Well, what do you know. It is BLOG day. Must be Thursday. Holy Thursday at that. The Easter Season is drawing to a close with the most IMPORTANT events yet to happen. Funny how much energy goes into preparing for Christmas as opposed to Easter, whilst Easter is THE BEGINNING! Never mind, like I said it is Holy Thursday and time to reflect on what that day represented. The last supper together as a group! I think we can all imagine a time when we enjoyed a " last supper" with someone that no longer is a part of "the group". Someone who has died, moved or just taken a different road. We do out- grow people....my dad said so! and I believe him.
The last Supper I immediately think of is the last meal I had with everyone when I left NZ for good. It ended with a carrot cake newly labelled by Bruce in a not so flattering name. That meal was so heavily laden with emotions, anger, questions and yes laughter and memories!! Last suppers are special.
Last might I went to a " last supper". For nearly 3 years I worked closely with Ellen. Ellen was a teacher at my last school. She was to retire. Looked forward to it with enthusiasm and a keenness which was catching. From the school age of 5 till her pensioen, Ellen had been a " schoolgirl".
Her life had been one bearing all sorts of sizes crosses. Some light some hugely ( unfairly?) heavy! The love of her life appeared to have been born with a gen defect that affected his brain. It was hereditary. It manifested itself at a later stage.They had no children because of it. Ellen nursed her husband till it became impossible to do that at home. He was placed in a care home. A young and life loving woman, she took her vow seriously and was a daily visitor and minder of her husband. After he died (2002) Ellen found a new love... someone who had actually been a part of her circle of friends but she had never really " noticed" him. He had noticed her however. Already longtime divorced and father of 2, he and Ellen started building up a new life together.
Gert worked in Suriname best part of the year as engineer. Twice a year he would spend some time at their home in Gorinchem and twice a year Ellen would "stay" at their home in Suriname.
Then came the pension period. Ellen and Gert re-organised their schedules...Ellen remodelled their home in Suriname for longer stays. Part of the year in the warm sunny and colourful climate in Suriname and part of the year with family and friends in Gorinchem.
On the 13th of February I received a mail stating that Ellen was in hospital here in Gorinchem. She wasn't well and sought medical advice. Within the week she learned her situation was hopeless. Yes chemo for life extension, but no cure. Last Thursday she slipped into a coma and Saturday her body gave up the battle.
Along with other former colleagues I went to farewell her. The cremation is to take part today with only family. We were given the opportunity to see Ellen and say our personal goodbye which I did.
How beautiful she looked. Serene in a natural sort of way, almost like she was to open her eyes and say " tricked you!" No sign of the health struggle she had endured anywhere in sight.
We sat at tables, drank and ate together. Our last supper.
Thank you for your laughter
for the meals we shared
For the wines we drank
For the secrets shared
For the advice you gave
For your love for the children
Ellen thank you for being you!