It came as a shock to most of us when we heard that our beloved Ascencio Family was to move out of town to relocate to Tennessee at the end of the summer. The initial reaction was unanimously one of disbelief, followed by more disbelief and then denial and sorrow.
During the time that the Ascencios lived in Essex Fells, they managed to deeply touch the hearts of many of us with their genuinely caring and kind ways. Whether you met Carlos or Vasanthi, went to school with Ava and Carter, or chatted with Grandma Consuela, Manu or Vinyasa, you felt the same warm connection and humility.
So, as their friend and photographer, I could not let them leave town without a family photo-shoot, and that is exactly what we did!
Carlos, who is originally from Mexico, and Vasanthi, who was born and raised in Malaysia, invested years into the energy industry in corporate executive positions. They both made a decision to use their expertise and know-how to leave the world a better place than they found, and moved to clean energy companies. This decision alone sums up their idealism, respect for the Earth and life in general, and how thoughtfully they approach those around them.
Being in their circle of friends has been a blessing, joy and source of comfort for the soul…
Of all the places they have lived and worked, including India, Singapore, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, Ghana, Croatia, and Milan, the Ascencios loved Essex fells the best.
They say “This town finally made us feel home. The friends we met in Essex Fells made all the difference. We felt connected and a part of big family. The relationships we developed with some of the friends we met at Essex Fells are going to stay with us forever. We originally picked Essex Fells for the school, however we were blessed to meet folks from different walks of life sharing the same ambitions as we do for our kids and family. We believe this is unique to Essex Fells. It took us a while to make the decision to move, knowing very well that we will miss our friends and this lovely community we live in. So if you ask us what makes Essex Fells special, it’s the PEOPLE!”
For this photo-shoot I met with them in their home at 109 Devon Road (you can see their Zillow listing here), which is now on the market for the next family to join the EF community. Every corner of this house is “home”, with pure loving energy, light and peace that one can feel.
The house has character and warmth, with plenty of open space and daylight pouring in from large windows, and lots of pockets for family time, quiet time and living space. The Ascencios decorated their home with international furniture and some pieces hand-made by Carlos, making every part of the house a meaningful area with memories of their past life and previous homes. Weekends are spent with family and friends, grilling, tending the gardens and kids running around. The sun room, kitchen and garden are their favorite places.
Vasanthi and Carlos have built their lives around family and community, and when you’re here, it is always “Mi casa es su casa”. The kitchen is always open and ready to serve. Vasanthi is pouring out the contents of her fridge for all to share. Manu is readily available to whip up a cake. Carlos is already slicing up the watermelon while the kids are placing the plates and silverware on the table. All this happens before you need to debate if you should stay any longer. You know you are a part of the family. You stay.
Reading, conversations, and sharing quality time are the cornerstones of the Ascencio family. Grandma reads to the children in Spanish. They also have reading time in bed with mom and dad every night. Hanging out, being together, and dining together are daily routines. Everyone helps. Everyone participates in meaningful conversations where wisdom and love reign.
This year they started an organic vegetable garden in the backyard. Grandma surely has the green thumb and manages to bring more avocado seeds to full sprout than anyone else I’ve met. She’s not only Grandma to Manu, Ava and Carter. She is Grandma to all.
The Ascencios have been an integral part of the community, volunteering to help, lead and support whenever possible. Ava and Carter have been valuable members of the Rainbow Elements Club, where our children have partnered on projects like making holiday cards for hospitalized children, collecting donation items for underprivileged local families, and holding team discussions on compassion, kindness and courage. They have impressed me at every meeting with their wisdom and love, way beyond their age.
Vasanthi has been the troop leader for Girl Scout Brownies, and has led the girls into many meaningful projects.
Manu has been a trusted babysitter and caregiver to many families across town, and I know that there will be many Essex Fells children missing her, come September.
As they move out of town, the Ascencios say: “We have been so blessed to meet some of the nicest people ever in EF who have left a mark in our hearts”. They send their thanks to the friends and families who have made their EF life so special and their EFS teachers Mrs. Brutman, Miss Burger and Mrs. Mckenzie, who have helped them through some hard times and mentored the kids with dedication.
Words are not enough to express how much they will be missed. We hope that the next phase of their lives will bring them every happiness and satisfaction they have imagined and more. And we are looking forward to the next time we will be crossing paths again, sharing a meal, a warm hug, and unconditional love.
Good luck, Ascencios, we love you. ¡Hasta la próxima!
The story and photos titled "Farewell Ascencio Family" have been featured in Essex Fells Magazine, in the September 2019 issue.
The Ascencio home on 109 Devon Rd is currently on the market. You can see this beautiful home Zillow listing here.