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15 october 2009 – 15 october 2011

October 13, 2011

Gone are the days we used to share

But in our hearts you’re always there

Never more than a thought away

Loved and remembered every day

 

Geen dag dat we niet over je praten

Geen dag dat we niet aan je denken

Geen dag dat we je niet missen

 

Christine en Jaap

Marjolijn en Gilbert

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15 October 2009 – 15 October 2010

October 14, 2010

We like to share this poem of Debbie Ann Walters with you.

REMEMBER ME
To the living I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry I was cheated.
But to the happy, I am at peace.
And to the faithful, I never left.
I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore,
Gazing at a beautiful sea
Remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty
Forest and its grand majesty
Remember me.
As you look upon a flower and
Admire its simplicity
Remember me.
Remember me, in your heart, your thoughts,
And your memories of the times we loved,
The times we cried, the times we fought,
The times we laughed.
For if you always think of me,
I never have ever gone.

Jaap and Christine Boschman

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1 september 2010

August 22, 2010

Dit jaar op 1 september zou Peter 50 jaar zijn geworden, als hij de strijd 10 maanden geleden niet had verloren van een hersentumor.

Als klein jongetje werd zijn verjaardag gevierd met de hele familie, hij was het eerste kleinkind. En op de woensdagmiddag na zijn verjaardag kwamen zijn schoolvriendjes op zijn “partijtje”, waar spelletjes werden gedaan en dat werd afgesloten met worstjes en frites. In die tijd een hele traktatie.

Later, op eigen benen, besloot hij zijn verjaardag op de dag zelf met Monling te vieren en met ons zessen zo rond 1 september ergens te gaan dineren. Dat werden intieme, gezellige en vrolijke etentjes, waar wij allemaal erg van genoten. Monling en Peter hadden een restaurant ontdekt in Haarlem en dat werd zo’n beetje ons vaste adres. Wij volgden al gauw zijn voorbeeld en de laatste jaren vierden we allemaal onze verjaardag op deze wijze, tot ieders genoegen.

Nu is dit verleden tijd, Peter is niet meer bij ons, maar de traditie blijft doorgaan. Ook dit jaar aten wij met z’n vijven op onze verjaardagen met elkaar, niet in Haarlem maar in Schoorl en in Almere. Daar brachten we een toast uit op onze zoon.

Hoe het dit jaar op 1 september zal gaan weten we nog niet, dat zal gaan in overleg met Monling. Maar al blijft er een stoel leeg en is ons verdriet groot, we zullen een glas heffen op de man, waar we zo veel van hielden en zo trots op waren. En dan denken we aan alle mooie herinneringen. Proost Pjôtje.

Christine en Jaap Boschman

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100 days – A swimming pool of tears

January 21, 2010

(by Monling on 21 January 2010)

I came back to Amsterdam on 03/Jan. after staying 3 weeks in Taiwan. What was waiting for me is the coldest winter since 29 years. My boiler (for both warm water and heating) was broken and the temperature downstairs was only 5 centigrade when I arrived at my home. It’s not too difficult to fix it with the help of my parents in law, just filling water into the radiator. But 10 days later it’s broken again when I was taking a shower! Well, it’s kind of sauna, I tried to comfort myself with imagination. Luckily a machinist was just in the neighborhood, thank God my boiler could be fixed within one hour after I phoned the service center.

Last week the floor heating downstairs went on a strike. The machinist couldn’t find the reason except advising me putting new batteries to the sensor box. I have moved my laptop to the 1st floor since back from Taiwan so actually I don’t need to use the space downstairs, but I must let heating run for several hours everyday to avoid water pipe getting frozen. Peter used to stay downstairs after being discharged from Rehabilitation Center (RCA), his limited motor function might cause danger for him to walk stairs, for 15 months downstairs was his bedroom and our living room. Because of his illness the last year of his life he could hardly stand coldness, we kept floor heating on through almost whole year except few weeks in summer time. How can he cope with such freezing winter as this one? Oh, he doesn’t have to suffer from it anymore. Thinking of it gives me a little relief.

