Friday, December 17, 2004

Mevrouw Beerlage is dood

One of my favorite bewoners was Mvr. Beerlage. She was one of the first to ask and remember my name. While some of the other bewoners still ask my name, Mvr. Beerlage said, "Goede morgen, Andy!" my second day.

She had had some kind of stroke some time ago and was in a wheelchair and spoke with partial use of her mouth. But she had beautiful hand writing and always spoke very slowly and clearly to me.

These bewoners are old and go in and out of the hospital so often that I just assumed she was a bit sick and would return. But this afternoon, Mvr. van Benton spoke with Wilma, the restaurant director. While we were cleaning up and moving the tables, I asked Gre if there was a problem with Mvr. van Benton. She said, "Her daughter is coming from Switzerland for the cremation of Mvr. Beerlage and she wants her daughter to be able to have the big Christmas dinner here. And Wilma will have to make an exception."

I said, "Mevrow Beerlage?"

Gre said, "Wist je dat niet?"

I said, "Nee."

Apparently it was on Saturday and she died in her sleep. I guess it's always sad when someone dies, but Mvr. Beerlage was one of those people that I looked forward to talking to. I'm glad it was quick and painless. We should all be that fortunate, but especially people like her

I'm constantly amazed at the amount of conversation I am capable of in Dutch. I miss a lot, but I do well with individual conversations.

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