail Caesar.

Also, I finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Loved it so much I can’t wait to give it a fuller review.

I can’t wait to be with my family in just a few hours. It’ll be good to be with everyone, even if the reasons aren’t so happy.

#204 Lola’s Memorial

22 July 2016 // Iloilo City, Philippines

Hearing stories from the past week have helped me realize how many traits my grandma passed on to me. Traits i’m really proud of.

Lola loved to cook, especially for others, and I’ve always wondered where I got that interest, since my mom and most of her siblings don’t enjoy cooking at all.

Lola was also a traveler, especially for a Filipina woman born in the 1910’s. (Most of them just didn’t do that back then!) She did it for those she loved, and that’s the best reason to travel.

Lola also loved orphans and vulnerable children. Yesterday, I met the boy (now almost fifty!) she took in as a foster child after she had raised nine of her own. She also essentially adopted her sister’s family. I wonder if that same heartbeat is the one that drove me to South Africa.

#205 Lola’s Life

23 July 2016 // Iloilo City, Philippines

“Imagine… you could have all this!”

–Lola

The last time I saw my grandma, she was so happy to see me and to meet Deanna that she got up and slowly walked us around the house to give us a tour. Four times in a row. We went from the living room, to her bedroom, to the garden, again and again. Each time we got to her room, she picked up this plate with her portrait that somebody made for her as a birthday present. She would look around the room and say those exact words. “Imagine… you could have all this!”

Maybe she was just really excited about her plate. Maybe she was talking about “all this” as in us. Visitors. Family. One that would keep on growing and keep on traveling in order to stay together. I think that’s more likely. It still makes me glad to know that my last memory of Lola will be of her flooded with joy and gratitude.

I asked her caretaker Alice if she knew what plate I was talking about, and she remembered exactly. I’ll be bringing this back home with me as a reminder to always go where the Love is.