What did we do last winter and the winter before? Jan. 2008, Peter was busy with getting over his claustrophobia to enable himself go through MRI, MEG, fMRI treatments. Jan.2009 the chemotherapy started. Those days running between home, hospital and rehabilitation center seem far away, those days life full of stress, anger and disappointment, as the words he often used on his blog to describe his situation : sore, splitting headache, lingering pain, fragile, etc. should be forgotten, and I hope that they’ll never come back to my life. But Jan. 2008 we also celebrated my birthday in a restaurant called ML (same as my initials, but this restaurant has disappeared ), the winter before that, we walked together on the snow, and Jan. 2006 we’re looking for a suitable apartment in Milan to start our new life in Italy.

Not only these, those trips we made, those places we visited, those meals I prepared for him and he enjoyed, those days we spent with each other. I didn’t have to say something but he always understood me, he always allowed me to be childish , he always apologized first if we had a quarrel even though it’s my fault, he always let me do whatever I wanted to, he always let me choose the restaurant or movies to go, he always held my hands when we walked. I couldn’t stop shedding tears while missing him, what wonderful life he gave to me, I have forever lost the man who loved me most. I’ve now nothing except memories.

Peter and I had our own language. It’s mixed English, Chinese, Dutch, Japanese and Italian. We used some strange words only we could understand when we didn’t want other people listen to our conversation. I’m now talking it to myself, to him also, but getting no response, I feel myself being left behind in a deserted world.

I phoned to cancel his credit card and found the fact that my card would be cancelled as well because I had the side card of his. We had been using it since 1987, paid with it as often as possible to save award points, And it was combined later with Airlines’ membership card. During those years Peter traveled weekly on business he could save a lots of award miles which were enough for us both having several round trips to Asia. One of my hobbies that time was claiming missing miles. The termination of the card also means the end of the happiest time of my life, but should I be satisfied because at least I once have had it.

A doctor who is famous for performing euthanasia was chosen as the Amsterdammer of the year. His name is van Oijen, he was also called “doctor death” when such treatment had not yet been legalized in Holland. It’s amazing. I never thought “euthanasia” would mean anything to me until Peter chose to have it. The winning of Dr. van Oijen made me so moved and I believe that Peter passed in the way full of dignity. The earthquake happened in Haiti last week, so many victims are still lying under collapsed buildings. I cried while watching TV and it’s the first time I cried not because of Peter’s death. Peter could have his last moment be surrounded by family, and depart in the peace without pain. His remain could be donated for medical science as per his wish. Comparing to many people in suffering, we were blessed.

Peter was few months younger than I, so from the moment he was born until the moment he left I was always somewhere in this world. He never lived in a world without me. I told him it before he departed, he smiled and said that he felt very safe. It’s a relief because I’m the one who has the grief and the loneliness, I wouldn’t let him experience it for even only one split second. He has left for 14 weeks, in 2 days it’ll be 100 days. In Taiwan the bereaved family will be out of mourning after 100 days. Isn’t it the time that I should try to reduce the volume of my tears from a swimming pool to a bathtub……?

Peter, thank you very much for teaching me how to download songs from YouTube and then copy them to iPod, you did it just 3 months before you left and it’s so appreciated. Frits, thank you very much for the iPod sized as a stamp, I use it everyday. My favorite song this moment is sung by Kazumasa Oda :

Some of the text is really beautiful.
(Japanese) English translation
(kimi no tameni) For you
(tsubasa ni naru) I become the wing
(kimi o mamori tsutsukeru) keep on protecting you
(yawarakaku kimi o ) for you
(tsutsumu) I become that wind
(ano kaze ni naru) gently wrap you

That’s what Peter is doing now.

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In memorial of Payt by Bas

November 18, 2009

Payt was my buddy; he was a warm friendly social dynamic guy who enjoyed the simple things in life. In his approach to people he was open, funny and without attitude. He created a nice group of friends, family and colleagues around him and always stayed in touch. Payt was a perfectionist who worked hard, was very loyal and had his things prepared. People loved him because of his humanness and his wide interest in cultures, habits, food (especially cheese) and places.

