My Mom JULY 6, 2021
One year ago today my Mom passed away. It was not a surprise to the family nor to her; she was ready and she wanted to go. She had done all she wanted to do; seen all she wanted to see; and, she’d been everywhere she wanted to be.
Since her passing, a lot has happened. Her descendants have all survived the Covid Era. A grandchild carries her name. Other grandchildren have graduated or almost graduated from post secondary careers choices and some are entering trades training. The estate settled quickly; the condo sold quickly; our celebration of her life went beautifully.
My mom was a Dutch immigrant and proudly became a Canadian Citizen in 1963, as did my dad, my older brother and me.
In 1957, when we moved to Canada, Mom had a tough time adjusting to the language and new country. It was her first time away from her parents and friends, and her first time in a foreign land where she had no choice but to learn English and make new friends. It was a very tough time for her, but she persevered.
I still remember her ESL textbook and how hard she worked to prepare for that ‘scary’ Canadian Citizenship exam. I remember my dad driving from North Bend to the court house in Chilliwack to face the Citizenship Court judge who had the power to say yeah or nay to our application. We were all dressed up to the nines and it was a very quiet drive. The shiny varnished benches of that courthouse still stand out in my mind. The man at the bench, dressed in robes and a funny hat, was like a God and our future was in his hands.
We all passed the test and my parents were each given a bible with an encryption that read: “We pray that God may bless you and those dear to you in the land which has become your home.” My brother and I were given our Certificate of Citizenship.
My mom did eventually get used to living here in Canada mainly because she knew she would never be going back to The Netherlands — at least not to live. She eventually felt settled and happy to be here, making friends and, late in the 20th Century, enjoying long distance phone calls with her parents, brother, relatives and friends she left behind. Then, later in life, she learned how to use email and FaceTime, and playing E-Scrabble with her adult children. Her iPAD became a real joy for her.
Mom had a long and diverse life but the road just became a bit too long with health issues, loss of loved ones and friends too. She saw a lot; enjoyed a lot. She proudly saw her four children grow up and develop their own lives.
I feel her around me now and then, especially when I look at her knitted dolls or remember her sitting on a bench at Hammond Pool watching my sister and I enjoy an aquafit class outdoors. I will always feel her close by when I spend my time in Aruba — a vacation place she loved more than any other; a place she visited every year for at least 35 years.
RIP mom — you did well, and we are all doing well too.