The remaining quarter of 2008 passed by pretty fast, dont you think so? december's been pretty hectic for me and the last couple of weeks of december was an emotional one.
I prepared a few gifts for our closest friends for Christmas. some i managed to get them out, and some i didnt. i should really be much more organized next year.. but one special gift, and a special wish was specially for our next door neighbour, the de Vries.
Their house was so quiet since i was stuck indoors with the bug. i did notice that there was less action goin on, no cars going in and out. the blinds in their living room are all the time shut. we normally waive to John from the car or when coming home from ourwalks. but the shutters were down. John and Angelie havent been out walking as well. we havent waived nor have we been saying hellos to any of the de Vries for quite a while.
I have bought another 4 packets of lemongrass for John. knocked on their door but there wasnt an answer. i could sense that something was wrong. a couple of days just before christmas, Rob, their youngest son had told us that John was brought to Leuven Hospital for some complications almost a week ago. the same time i was down with my flu bug.
My spirits went stright down. i went all quiet.
As usual, every christmas eve, we'd always get something for them. we told Rob that we'd pass it for his next visit, which was suppose to be on christmas day. he said that John would want to rest that day (on the eve) and ask for the boys to come on christmas day. we heard them going out that night and didnt see them coming home till the next morning.
On Christmas morning, we woke up and checked if any of their cars are still at home. Hardy went quickly to their house to send the presents to the de Vries. Hardy came home with a numb and sad look on his face. he then broke the news to me gently.
Just after midninght, in the early mornings of Christmas day 25th of December 2008, our dear neighbour, our good friend John de Vries passed away.
I couldnt control my tears.
He was a good man. a very good man. he fought hard. the last month passed by so quickly. and the last time i was with John i remembered we were laughing and smiling. that's how i want to remember him, always. he had been incredibly nice to us. he had been more than welcoming to us. he was like a father figure and he'd always on the look out for us. i will always remember meeting him for the very first time. he was one of the reasons why we bought the house. John was one of the kindest, nicest, warmest, bravest man that i know. we love him dearly and we will miss him and his jokes so so much.
It must be hard on Angelie. i can only imagine how she's feeling. she's been such a rock since John's diagnosis. i honestly, trully admire her. she still smiles her normal smile. she still cares about other things. she's been so so strong throughout. she's unbelievable.
When you're new to a country, you'd want that sense of comfort. you'd want to be and feel safe, you'd want to have the right company, trustable people around you, you'd want to be welcomed. i felt every bit of that from John and his family. i feel so honoured to have gotten to know him.
I'm a very emotional person, and i dont take these kindda news too well sometimes. especially to those who have left such a big impact in my life. seeing his van next door is still difficult for me. Aidan calls out for John everytime he sees the van and everytime he calls for John, i'd cry. i'd have a lump in my throat everytime we mention him. he was such a good man.
Last couple of days, Angelie dropped by. and just before she left, she said something that will always make me smile, and smile even wider when i think of John. she said John loved us. loved us very much.
I just didnt have the mood to blog since. i havent even been checking my emails. i wanted to put up a post wishing happy holidays to all but that and with some other news i needed to feel better first. I sincerely hope and pray that all of us will have a better year, filled with lots of happiness, joy, good, fun and fond memories and of course good health. thanks guys for reading. i'll upload some winter photos for us to smile soon! i'm off to get meself a box of tissues now and enjoy our white scenary form our window!