I met Payt in Italy (Milan) when he worked for us in the H3G project. He was able to solve things and get along with the customer easily. We both had respect for each other’s job and went out for dinner one night. That night we ate Tuscan food in Ristorante Dalla Zia in Milan. We both got along pretty well and went for a drink in anear bar. The thing I remember was that we were laughing the whole night and had a great conversation. I worked with Peter since and we became very good friends over the years.

Payt was my soul mate and we shared lot of things together.

Payt was a pure and simple guy. He wasn’t impressed by material possessions; he couldn’t care less. He was able to lead and cheer a group as friend, manager and coach. People never felt a distance to him and folks often surrounded him. What I admired in Peter was that he was very social and really kind. He always went the extra mile for me not only at work but especially in private matters. With Payt as a friend you always knew there was somebody besides you, somebody you could rely on or ask for advice. When I was house-bound due to a knee surgery he came to visit me in Rome several times to catch up. I really appreciated this.

And spending time with Payt was guaranteed fun.

In July 2007, Payt and I went out in Rome. We started with a great Italian dinner (Payt veggies of course) with a nice Barolo. After two bottles we thought to have a beer on Piazza Navona but ended up in a street where there wasn’t beer so we started to drink caparinha’s. But at 02:00 the pub closed and we had to go home…so we walked back to the car and passed a discotheque. I wanted to impress Payt (in my city) so talked us inside by chatting with the bouncer and skipped the line. We were laughing all the time and Payt started to introduce himself to everybody in the joint. We were standing in a narrow corridor and everybody who passed got a hand of Payt. The situation became hilarious because he didn’t stop and introduced himself (“Hello my name is Peter!”) again and again to the same people. At a certain point he asked me how well I was in fighting because he had the feeling to get smacked in the face very soon. We laughed and left the building early morning… Unfortunately we couldn’t find the car any more and after two hours walking through downtown we decided to take a taxi which we had to do in the first place of course but we weren’t that clear at that point. Around 07:00 we arrived at my home and discovered that Peter had to leave because his plane was leaving at 08:15 or something… It was one of the best nights out in my life and I will never forget the fun we had that evening.

Not only his funny behaviors but also his stories cracked me up.

In February 2008, Payt and I went for a golf weekend in Barcelona. At that time the tumor was already recognized and he was waiting for his surgery to remove the tumor. We played on a small golf course. Payt hadn’t played for almost twenty years but was able to get around pretty well. He told me the story why he quit golfing. When he was living in Japan he played golf one day and wasn’t in a good shape. His balls were flying everywhere and he got frustrated and more frustrated each hole. At a certain point he lost his temper and wacked the golf clubs in the pond! He was so angry with himself that he quit playing straight away; he had enough of it! When he told me the story tears of laughter were rolling over my face. What an incredible guy…

Besides good laughter we of course had long and serious talks about his illness that weekend.

We always easily switched between serious and fun topics in our conversations. As we say in Dutch; “a laugh and a tear go hand in hand together”. Payt’s ability to simplify complex matters combined with good recommendations helped me out in many cases. I’m grateful for his wise advice and insight in life matters.

Payt wanted to be in control all the time but unfortunately his illness wasn’t something he could manage. He fought for two years and was optimistic most of the time but it was a long and unfair battle. His body was ill while he wanted to live and finish the things he started. He wanted to finish his “to-do list of life” and to recover from the cancer but it didn’t work out that way. We had many conversations about the end and his death, which was sometimes difficult to accept. The last conversation I had with him was on the 5th of October 2009 at his bed where we discussed the “last mile”. He told me, he was done with his life, he was tired…very tired. At first when the cancer was discovered he was scared to die…he couldn’t accept that this was it. He was too young; he still had so many plans. But he won the battle; he walked up the mountain and reached the summit. He overcame his fear of dying and got in peace with himself. He told me that walking downhill (actual dying) was just a logistical little problem… We said goodbye to each other and I knew this was the last time I would see him alive. My buddy was done with his beautiful life and he did it his way. I will seriously miss him! I deeply respect him.

