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Love All Ages Photo Contest

Stories from the Winners

Julia Ruscio
This past year, I have had the opportunity to get to know and learn from an older adult, Mrs. Smith*, over the game of pickleball. Our common interests include sports, competition, and being active. My experience playing with her has transformed my perspective towards aging both physically and mentally. Recently I recovered from a sports-related injury that prevented me from being active. After getting to know Mrs. Smith, I learned about a similar injury that she had also endured and her ability to persevere forward. Mrs. Smith has become my inspiration through her resiliency to pursue her later life goal of staying active by continuing to play the game of pickleball. Gaining this additional perspective has put to rest the constant pressure I feel to perform, and instead I have learned to play for myself and my own enjoyment. Thanks to Mrs. Smith, I have a newfound appreciation for intergenerational activities. Such activities should remain a priority for individuals of all ages, as these opportunities build connections, friendships, and offer learning possibilities for all. Pickleball has become more than just a game to me, but has offered a lasting friendship and lifelong lessons.
Sandra Tang
I can’t remember the exact date, but it was in July of 2020 when my kids and I went to visit my parents for the day. We went to the park and started playing on the playground. He may not look like it but my dad was 61 years old and he was climbing and jumping around with my kids. As a concerned daughter, I kept telling him to slowdown or stop jumping in case he gets hurt, but he refused, and thought I was nagging too much. After watching them play and helping them take pictures to capture the moment, I realized that I was worrying for nothing. My dad knew exactly what he was capable of and was having the best time with his grandchildren. Playing with his grandchildren brought him so much joy that as long as he had the energy, he will not stop. Something I learned that day was that no matter how old you are, you just want to have fun and create memories with the people you love. My parents tell me that they always look forward to the next time they see their grandchildren because it allows them to do activities they don’t usually do and they have fun together. From that day onward, I made sure we visited them as much as we could and have fun family outings together!
Romelency Melendres
This photo was taken last year during my vacation in the Philippines after 4 yrs of working abroad (Canada). It was one of my best photos taken during that time. It gave me good vibes and so much happiness seeing my grandparents so happy to bond with us through music. I would say that one of the biggest lessons the Covid-19 pandemic taught me is to appreciate the people I have in my life because as we know tomorrow is never promised and that, not all the people we have today will still be with us tomorrow especially our grandparents. So I am truly grateful that I got the opportunity to spend our time together to create fun and beautiful memories that we can always look back to.

My cousins and I always look forward to weekend as we get to visit our grandparents’ house. We always have fun every time we visit them.Aside from the delicious meals that my grandma cooks and prepares for us, one thing we enjoy and love to do is to bond through music. My cousins and I loves to sing while my grandfather plays a guitar for us. My grandmother will also sing all along with us and it will always a great time for us having fun while making great memories with.This gives us solid connection to our family. As long as music exists we will always feel the vibes that we have felt together with them.Also,it is nice to see that even in this age of modern technology(gadgets), the youngsters in our family still prefers to spend their time with us and appreciate the people and the little things that truly matters.
Tyler Christian Redublo
Here you can see my grandmother Alicia (who my family and I call “Mum”) and her 4 grandchildren- Aaron, Tyler, Olivia and Mikaela- who are also her young caregivers. This picture was taken on Mum’s 89th birthday. At the time we were socially isolated from our loved ones, so we stayed in and spent quality time with each other playing games like Bingo, singing songs, and eating delicious home-cooked Filipino food. Mum has been living with Alzheimers and dementia for over 12 years now. Despite the challenges our family has faced with her health condition, this picture is a perfect representation of the intergenerational love, support, and unity that we perpetually provide to one another.

There is often a negative stigma surrounding the aging population, and in particular, the dementia community. Unjust and misinformed beliefs about aging individuals- being incapable, burdensome, and disconnected- are extremely damaging and stigmatizing.

It was important for us to share our family’s story because we wanted to depict how an 89-year old woman living with dementia can still live a graceful, fulfilling, and meaningful life. As a young Filipino woman and single mother, she bravely moved to Canada and created a home filled with opportunities for her daughter Judy, and her grandchildren. Through her experiences, she taught us how to be resilient in achieving our goals, while also remembering to treat everyone with respect and empathy; as if they were a part of our own family. In addition, this image represents the significance of intergenerational understanding and cooperation. Mum provided each of us with nurturing, compassionate care, and instilled her values, cultural roots, and loving spirit into each of us. Now, as she grows older, our roles have switched! However, together, we continue to learn about the world through each other’s unique experiences and perspectives.

What I love about pictures is that they capture moments and emotions in time. So even though Mum may not remember her 89th birthday, our family can look back fondly on this image and relive that special moment. Her legacy continues to live on through us and the many people she inspired through her selfless actions. I know that she is proud of the people that we are becoming.
Alizah Merali
There is no one else in the world that embodies ‘age is just a number’ more than my Dad. From the clothes he wears (rocking ripped jeans better than me!), the hobbies he has (biking, hiking and rollerblading without breaking a sweat) and the jokes he tells (50% of which get him in trouble with my Mom..) – he embodies young at heart and is my favourite person to adventure with.

Last year, we had the chance to go on another adventure – fulfilling our lifelong dream of skiing in the Swiss Alps! This was particularly special because 20+ years ago, he taught me how to ski at Blue Mountain – and this was quite the upgrade! He hadn’t skied in a long time, but instead of fearing that he was “too old” or “too inexperienced”, he was as excited as ever to take the gondola ride up 3300m and ski down the beautiful valleys of Verbier, Switzerland.

During this trip I learned 2 things from my Dad:
  1. Live life to the fullest – be spontaneous and always have a child-like curiosity
  2. If you’re scared to do it, it’s probably worth doing (or… at least doing with a helmet)

While we may be from different generations (sorry to break it to you Dad…), we love to do the same things – explore the outdoors, travel, ski, make jokes – the list goes on. The time we spend together lets us learn from one another and share memories that will last a lifetime.
Rachelle Patille
My grandmother and I would dance. Whether that was in the living room, kitchen, or outdoors. Here we are dancing on the backyard deck at my childhood home in the summer sun back in 2019. When we danced, she of course led. I was brought closer to her as she taught me something new yet again. She was my best friend. It’s been almost a year since she has been with us. Since I was both I’ve been learning from her, sharing special moments like this one with her. From getting our hands dirty in the garden to cooking to learning how to be a good person primarily based on her life experiences. It was part of my weekly and sometimes daily life, which was facilitated by my parents and then as the years went on, myself. Over the course of 23 years, she has taught me all the fundamental aspects of true human nature. Today, I carry that with me and apply these learnings every day in my work and my personal relationships. Through her wisdom I have not only decided to lead my life with her lessons but my career to this day has been inspired by her as I study intergenerational relations. I know that the power of intergenerational relationships is like no other. I can’t wait until my grandmother, and I meet again and get to share a dance where she will continue to lead the way.
Sabina Vohra-Miller
The South Asian culture very much revolves around food. Food is what grounds us, what brings us together, what nurtures our body, mind, and soul. In India, multiple family members typically cook meals together. We now live in Mississauga, and during Covid, our house turned into a multi-gen housing with my dad moving in with us. And of course, that meant often cooking meals together.

My love for cooking came from my parents, who showed me that a delicious meal is part love and part labour. My dad is pushing on 70, yet he wakes up most mornings and kneads fresh dough for his breakfast. In this picture, we are making aloo paranthas, a quintessential Punjabi dish. My father is stuffing spiced potato into freshly kneaded dough and rolling it out, while I smear it with ghee and pan fry it on an Indian griddle called a tava. And then we sit around the dining table and break bread together.