It’s July 28, 2008.
On July 28, 1917, in Gouda, The Netherlands, Jacoba Postma, my mother, was born. The fourth of nine children, to the bridge- (and lock-) -keeper, Jan Postma and Betty Schoonens.
After a long period of slowly drifting further and further into Alzheimers, she passed away 4 May, 2004.
When they were young teenagers, she’d been sent out to meet my father, (born 14 July, 1917, in Gouda,) by her younger sister, when he came to call, in the 1930s and stayed together the rest of her life.
As I got out of my car, when taking a friend of my mother’s to visit my father, in the retirement village, last week, the friend told me, across the roof of the car:
You look so much like your mother. Even your mannerisms!
A few months ago, the neighbour who lives opposite and whose wife can observe me from their kitchen window, told me that she had said:
(As he get older) he looks more and more like his mother, every day!
It has kind-of, pulled me up. It’s not a bad thing. I’ve always been pleased to have inherited the olive skin, the talent ? in art, the love of literature and possibly the enjoyment of being around kids (Although the teaching instinct, I reckon, comes from the paternal side.) from my mother.
I’m not surprised that my parents teamed up so early and stayed together for three quarters of a century. They did complement each other, so well.
He invited everybody.
She catered and coped.
She told people the truth.
He smoothed over anything that might have been said more diplomatically.
He made the decisions.
She went along with them and let him have the limelight.
When they were retired, he watched t.v..
She read books but always together.
For a long time he liked doing puzzles and listening to talk-back radio.
She made the coffee.
To avoid misunderstandings, he did the vacuuming; the washing of the clothes and was definitely the handyman, who fixed things, with a bit of wire, a hammer and some nails.
They would have liked the other two baby boys that followed me, to have survived, like I did.
They were so pleased when the two grandchildren came along.
Today the lady who told me I had my mother’s mannerisms will be thinking of her.
They worked together for a number of years, for two doctors.
I suspect that sometimes the things that my mother said, in those years, didn’t always sit well but they got on so well.
My mother took the friend to the Netherlands and they visited the U.K., together and, I know that this friend will today be thinking of the fun they had, together, including meeting the, if not slightly eccentric, at least extroverted, relatives.
I won’t tell my father it’s the 28th of July, today.
Twice, recently, I’ve been told that ~ now that I am older ~ I look so much (more) like my mother. Mmmmmmm. Today would have been her birthday.