This is one of my favourite photos from Elma's last visit. Elma had some ideas for lemons and pots (and cracked pots), and then I asked if I could write words on the lemons.
The word sterkte is Dutch for strength. It's one of those words that is part of a unique vernacular surpassing time. Amongst Dutchies, when you don't know how else to express comfort or encouragement, you say sterkte.
And the word comes to mind tonight as I reflect on my Oma DeJonge, my dad's mom. Her 90th birthday was this week, and many members of the extended family were going to celebrate today together. But, last night, she had a fall, and her party was replaced with quiet recuperation in her room.
She is a tough cookie. Her life has not been easy. She lived through war in Holland, fell in love with a brave young man whom she met when he hid on her farm from the Nazis. She visited him when he was eventually captured, married him, moved to Canada with him, raised four great kids, and buried him eleven years ago. The details are worth writing into a book.
She often writes me letters because her hearing is not strong for phonecalls. She has always encouraged me, especially in these last five years when our family changed with Rachel and Janneke. She says she doesn't know how we manage with raising two disabled daughters, and I remind her of how she apparently managed with all the incredible stresses in her life.
Sterkte. Lean on the Lord. Put one foot forward. You just do it.
To you, Oma, sterkte.
These last few days have been busy with different things. This week's visit to Mac was quick and simple - I like that. Rachel visited her nephrologist (kidney doc) who seems less concerned about her kidneys now than six months ago. That means we need to visit him once a year instead of twice a year. I like that too.
Here are a couple of photos for fun:
We finally received our second JennSwing! Janneke is thrilled. Really, she is.
Apparently, Advil is now so potent, the factory insists on wrapping the entire bottle with safety wrap (?). (We go through a lot of ibuprofen in this home.)
And sometimes, our suppertime turns into an impromptu soccer clinic: Tonight was the offside rule, brought to you by red peppers, cucs, and carrots.
Peace for your weekend.