Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Letting Go and Holding On at the Same Time

In Loving Memory of Grandpa Masumchi Suzuki

December 24th 2014

Since Grandpa Mac's passing I have had some heavy-hearted days.  Maybe I feel regrets because I was thinking of going there for Thanksgiving and didn’t.  Maybe I feel regret that I didn’t know him on a deeper level. As I was driving to our cabin in Tahoe on Christmas Eve large snow flakes were falling and I began to think of Grandpa.  There is a place near the cabin where a stream cuts through a large meadow. You are able to see the meadow opens up in front of you for a second or two before it disappears behind the pines.  As I looked down at the snow covered meadow a large wind blew straight at me making the snow swoosh towards me creating a snowy worm hole through time and space.  I began to weep as I felt him in the natural elements and decide I really wanted to return to my grandparents home one last time.

Sunday evening (Jan 11th, 2015) at the Detroit airport waiting to fly back to Santa Cruz.

The whole time at my grandparents house has been nothing but good vibrations.   But, as I sit here waiting for my fight home, I’m flooded with with emotion as I’m learning to let go and hold on at the same time. It can be emotional knowing that I will most likely never return to the home that that Grandma and Grandpa raised Mom with her three sisters and brother.

My first memory was when I was a little boy probably around 4 or 5.  I remember sitting at the table downstairs next to the sliding door. The early light streaming through the branches of the tall oaks. The early morning was quiet and calm as I was bursting with curiosity and excitement gazing at the electrical vibrating football game.

I spent my 26th birthday there too. I was going through a difficult transition in my life at that time, and yet in their home I found peace, happiness and stability.  I also saw through my cousins eyes Sarah, Megan, and Brandon how nice it would be to live so close to Mac and Zoe.

I spent 2010 Thanksgiving there after missing the farm due to Silvia being very pregnant with Isa.  It was 5 days where Grandma and Grandpa were able to hold and interact with their Great Granddaughter.  There was a great moment when Isa smiled at Zoe while in her arms and Zoe’s whole continence seemed to beam. I love that moment

At the open house for Grandpa Mac memories from my new found friends poured out like a history book of a life well lived. I tried to soak up everything little drop of history, but there were so many time periods to remember and listing to everyone chime in lead us down sidebar after sidebar like falling down a rabbit hole of smiles and adventures. And as I sat back  and took it all in, I realized that I found Grandpa, I found Grandma, I found Aunt Jane again and again and again as I listened to everyones stories.  I realize everyone room is filled with thousands of memories crystallized in time space and as we walks through the house those feeling consciously or unconsciously are felt.

Its amazing how hard it is to say goodbye to this place.  Knowing how I feel I can’t even comprehend how hard it might be for Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dan who have raised her own kids in the same area and has spent Christmas in Grandma and Grandpa's house for the last 50+ years. In a way, what the farm house was to Grandma is what what 805 Chase is to Mom, Anne, Kathy, and Kevin.  Its hard to hold on and let it go at the same time.

As  I walked through the house listening to the stillness I can't help but feel that every picture and every memento has a story or adventure behind it.  When my grandparents lived there, they must have been constantly triggering memories.  For example seeing Aunt Jane's Picture everywhere I’m transported to Wyoming where I sitting on the back of a horse miserable but so happy to be riding partners with Aunt Jane.  I cling to those memories that over time seem to fade like an old photo.

This “unexpected journey” I took in order to get to know my Grandparents a little more despite their passing has turned into so much more for me.  I learned that they live in and through us.  And as I drove away I'm filled with gratitude as I look one last time at the fence-less neighborhood that seems to meander through the giant oaks and the snow laced ground absorbing all sounds creating. In this silence and in this breath I'm present, and being present is how you create eternal moments.

Love Lots,

Your Grateful Grandson,

XOXO Justin

The View Grandma would see looking out The Kitchen Window

Every time I walked through their garage door I would be reminded of the Farm's House Door. Look at the similarities!
Going through Grandpa Mushroom books.  Over the last 4 months I have been deep into the World of Fungi. While I was there in Michigan I was missing a 3 day Fungus Fair in Santa Cruz.  When I came back home the two of the Doctors I practice with went and brought me back a gift. 
And so I will continue this mushroom tradition.  It was fun going through all the newsletters some of which were from the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Fungus Federation.  I wish I could go Mushroom hunting with Grandpa Mac.

"The Bagoda"of A religious building of East multistory Buddhist tower with widely overhanging eaves separating each level, erected as a memorial or shrine. I remember one questions on a IQ test asking me what one of these were.

Birthday Dinner at Benihana.  Grandpa would go this weekly so in memory of him we went one last time.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Periodic Puzzles Challenge

I was going through my dresser which has morphed into a dresser of random stuff we have collected over the years.  Its like a black hole.  We put stuff in that we think we might use at some point in our mortal existence.  As I was looking for something, I was quickly distracted by this 1000 piece puzzle of the Elements of the Periodic Table.
First of all, puzzles annoy me.  Secondly, if you are going to do a puzzle, it would be better if it was an amazing picture of a landscape of something.  Thirdly, it had a price tag of $15.  Not that $15 is a lot of money, but this is a garage sale item that you would be lucky to get rid of.  And here it is adding to the clutter.
My wife loves puzzles and she explained that she was at Costco and it looked fun so she got it.  This turned into a big debate over having to much clutter in the house, to who in the world would think it would be a fun, to me spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on surfboards and bikes without getting any crap about it from her.
Both of us had some valid points, and so I said if by 2015 this is still in the drawer, I would throw it out and we'd agree that it was a waste of money.  However, if she puts it together before then, I would agree that she was right and it was a worth wild purchase.
Two weeks later I come home to it completed. I guess I was wrong and my wife was right.  Story of my life.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Here we are getting ready to go trick or treating in our friends neighborhood.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Dora the Explorer, we are dressed like that Cartoon.  Isa is Dora,  I'm her cousin Diego, Laila is the Monkey Boots, and Silvia is Swiper the fox.
I haven't blogged in like.....a....forever.   I miss it.  So many awesome things happen everyday and it feels like I don't have time to write it down.  Having two kids only 15 months apart is turning out to be so craaaaaazy!  People told me it going to get real, but I had not idea how real they meant.  I don't know how my parents raised 7 kids. With that said it has been the the funnies times and I wish I could do a better time documenting our experiences.
Dora and Pinkalicious are pumped!  I understand now why parents don't dress up.  Its a lot of work to dress up kids up.  By the time they are ready to go you are beat and are over it.  We forced ourselves.
Swiper is goosing Diego at the church's "Trunk or Treat."  Halloween is the one day I get to have a full head of hair.  For some reason its the one day that you can wear a wig and no one thinks twice about it.  Its kind of weird if you think about it.  Why can't I have a bunch of wigs and wear them everyday.  Why not, wigs are so fun and cool. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Laila Jane 4 Months & all Smiles

I love Laila's big brown eyes.

She is always smiling

Laila is so Chill.  You can just set her down and she is happy as a clam

Isa was chill too at this age.  Is wasn't until she was 8mo that Isa became non-stop action. From swinging from the edge of the table to sharpies all over the wall.  We'll see how Laila is at 8 mos.

Silvia is such a good Momma.

Laila and Papai

I love her little chubby arms and legs.

She smells so good sometimes I'll just sniff her for a good 10 minutes.


My little Morenhina

She always has some part of her hand in her mouth.