Saturday, July 25, 2009

For my dad...

I'd like to thank you all for the expression of your sympathies in every way possible in the past week. You have reached CS and me through e-mail, a short note on Facebook, personal and also via the blog and it helped us to stand strong at my father's funeral. Your energy has contributed to write and speak the eulogy at the moment of the final goodbye.

This one is for my dad. Thank you dad, for all you have done! We'll meet again some day and catch up on lost times.

Eulogy for my dad:
My father Robert, to many known as „Bob“, was born on the 21st of March 1932 in Bandung, Indonesia. He grew up in Indonesia and during World War II he spent a long time in a Japanese POW camp. When he was 16 years old he made his first long journey, travelling from Indonesia to Holland, where he lived all of his life.

Sunday, 19th of July 2009 he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. During the preparations for the funeral the question was asked, who would speak in his memory. I stand here before you and I’d like to inform you that this speech can take some time. We have reserved the auditorium for the coming three hours, so I suggest you sit back and relax. No, just kidding, it has absolutely not been easy to find the right words. What can you say about a man who never wanted to be the centre of attention? What words do you use when your father has always stayed in the background? Pa definitely hated being the in the centre so I’ll keep it short.

Whenever we had a party, Pa was the one to sit in a quiet corner where he could see everything, hardly talked to the people and enjoyed all of it in his own way. We often asked him whether he enjoyed the party and he always answered: “Oh yes, I’m having a great time”. He was the one to sit around quietly without speaking much.

Pa was a man who always worried about his family. His family was his first, and it appeared to be, his only priority. His family meant everything to him and for his family he would do everything possible within his powers. That wasn’t always easy as he also was a proud man who’d rather not accept the help of other people. He struggled he way though life, always took care of his family and supported his children in everything they did. Even though he didn’t agree with everything.

In spite of his quiet character he was a very emotional person. In the earlier days we haven’t seen that often, but the older he grew, the more his emotional character took over. An occasion where the emotional character really showed was directly after he retired. His former colleagues had organised an surprise dinner. For my dad something totally unexpected and that was one of the moments you good clearly see how emotional he really was. The silent man with the big emotions...

Other times my dad and I talked about the future. Now you may wonder: what future? Actually we then discussed the moment he wouldn’t be with us anymore. He told me he that he had arranged for ma to be left behind without worries. A talk like that always ended with tears and once more he showed how important his family was to him, and his emotions showed again.

In the last years of his life pa suffered from a chronic pulmonary disease from which we knew he wouldn’t recover. His illness often limited him in his mobility, so ma often went out alone to just go for a walk or some shopping. At a certain moment we proposed to dad to rent a wheelchair or get one organised. Then again his pride showed as he thought it was absolutely not necessary to sit in a wheelchair. We used a bit of force and emotional black mail and we then were able to persuade him. After that moment it didn’t take long for him to find out it was actually very convenient to be driven around. We have lived through funny moments with pa and his wheelchairs. There were times we had to laugh so much that we laughed tears.

From now on we will laugh when we memorise, but we’ll do that without him.We have to let dad go for his last long journey. A journey in which he will not leave his footsteps anymore. Those footsteps are in our thoughts and in our hearts. On 19th of July he deceased and slipped away from us the way he lived his life: Quietly and without words…

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Farewell Pa - March 21 1932 - July 19 2009

Our dearest Pa (aka "Bob"), Ox's Dad passed away last Sunday, July 19, 20:35hrs, CEST (Central European Summer Time).

Pa was a very quiet man who preferred to sit "behind the scene" and enjoy, more than to be the center of attraction. Many didn't understand it, but he truly had a good time. His family always had utmost priority. ALWAYS.

We got a call from Harry, OX's brother-in-law, at about 9.45am on Sunday telling us that he was on his way to Pa & Ma's, because Pa was not feeling well. Like two other of his late brothers, he had been suffering of emphysemea for a few years already, but all was under control and stable.

The doctor came over and shortly after, he called an ambulance and Pa was taken to the hospital and put directly in the ICU. By 11.30am, we knew it was critical, so we booked flights to A'dam and arranged for Dale to be taken care of. We made it in time to see him, and although he was heavily sedated and sleeping, we knew that he knew that we were by his side. He was released to "freedom" at 20.30 pm the same day. Best of all - if there is such a thing in this case - was that he let go while his family (Ma, Orange-X & Bren, Harry and I) were by his side. He passed away silently and without pain, just as he had lived his life. I thank the Gods for having had that chance - to really say goodbye and accompany someone you love to the other side.

It's been a rough week for both of us, and I hope you'll forgive me for posting this so late.

Finally, he can rest in peace. He will be dearly missed. We love you, Pa.

PS: I also want to thank Mr & Mrs. TBF for taking care* of Dale during these difficult times, but also for the cat sitting during our holidays in Canada.

*Knowing how much he'll be spoiled, I hope he'll want to come back to us!