Category Archives: The Lola Diaries

The Lola Diaries is a documentary of 86-year-old Pacita, better known as Lola (“grandma” in Tagalog) to her grandchildren, who is cared for by her youngest child— my amazing husband Romie. Lola suffered a stroke in 2007 and now lives with dementia, and we have been caring for her ever since. This new arrangement eventually led to me quitting my corporate job and made myself available to help care for Lola, and also pursue my photography business full time. As a family portrait photographer, I’ve been capturing other people’s families on my camera for over six years, but photographing my own family was almost non-existent … So I started pointing my [phone] camera at Romie after Lola was admitted in the hospital from a head injury. I had never seen my husband so scared as long as I’ve known him. Seeing the fear in his eyes at the thought of losing his mother was the reason I felt that I needed to take more photos of the two of them together. The Lola Diaries capture many of their moments together, good times and bad. When I first shared these raw images on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, the responses were overwhelming. The love and support from friends and family — and even total strangers from around the world — were nothing short of amazing. We thank you all for your kind, warm words.
 
//You can see more images from The Lola Diaries (#loladiaries) on Instagram; and videos on YouTube.

Taking Care of Your Parents at Home

When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…

Romie is the youngest of nine siblings (one sibling after him died at birth). He has such a huge nurturing heart, and much of that has to do with his faith; his bible is always in his hands every morning when he wakes up. Each Sunday, he gets Lola ready for church and this can get challenging when she tends to move slower on Sundays (haha!). Sometimes, before he even gets a chance to get himself ready, our young niece Kaylee is with us on the weekends so he’s getting her ready, too … Yeah, all this commotion happens while I sleep in. (I felt like I needed to confess that!)

//You can follow her Instagram account for more posts on The Lola Diaries. (If Lola could still speak, she may say):

The Lola Diaries - taking care of your parents at home

Living with Dementia Parent

When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…

Because of Romie’s other full-time job, we get to travel often as a family; we visit his relatives in Manila, Philippines almost every single year. It’s more than just a visit, it’s a chance for family back home to spend as much time as they can with Lola and help make her time as memorable and comfortable as possible. However, sometimes her dementia makes it difficult for her to remember a lot of things she used to know by heart, faces are not quickly identified. The one face she always ask for is Romie’s.

//You can follow her Instagram account for more posts on The Lola Diaries. (If Lola could still speak, she may say):

The Lola Diaries - living with dementia parent

Take Care of Your Parents in their Old Age

When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…

On our last trip back to Thailand I posted this cell phone image and its story from Bangkok, I didn’t realize the impact it would have at the time when I put it on Facebook. I’m still overwhelmed with emotions as I copy the story here: [Get your tissues ready]: My mom (Chitta Nix) was buying drinks at one of the food carts when the vendor and another lady asked her about Romie & Lola … English Translation: “We’ve been watching them the last 10 minutes and in tears to learn that your son-in-law is taking care/feeding his mom. In my 47 years, I’ve never seen anything so sweet. You both are blessed to have him.” (Romie does this every day.)

The post generated 6,500+ views organically. (Wow!) //You can follow her Instagram account for more posts on The Lola Diaries. (If Lola could still speak, she may say):

The Lola Diaries - take care of your parents in their old age