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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

For Elizabeth van Kampen


                              Elizabeth and me in front of the Japanese Embassy.
Elizabeth van Kampen is a dear friend of mine. Although I only met her about 4 years ago. I stumbled upon a story she wrote about the Dutch East Indies and read to my surprise that she had been in the same Japanese Prison Camp as my mother and me in Banjoebiroe 10. on the island of Java during World War 2.
Since then I have met a couple of times with Elizabeth van Kampen in The Hague, while we were demonstrating in front of the Japanese Embassy.Elizabeth at the time was 17 years old when she her mother and two sisters were put in that horrible camp as prisoners of the Japanese.
Elizabeth now has reached the age of 85 and she is a remarkable women. Every second Tuesday of the month, she travels by train from Limburg to The Hague to attend the demonstration. I have so much respect for you Elizabeth and thank you again for the story you told the world on your blog.
I came upon this poem and I love it. I am sure you like it too.

The Good Lord has a sense of humor! I hope!
 by: Anon

Today dear Lord I am 80, and there's much I have not done.
I hope Dear Lord you will let me live until I am 81.
But then, if I have not finished all I want to do,
Would you let me stay a while until I am 82?
So many places I want to go, so very much to see,
Do you think that you could manage to make it 83?
The world is changing very fast, there's such a lot in store,
I would like it very much to live until I am 84.
And if by then I am still alive, I'd like to stay until I am 85.
More planes will fill the air, so I'd really like to stick
And see what is going on in the world when I turn 86.
Oh dear Lord it is much to ask, and it must be nice in Heaven,
But I really like to stay around until I am 87.
I know by then I won't be fast, and some times I will be late,
But it would be pleasant to be around at 88.
I will have seen so many things, and had a lovely time,
I am sure I would be willing to leave, at the age of 89 (maybe?)
Dear Lord, thank you kindly, I have one more thing to say,
If it's OK with you, 90 plus would really make my day.

A Doctor Hummingbird, a picture we took at our house in Jamaica. It has a very long tail, and they are beautiful to watch.
                                          See how long the tail is.

The front of our house in Jamaica. Bougainvillea in full bloom.
The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.

To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.

The surprising thing about young fools is,
how many survive to become old fools.

About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.

I love this one too:

Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.

There is no old age. There is, as there always was, just you!

The deepest definition of youth is life as jet untouched by tragedy.

Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does, except wrinkles. It's true, some whines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place.

I am very pleased with each advancing year. It stems back to when I was forty. I was a bit upset about reaching that milestone, but an older friend consoled me. Don't complain about growing old, many people do not have that privilege.

Aging is not lost youth,but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

The great secret that old people share is that you really have not changed in 70 or 80 years. Your body changes, but you do not change at all.

You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older.
Elizabeth I hope you enjoy these, and I wish you a long and healthy life.

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