[family|child] On the nature of time and generations
Dad at 49
That’s a photo of my Dad in Outer Mongolia, in 1992, when I and a group of friends and family went to see my parents there. (He was the U.S. ambassador to that country at the time.) Dad was 49 when we visited then. I just turned 49 this past Thursday.
Me at 49
Sometimes when I look at the_child I marvel at how old I have become. Not chronologically, but generationally. I mean, when I went to Outer Mongolia in 1992, Dad was unimaginably older than me. Now, in 2013, he is still unimaginably older than me. We’re just all 21 years older than our former selves.
It is the job of parents to go before their children. We break a trail for them through time, setting a path so they have something to rebel against, and if we’re lucky, eventually a guide to follow. the_child right now is 15, and filled with that righteous anger at the weakness and venality of pretty much everyone else in the world, an emotion that seems hardwired into being aged 15. Someday she will look back at me and marvel.
The cycle of the generations proves to me that time isn’t linear, it’s cyclical, at least according to the secret calendars of the soul.
Photos © 1992, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and T. Rotundo.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and T. Rotundo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Posted: 5:14 am Mon June 10 2013 | Comments(19) |
[photos|family] Kool and the Gang head for the Portland revels
the_child, tillyjane, the Niece and Lisa Costello head for the Portland Revels this past Sunday.
Photo — 2012 Mary Elizabeth Lake. All rights reserved, used with permission.
Posted: 6:28 am Tue December 18 2012 | Comments(0) |
[personal|family] The mystery of my grandfather Lake and the cracked safe
My grandfather Lake was, to put it mildly, quite the character. Though he fell quite ill when I was in grade school, and passed when I was in junior high, I have vivid if necessarily limited memories of him. He features prominently in my short fiction, perhaps most of all in “A Conspiracy of Dentists“, which is based on a true story about a box full of several hundred human teeth he’d kept for many years. (More about him here if you’re curious.)
Dad recently sent me some newspaper clippings from the Galveston Daily News, June, 1950. They’re about a theft from a store Granddaddy owned. Or maybe not. He comes across as a sort of low-rent noir character in these. Which wouldn’t be entirely inaccurate.
I give you the mystery of my grandfather Lake and the cracked safe. Unfortunately, the resolution of the matter appears to be lost to history.
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Posted: 5:46 am Thu October 18 2012 | Comments(6) |
[photos|family] A day at the beach
This past Saturday evening, when the weather finally improved, we did manage a beach walk on the Long Beach peninsula. the_child, the Niece, lillypond (a/k/a my sister), my (step)mom and I spent about forty-five minutes strolling and enjoying the wind and waves.
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Posted: 5:29 am Mon July 02 2012 | Comments(0) |
[family|cancer] Back to the hospital (not me this time)
Yesterday afternoon, tillyjane (a/k/a my mom) called me to come take her to the ER. I’d finished my Day Jobbery, just capped off an hour of writing time on Going to Extremes, and was preparing for another long interview take on the documentary project.
Instead, Donnie Reynolds, Lisa Costello and I loaded up into Donnie’s car and raced across town in rush hour traffic to pick up my mom at her primary care clinic and transport her to her ER. Donnie brought his “B” camera, because we were shooting for a documentary about the lives of me and my family, after all.
We got tillyjane to the ER, where a four-hour wait ensued. Along with some guerrilla filmmaking. My mom’s housemate A— showed up after a bit. Eventually tillyjane was processed and admitted, which led to about four hours of hurry-up-and-wait testing. We recognized our ER nurse from prior visits, and he recognized us. That’s a frequent flyer club you don’t want to be a member of.
In the end, the tests were inconclusive. The symptoms which had caused her to be referred to the ER did not recur. My mom was sent home somewhat after midnight. She has specialist followups, probably next week. For now, she is fine. A— Donnie and Lisa are all Heroes of the Revolution for being there and keeping both tillyjane and me propped up and going.
