All Saint’s Day, 2014

Today cemeteries are flooded by visitors, the greyness chased away by the bright colours of a zillion chrysanths.

I will not be one of those visitors though.

Two weeks ago I went to say hi to the few dear friends whom passed away much too soon. I also visited my grandfather’s tomb and stayed with him for a few moments. I have wonderful memories of my youth and he is one of those people who made my early years special.

There is nobody else left to visit. My dear Father’s grave and that of my grandmother are long gone and I dispersed my mother’s ashes 7 years ago in a nearby river.
So here I am at home and spending this holiday with Little A. Probably I’ll walk to our cemetery in a couple of days to photograph the decay of the flowers.
On a day like this it is more than any other day about memories of those people who made our lives special. I guess the one I miss the most is my Father. He passed away 42 years ago. He was a great man, loving and caring. He motivated me constantly and showed me so many new things, opened so many horizons for me, encouraged me to think for myself, to be always curious and look at the world with never-ending amazement. He had great plans for me like high school, university and a career as a scientist.

He died aged 64, a few days after my 13th birthday.

I think in his own right my father was a Dominant too. I cannot recall any dispute between my parents. He was a true gentleman and my mother’s god. O how many times did she tell me that, how my Father was her everything. He was her god.

There was a downside to this though. When he passed away he left my mother behind as a clueless woman. She did not even know how to fill in a cheque or a credit transfer document.
Walking back from the cemetery that sunny yet unreal day in June 1972 she told me from that day on I was the man at home.

My mother had to learn everything, she had to make the decisions now and to make sure we all did well. She had to sell the house in the Ardennes my father had constructed as it was not yet finished.
My mother did it all very well.

When getting older one becomes more alone too. I have no parents or grandparents and no nephews, nieces, uncles or aunts. My family is my two lovely daughters and a sister I haven’t seen in years.
For those who made my youth and life so special I bow and say thank you. Thank you Father, mom, Baba and Nana. You all live in my heart and thoughts.


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