|My grandparents with their two youngest children and of course their dog.|
My Opa(grandpa) told me so many stories about the time that they were all living on this boat.The most dramatic story he once told me was about religion. At the time it was around 1947,and I was telling him all sorts of things from Japanese camps and that I had loved the nuns in camp. They had taught me a lot about God. I loved to sing these songs about God and how he would protect us etc.etc.My Opa was very open and tell you exactly what he thought. My Oma would often interrupt my Opa, and would say:" Gerrit,' how can you tell this to a child'. He would just laugh and would say: "This is how I see it, and if they can tell my kids all kinds of stuff which I do not approve of , then I can tell my own kids,and my own grandchild what I believe and what I think about it. Because it is lies what they are trying to tell these little kids, I call it brainwashing, all in the name of God, money and power. I tell them what I have seen, and how I see it. They can make up their own mind, when they become adults. But for now this is what I am telling them so they have a choice". And so my Opa would tell me that he did not believe in God, that God was you, and nobody else.We have brought up our own children to know what is good or bad, he would say, and what a bunch of fine young adults they are.I have seen too many ugly things, when we were moored with our boat on these inland waters.I have been through two wars, where men killed each other . How can that be, if men on earth should love one another. They should teach Love, instead of showing kids a big cross with Jesus hanging with huge nails in his hands, and this barbwire stuck on his head, with blood painted all over him.It was 1946 and my mom and I had just arrived from The Dutch-Indies(now called Indonesia) I had started school that year, it was September.Next to the school was a church and one day my friends asked me if I would like to come with them to attend a church service. I was entering this church and saw this huge cross with a man hanging on there and I screamed and nobody was ever able to take me back into a church.
That is the church in the background.
This is the small town Kolhorn. I lived there two years.
They were one of the best years of my life.
I think it reminded me of the women I had seen hanging on trees and being punished by these Japs, when I was in these camps on Java in world war II,( I still cringe when I see these crosses ). My Opa was so mad, he wanted to know who had taken me to church.I was so scared because my friends who attended this church had told me if I would not go to church I would burn in Hell, because that's what the priest said.He would take me on his lap and would make all these horrible things disappear from my head. He would tell me about the beautiful country site with beautiful birds and meadows so green and the lambs and cows.How peace full it was and so quiet. He would talk about his life on his transport boat, and how everybody would bike or go by boat to their jobs, that there were hardly any cars, only the filthy rich(he would say) had a car, a metal beast.
Later when I was older it's when he told me the other things he had seen, and why he was so opposed to Churches.I am coming back now to the most dramatic story he ever told me and he was telling this to me with tears in his eyes. I must have been about twelve or thirteen years old.He told me that he wanted me to know this, it's very ugly he said to me, but now that I am a big girl he felt he had to tell me.I had reminded him, that he had promised me to tell me this ugliness he had witnessed.
And so began his story;
One night he had moored his transport boat in this beautiful quiet spot in the middle of nowhere, it was a beautiful night and the moon was almost full.He had gone on land for a walk, which he did often. Suddenly he heard splashing and from the spot where he was sitting he saw a small row boat with a Priest rowing the boat.It was funny he said, because here was this priest in the middle of the night rowing a boat with a long cloak(he called it a dress)in the middle of this waterway.
|The Netherlands with their many water ways.|
|Every where you go in The Netherlands there is water.|
|My Opa, one of his last pictures, still this twinkle in his eyes. He always had something mischief up his sleeve.|
My wonderful Opa and a little dog , he thought my half-brother should have.
Notice the wooden shoes.(klompen)
|The Catholic Church in Zandvoort, where he had to go to confession. Memories!|
|This is the catholic school he attended. It's still there. He took this picture last year.|
The most funniest thing, and he can still chuckle about is, when he had to go to confession.His friends were waiting outside the church. He always told the priest the same: "I was not nice to my mother, my father, my sister.I spend the money I had to put in the bag in church and spend it on candy". Then the priest would say to him;"Oh my son, you can go and God forgives you for all your sins, say your prayers". He still knows every prayer. This same Priest had abused some of the boys from the school.The priest name was Piet van Diepen. When we were in Holland last year we talked to one of his friends from those school days with the nuns.This friend was abused by this priest for the longest time. His parents were devoted catholic and never believed him. They told him to be quiet and never tell anybody. Needless to say that he is not believing anymore either.
He never married. Thinking back about his childhood he said; "I remember as a little boy I had to go to church every Sunday. At the pulpit stood a priest in a black robe and he preached as if his life was depending on it. During this long ,long preach he screamed and ranted, his face became red, almost purple at times. As a child I thought this was so scary. He went on and on, and people in church were sitting with their heads bend in these benches. For an hour all this priest was preaching about was how bad we all had been. Everything was wrong with society, and venial sin.... We always went home perplexed and confused. More then ever I left the church so depressed, because I thought I was bad, the worst part was that I felt that God had left me with this dirty priest, that two faced son of a bitch, and my parents forced me to go to listen to this priest bull shit". I better don't repeat what more he had to say. It's very sad,very sad.
I hope that I did not offend anybody with these stories, but it's the truth.
It's better to take notice to what your children have to tell you.This friend told us, he can't understand how his parents every Sunday were able to repeat what the priest had preached in church, and forgot about him, their son.
Legacy of life.
How do we hand down the good things in Life
When sadness invades with so much strife.
There is a way, believe in ones self
The ability to achieve but not in wealth,
Gather thy feelings of Love and endure
A way of life that is more sure,
Nothing is easy be determined to try
Your legacy from the past will get you by.