As for me…
Her symptoms are not mine to describe here, but suffice to say they were closely akin to what drove my original hospital admission and cancer diagnosis back in 2008. That possibility won’t be ruled out until after her specialist followups. I am very frightened for her, far, far beyond anything justified by the clinical evidence or current medical opinion. I know this is my emotional trauma over cancer shouting loudly in my ear. It’s not logical. But it is very real.
Even if the worst happens, we know what to do. And it’s likely enough the worst won’t happen. Of course, that’s what they told me about my initial presentation. Cancer wasn’t even on the top five list of likely diagnoses. That’s what they told me about my initial metastasis, that it wasn’t at all likely to ever happen.
Once more, I am feeling the burn.
Photo © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Posted: 8:21 am Thu June 14 2012 | Comments(4) |
[family] Happy Anniversary, baby
Today is my (step)mom and dad’s 41st wedding anniversary. Yes, they really did get married six days after my birthday, the year I turned seven. I have no idea what they were thinking, getting married so close to JayCon.
Later that year, in second grade at Morrison Academy, a Baptist missionary school in downisland Taiwan, I was sent home with a note telling my parents to punish me for lying as I’d written a little essay about being at their wedding. Ah, the good old days.
Me at the front porch reception, with my sister just to the left
Let them eat cake!
Dad, throwing the garter
Me explaining something to my Grandma Kessler
We were all young and beautiful once, weren’t we?
Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.
Photo credits unknown.
Posted: 5:46 am Tue June 12 2012 | Comments(3) |
[personal|family] Happy Birthday to my mom
Today is the birthday of tillyjane, a/k/a my mom. We’re having a family celebration a bit later this morning. I just wanted to wish her a happy birthday right here.
Thanks for a lot of wonderful years.
Posted: 6:46 am Sun April 22 2012 | Comments(0) |
[travel|family] In and out and all about
This morning, tillyjane (a/k/a my mom) and I are flying to Colorado. We’re off to Westcliffe to see my aunt acting in a play, The House of Bernarda Alba. Chilly family fun!
I’ll be back in Portland Sunday afternoon. Next Tuesday is the airport Powell’s book signing with Mary Robinette Kowal and me. We’ll be there from 5 to 7, so come on by if you’re in the area.
Next Wednesday, I’m off to Rainforest Writers Village through Sunday. That will be nice.
Somewhere in all this, I’ll be wrapping up Sunspin and sending it off to la agente. Go me! In any event, see some, all or none of you around the joint.
Posted: 5:24 am Fri February 24 2012 | Comments(0) |
[family] Happy Father’s Day to my Dad
I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dad, and everyone else’s dad, including those of you have a dad, are a dad or will be a dad.
My father is an amazing man who gives me a great deal to live up to, even now after I’ve spent forty-seven years upon this Earth. He is a retired ambassador, one of the most intelligent and perceptive human beings I’ve ever known, very kind, possessed of virtually endless patience, and is an unfailing role model to me.
I can manage to be one tenth the dad to the_child that he has been to me, I will have been successful.
I love you, Dad.
If you feel moved to say something about your Dad, make post, comment here, or even better, call him up.
Posted: 8:07 am Sun June 19 2011 | Comments(1) |
[family] Mother of the Child update
Mother of the Child continues in hospital. She was supposed to transfer out of ICU yesterday, but they were having trouble finding a ward bed. Her next medical checkpoint is a set of tests Saturday to determine if the internal healing is progressing as hoped. If so, she may come home Sunday night. If not, there are several ‘Plan B’ procedures of varying dreadfulness, some to address the primary problem, some to address the secondary effects of that problem, all of which will extend her hospital stay. She is relatively comfortable and in good spirits. is coping reasonably well at this point, but if Plan B comes into effect, that will challenge her, a lot.
Right now it’s just time. The doctors don’t want to correct the problem surgically unless her body isn’t able to manage the process on its own. Hence the Saturday tests.
Posted: 4:54 am Fri April 02 2010 | Comments(0) |
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