Celebration

… There’s a party goin’ on right hereA celebration to last throughout the yearsSo bring your good times and your laughter tooWe gonna celebrate your party with youCome on now Yesterday would have been Mom and Dad’s 64th wedding anniversary; given Dad would have been 89 and Mom 93, the chances of celebrating the occasion wereContinue reading “Celebration”

Ahead by a century

“Your uncle would have been a product of his time.” The statement weighs heavy as the last line of my notes from an afternoon of conversation with Fr. Cor Schilder, appointed as our host on a visit to Mission House Vrijland, a retirement home for Dutch Mill Hill missionaries in Oosterbeek, the Netherlands. Fr. KeesContinue reading “Ahead by a century”

Just don’t call me late for dinner

My name is Henricus Gerardus Decock, at least according to my birth certificate. Those who know me are raising an eyebrow; those reading the “About” page are confused, understandably. I seldom refer to myself in that manner. According to the website, behindthename.com , “Henricus is the Latinized form of Heinrich. As a Dutch name, itContinue reading “Just don’t call me late for dinner”

Pics or it didn’t happen

The ubiquity of digital and cell phone photography has translated into the accumulation of thousands of photographs by individual people, many shared through some form of social media, the bulk stored on the devices themselves or on terabyte size hard drives. There is no risk in continually pressing the button. Mistakes, blurriness and bad anglesContinue reading “Pics or it didn’t happen”

Return to Sender

Today would have been Dad’s 89th birthday. Petrus Gerardus Cornelius Aloysius de Cock was born on this day, November 27, 1932 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Return to Sender is a story about my writing to him up until his death at a long term care home in Wallaceburg, April 2, 2019. The notes began whenContinue reading “Return to Sender”

“Now we must tend to our garden.”

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect So hard to earn, so easily burned In the fullness of time A garden to nurture and protect I love gardens in the spring for the promise they evoke, the perennial peek into the future, the hope for a beautiful and healthy bloom.Continue reading ““Now we must tend to our garden.””

Alone. Away. Anon.

The photographs were hidden in clear sight. You never talked about them and I never asked. You pose in a floral printed dress of red and green, lipstick and earrings to match. The picture was taken from inside the room looking out, photographer bending slightly to capture an upward look through the patio door ofContinue reading “Alone. Away. Anon.”

Sisters

Several pages in a photo album dedicated to my mother and her siblings is populated with photographs of my Tante Lina from her time as a missionary nun in the Congo. Whereas my father would describe particular stories of my Uncle Kees related to his time in Uganda, I cannot recall anything similar about TanteContinue reading “Sisters”

All I’ve got is a photograph

One of my projects in retirement has been to digitize and organize our family collection of photographs. The idea arose after my Dad’s passing last year. Everyone in the family had gathered their favourite pictures for the screen display at the the funeral home, played on a loop for all the visitors. At the sameContinue reading “All I’ve got is a photograph”

Please don’t call me Sir

I had more faith in my father’s second “fact” about Uncle Kees being recognized by the Queen. I had doubts, however, having never seen any evidence. I am unclear about the basis of my father’s faith, whether or not my parents had seen any pictures or were simply repeating the information as relayed to themContinue reading “Please don’t call me Sir”