Bas Lemmens, Australia

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Farewell to Peter by Marcus

November 17, 2009

I first met Peter during a Godelinde high-school camp. We slept in tents, Peter sharing with a fellow student, Eddy. Peter had brought along a self-made, very loud alarm which ran on batteries. We had a full schedule with several assignments and games. But there was also a free morning. This particular morning Peter switched on his alarm, hid it very well and left the campsite. The noise sent the rest of the group mad and they had to look for the damned alarm. My interest was aroused, who was this crazy, irritating boy.

We shared classes for two years. We had to write our reports of the chemistry experiments at home and hand them in at school. Peter and I made a sport of returning these reports in as funny a way as possible. At first we were careful and used a lot of wrapping paper and tape but we became cheekier. Peter once made a plaster cast of the report and returned it as a solid piece of plaster. Our teacher, Jaap Noordeloos, could appreciate the joke. After he had checked the report he returned it in a most original way; in a pipe-tobacco can – soldered shut.

At the Godelinde high school Peter started writing letters for Amnesty. He was interested in the charity but it was also a way to please our Dutch teacher, Rob Perrée. Peter kept on writing, not only for Amnesty. This is how he made contact with Mon Ling at the end of the 70’s. His dear wife with whom he had a good life. Peter often told me this. Also the last two years she took care of Peter in a wonderful way. Peter’s interest in language kept growing and he became a real purist. When I once used the Dutch word “uitnutten” he really laughed at me. For years I was teased with this word. English became his second native language. Look at his blog which he’s transformed into a true work of art.

Our great mutual hobby was automating a Märklin model railroad. Decorating it with little houses etc. wasn’t important at all. We tried to organize it so that several trains could travel without running into each other. This model railroad was in the attic of Peter’s parents’ house. We spent days soldering and programming. Now and then we had a break and walked Kevin, their dog, around the “Vesting wallen” and afterwards straight back to the attic to carry on. Sometimes we felt hungry in the middle of the night. We went downstairs, cooked some vegetables and had a late dinner. Vegetarian of course, he was that as long as I knew him, another of Peter’s ideals. His parents approved of all this, and always supported him in his adventures.

Cats were Peter’s big love, Tora was his favourite Tomcat. As a student I rented a room and had two cats. Peter and I thought of a plan to make a real cat tree. A tree-trunk with bark to sharpen their nails on. And with 2 levels where they could jump off and on. First we went to the woods during daytime to choose the right tree-trunk, but we didn’t dare bring it home during daylight. So we went back at night and once we managed to find it we had to work out how to get it home, we were on our bikes. Balanced on my carrier and on Peter’s handle-bars we cycled out of the woods, luckily without meeting any oncoming traffic or police! The next day we found we couldn’t get it up the stairs. After many attempts, each time sawing off another part, we managed to get it into my room. When it was finally finished the cats didn’t take any notice of it. If we put them on they just jumped off straight away ignoring it completely.

Another hobby of ours was music. Our idea of playing together, Peter on the guitar and I on the piano never happened, but we often went to concerts together. On Peter’s 23rd birthday we were in Rotterdam at the Pandora’s box festival, where we listened to The Durutti Column in the middle of the night. Another time we went to Paradiso to the Dutch Group WAT but this had more to do with the beautiful female lead singer than the music. We also developed an interest in classical Music. When I visited Peter in Prague we went to Mozart’s requiem. Peter also loved opera, especially Puccini’s Turandot.

Our deal was to try to see each other every week. This promise was hard to keep even before Peter went abroad. It would be just like him to call me just before our appointment to apologize for not being able to come because of a very important business meeting. Workaholic is an understatement, Peter wanted to reach the top, he was a perfectionist. He did reach the top literally, by climbing the Tatra mountain in the Czech Republic but more importantly by starting up his own company. Something he was very proud of, and he has every reason to be.

Also in sports Peter wanted to perform exceptionally. We played together in a table tennis team, also with his sister Marjolijn. But when he thought he didn’t perform to the maximum…, he just quit. The Japanese company in Amstelveen where he worked for a while organized an annual softball tournament. To do his best to prepare he invited me and also his parents to practice in the park on Sunday mornings. Later on we ended up playing snooker, I often had to seize the cue out of his hands before he had the chance to break it. I was too late for the golf clubs; he broke them on his knee out of pure frustration and anger after – according to him – a poor performance.

