Today is a special day to me. My dad’s birthday, the 13th of February.
My dad was a very special person, I still feel him near me each day. On a day such as this, I feel him even more than normal. My dad died on the 28th of April 2006, a couple of minutes after I lied him down again. I was with him the last minutes of his life. My mother was waiting in the corridor, looking at us through the window, she wanted to go because she had the feeling my dad was not there anymore. I disagreed with her. I knew that the hearing is functioning till the very last. These minutes with my father and best friend in life have meant the world to me. I have had many conversations with him during his life, about the Light, the Universe and how you want to call the life after death. He never believed in these things, no matter what I told him. He was holding on to the sureness of the belief, to him a self decided fact, that dead meant that everything stopped. I have felt totally stunned by the knowledge that I was thinking in such a different way. Both my mother, father and at least one of my brothers, were totally convinced that I was nuts thinking that death was not the end.
I consider it to be a tremendous gift that was given to me, to be able to guide my beloved dad during his final moments towards the Light. He changed his mind about this all as he collapsed in the arms of my youngest brother, two weeks before his death and was half dead. As he awoke, I was there. And the miracle was that he remembered seeing an enormous white Light, he felt totally intensely happy, so happy as he never felt before. This happiness created an opening to him to let go of us, who he loved so much.
The way things went the last minutes was through a telepathic contact we both felt very strongly. I took my father up and held him to my chest, comforting him and telling him that he could let go. That he would go to The Light he had seen two weeks before. That he was taken care for, that we loved him so deeply, we wanted him to let go of his sick body and free himself by going home. His soul was only attached to his body by a very thin thread, which I felt holding him. I kissed his forehead, caressed his cheek with my hand and told him that I was with him and everything was totally fine. Then I left my best friend ever, for I knew it was the best thing to do at that moment.
Love sometimes is letting go…
Though I deeply miss him each day, I also feel that my father is with me, with us. Today is a special day, I remember my father today in a different way than other days. On this day he was given birth by his mother. A woman who was a total stranger to him. My dad grew up in a non loving atmosphere, with a very dominant father and 13 brothers and sisters. He married my mum at the age of 21, my mother was 18. Then he was sent to Indonesia, directly after the war. He came back in 1948, then they could get married by church and start to live together. Different times with different rules…I can imagine how hard that must have been; being separated for more than three years, but my parents loved each other very much and overcame all difficulties. The effect the war here and later his time in Indonesia had on my father, was huge. Each time before he fell asleep he had to feel his gun, then he could sleep. Of course he did not have a gun under his pillow. But the memory of the gun made him feel safe in a way. It became a ritual he never got rid of ever after. I can remember one time as I was chatting with him at the table, I asked him about Kippy, my dad got silent, looked at me and asked: ‘How do you know that name?’ I did not know what to answer, the name just popped up.
‘Kippey was my friend in Indonesia, he died’ my father said. Then he started to tell about the times he was on guard and how the bullets from a sniper almost killed him. He told me about the river where dead bodies were floating where he and the other soldiers had to repair a bridge. He told me about the time he was working on the railway and snipers attacked the soldiers working there. One bullet went through his hair and he still could feel that happen and the sound of bullets against the rail where he was crawling over to reach safety. (My father served at the 7th December division.) I never knew this, so I asked what more he remembered. He answered me that he did not want to talk about it anymore for these memories were hard to get rid of again. Once he started to dig them up, they kept on coming. The last thing he told me was that they had been eating bread with ants in it. No matter how much you would pat on it, the ants kept on coming. Because my dad was hungry, he decided to eat the bread with ants and all. There were no restrooms there, only a hole in the ground with a beam over it. He had to go to use it, as a very poisonous snake touched his behind and my father took another beam to throw it away with. He was terrified by doing that.
After this he never wanted to talk about it again. But it did give me some idea of what life was like as he was sent out to Indonesia, directly after the war had ended here. He felt as if the government had taken away his life.
‘Not a single person in this world has the power to let you do things you do not want’ he told me. ‘And still I had to go, otherwise I would have been thrown in prison, which was a terrible thing in the days right after the second world war.’ I have thought about the situation he was in a lot. My dad was right about the first thing, no person in the world has power over you, so true. Still, in the moment you have to make a decision, your beliefs can take over. The belief of having no choice. My dad hated war. He was a pacifist, always wanting to help people. This was the real reason he finally did go. He wanted to protect people there and built up a good contact with the people he met there. But after he got back, my father had changed. He judged the system, he judged the government and he hated the war even more. ‘It’s all about power and money’ he told me. ‘This is not the way I want to live, whenever I was sent to a country again, I would refuse.’ After that he developed a very judgmental attitude towards foreign people. Mostly out of fear, you would never know for sure that they would not take over here, because power could be an intriguing challenge for people.
Despite of that or maybe because of that I developed a non judgmental and a very loving attitude to all people, it does not matter when they are black, yellow, white or every other color in between. My house is always opened to all different cultures and nationalities. I decided to do no fear in this. I belief that all people are the same, no matter what their color of skin is or in which country they were born. My father was a very loving person but had several judgmental beliefs which were an example to me. I do not choose to think and base my beliefs on that. Fear brought my father a racist view on life. I do not choose that. So looking back, my father did not only teach me how to live in a loving way, he also showed me the other side of trust, which is fear. A beautiful insight that he has given me without realizing that.
Today I celebrate my father. A man who was always there for us, the father who developed himself to be a warm, trustful and very much loving person who I miss each day. I would have loved to hug him one more time, my dad was a very intense hugger. My father was able to tell me he loved me, his words are still with me: ‘Take care Meertje, (his term of endearment for me), always keep your eyes opened, know that my love is always with you…’
So, when I close my eyes, I can see my dad. I walk to him and I embrace him, I will hug him and tell him that I feel that he is always with me. Today he would have reached the age of 85.
Happy birthday dad, I still love you…