Faced with the specter of diminishing memory, my brother in-law John, together with his wife Carol, stepped up their lifelong passion for creating beautiful new ones.
This year, to mark his 60th birthday, they hosted six separate parties, which allowed them to reconnect with friends and relatives from all over the globe.
“You have to enjoy your family and friends,” John said. “And try every day to look for new adventures.”
An avid athlete, John has biked the 637 miles from Portland to San Francisco, twice. He participated in Ragbrai, a bike ride across Iowa, and traced a path through Idaho, along the Salmon River.
A recent Alzheimer’s diagnosis has led him to make adjustments in the routes he bikes, but not the zest with which he rides them. In fact, while they’re actively seeking all available treatments for this scary disease, neither John nor Carol is allowing it to constrict the big, full lives they lead.
He and Carol, who lived in Germany for a time several years ago, recently returned from a carefully planned, three-week trek through Europe. They spent their time exploring new sites, visiting familiar ones, connecting with old friends and toasting life in general. They enjoyed the trip so much, they plan to go back next summer.
The handiest of men in our large family, John used to relax after driving cross-country from Portland to Illinois by doing fix-it jobs around the houses he visited. He’s bringing that sort of energy to this next phase of his life.
Thankfully, his symptoms – mostly short-term memory loss – seem to have stabilized and he’s been able to turn his attention to the real task at hand – squeezing every moment out of today.
We’d like to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday to John, the Outlaws’ fearless leader. We’re lucky to know you.