~~October 15, 2020~~
“Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts.”
Through the wonderful world of blogging (which I embarked upon about 7 years ago, after my retirement. I met this wonderful guy who lives in The Netherlands. It seems like it was yesterday. Martin was always there with messages of encouragement, sincere and true friendship, future plans. Through him, I ‘met’ Lijda, his forever companion, his wife.
Their love story is like no other!
Years of communicating through this web we traverse daily led to a sincere connection and brotherhood/sisterhood.
Martin is my ‘brother from another mother’.
Today, Martin lost Lijda to physical ailments and conditions which she was unable to conquer. It’s my desire to do a bit here to honor this “Lady in Red“.
For Martin and for Lijda …. here goes!
Monday – June 10th 1996 – N.O.I.Z Homeless shelter Utrecht – 7:00PM
“I am sitting in the office, getting ready to take over from the evening shift to run the night watch. There had been a music festival in town so instead of going home, I had decided to go to the shelter early and crash in the office until my shift would start. I was reading the daily log when outside the window I heard two voices. I knew those voices. They belonged to two of our female guests. Two young ladies both in their late 20’s early 30’s (although they have sworn for years they were 21).
The youngest of the two was Danielle. A hip little smartass that was very capable of finding her way in the jungle of the streets. “I got a love letter from John” she said to the other woman.
“I never get a love letter from anyone” the other woman sighed. The other woman was named Lijda, and the impulsive decision I took at that moment would change my life.
Running a night watch in the shelter was easy for me, I knew all the rules (I actually made them but that is another story) and what was needed to have a quiet night and smooth transition to morning shift. I did my laundry and coffee and walked my rounds. And then had loads of free time, so I took pen and paper and I started to write.
Now… I might be impulsive, I am not an idiot. Even then, you had to be careful how to bring things. So I started the letter very dry ow I had overheard the conversation and had decided to surprise her with a genuine love letter … In the spirit of her having one finally. Stupid move in hindsight but ok.
Then I released the Kraken on her. I pulled every cliché, promised her the moon and the stars, took her on trips to paradise … that kind of letter. After I finished it, I wrote a small p.s telling her that, ok she knew the reason for writing, but if she despite that was interested in maybe a date …
I asked her to marry me two months later, we married 3 years after we got a relationship, 3 years and a day actually.
I do not know what to say. She’s not doing well. I’m afraid I’ll lose it. I’ve prayed and cursed, cried and screamed. I have asked God and the devil for answers. They are not there, it remains silent.
When I came to Lijda today, there was a team around her. I had to wait outside for a while before I was called. Moments later the ward doctor came but instead of answers questions came. Questions that I cannot answer as we no longer live together. There was a suspicion of an epileptic seizure but investigations had to be done and actually they had no idea.
I was allowed to stay with her and she was sleeping. I sat with her for a few minutes until a few specialists came (including a neurologist). I was able to talk to her for a while and I feel that she has heard and answered me.
I was able to tell her how much I love her, how proud I am of her. I was able to tell her she is strong and she can beat this.
I hope she believes me because I’m so terrified.
Dear friends and family,
Unfortunately I had to leave the hospital. I’m completely exhausted both mental and physically. A good friend of ours watches over Lijda. I was there the moment Lidja closed her eyes forever. For now, she hasn’t given up, she is so much stronger than I will ever be,
I hate that I’m gone but I need to be fresh and clear to do her well out later.
Lijda … forgive me!
She is my love, my light. Without her, I am nothing.
~~Published April 22, 2020~~
For My Lady
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