The last 2 years he was ill. Peter really had bad luck with his health, heart surgery in his late teens, skin disease (psoriasis), rheumatism and finally a brain tumor. In July this year we went together to France and Belgium for a long weekend, a wonderful trip. Peter had prepared every detail; he wanted to go to the swamps of Clairmarais and the North French coast. For the outward trip he had spotted a ship elevator at Fontinettes, a mighty piece of engineering. He got very angry with himself because he thought he had forgotten the charger for his film camera. It wasn’t until he was back home that he found it had been in his luggage after all. Luckily both our cameras worked properly and we took lots of pictures.We stayed in a very luxurious hotel in Boulogne sur Mer with jucuzzi, hammam and sauna. When we found out that the Hammam and sauna didn’t open until 2 pm Peter asked them to open them early next morning so we could use them even before breakfast. Always go for the maximum, that’s my boy.

The evening before his death, Mon Ling, his parents, Marjolijn, Gilbert and I were together with him. We had some Italian delicacies which Peter enjoyed very much. I went upstairs to get a knife for the cheese but Peter was already busy “cutting” it with a cocktail stick. When I gave him the knife he refused, he managed perfectly well with the stick. Pig-headed as always.

Last week I repaired his outdoor light. I had to smile to myself, thinking of Peter watching me struggling with screws he had fixed so tightly.

Peter made quite a fool of me with his speech at my wedding. I got his approval, even his mandate, to reply today. But I’m not the stand up comedian he was. I will miss my dearest friend tremendously but I will take an example from his love of life, his fun and his courage.

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Few words for the party in memory of Peter on 08 November 2009

November 11, 2009

30 years and 5 months ago we exchanged our first letters, 25 years and 11 months ago we met each other in Japan for the 1st time. 23 years and 7 months ago we got married. Since, 8600 days we have been through thick and thin (as said in Dutch “door dik en dun”). We must have had wonderful life because I could only say: how time flies!

Peter has left me for 3 and half weeks. I always believed that I could manage to be alone because he went business trip almost every week before he became ill. But now I realized it’s very different. Before I could just call his mobile, I could reach him immediately wherever he was. Now he will never pick up his mobile anymore.

For me these 3 and half weeks is a period full of tears. Does unhappy time pass slowly? If it does I’ll become aged slowly then. Maybe it’s not too bad.

Before his departure, I asked him to let me know by sending signals if he has been freed. The signals are either let me see the wind blows through trees or let me hear birds’ singing. I got the 1st signal early morning of the next day, and I got the 2nd signal one week later. Peter did keep his promise to me.

Luckily in this country it will never be short of wind. I’m still receiving his endless signal and I can always feel he is around me, every where and every moment. Peter, can you see that I have my hair cut short. I know you won’t like it, but don’t worry, my hair grows very fast.

And our promises to each other, I also do my best to keep it: no sorrow, no worries, no fear and no regret. Sometimes it’s too difficult for me to keep it. But I order myself to live fully and happily for him because that’s what he wanted me to do.

I’m OK I just miss him very much. His smell at home is disappearing everyday but everything reminds me of him. When I went cycling I followed the route we went 8 weeks ago. 8 weeks ago (13 September) we were cycling along Sloterplas, passing by the front side of Opium. When I watched a TV program “Spoorloos” I had to think about that we watched it together before. When I was driving a car I thought that he used to drive me to every place where I wanted to go, he could drive from Amsterdam to Milan within 10 hours. I was awake in the morning and thought it’s the time he should take his medicine. When I went shopping I chose the foods he liked. He is still in the centre of my life. Eric Jan said that now I’m a nurse without a patient.

I like to thank all the friends who sent me cards, phoned me or posted comments on Peter’s blog. Those cards and comments are so warm so touched. Peter was loved by everybody and was appreciated by everybody. I was always moved to tears while reading them and I doubted whether Peter was an angel who made a short trip to our world ? My tears are just like running water from a broken tap. I lost so many tears that my sister in law Marjolijn suggested that I should eat more salt……

If anyone knows something negative about Peter, please let me know. Then I’ll be able to miss him less.

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