The Canadian years, 89, there is no end to it

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Monday 23 February 18:52


There is no end to it

My mother was in the hospital, they tried to make her life more comfortable by removing the moisture from her only piece of lung. A life that was limited in days. She was not irradiated any more. I knew how it would end and suffered with her. I tried to give her a positive account of my day, every day. My father had no time to visit her, he and his colleagues were working on a study on tar sands and profitability and thus the girl from Franeker passed her last days.

The girl who had wanted to travel far away from the fields and in her impatience had picked a no good man to accomplish that. Dear dear girl, lost in a dream. She asked me, ‘where is dad or where are the little ones and I did not lie.’ They are busy but they’ll come,’ the answer hurt me, because the little ones were taken in and kept away by Betsy and my father did not have time. He was busy becoming ‘mr Big’ with which he ended his career. Auditor of Syncrude, the explorers of tar sands and he closed his career with fame, but he let the love of his life waste away because there was no place for her. How blind was this intelligent man, maybe he calculated all things uncomfortable and annoying to his life, away, I'm afraid so. He was the absolute top expert during the oil crisis when syncrude got a boost.

Because of his knowledge the whole project got breath and Canada laughed and breathed during the oil crisis. But his real choice in life he had left behind. He had never understood his mission, with all his intellect and formulas he was a phenomenon, but in the real world, of love and sacrifice and dedication, a nothing, a nobody. One night Tonka came to my room, ‘boy,’ she said, I had a bad dream.’ ‘Betsy is nowhere and neither is dad and I hear a big dog panting in the bedroom.’ I understood who the big dog was. ‘Come here sweetheart,’ I said, ‘come close to me and together we will fight away all that’s bad.’ She fell asleep quickly and my arm on which she  she lay, fell asleep as well and I did not move it  because of the sweet innocence, that was my sister, was resting.

The principal came into the classroom and I thought ‘I already know, he is coming for me.’ ‘It is important, young Daniel that you go home,’ he said, ‘and God bless you.’ My friends looked the other way and I went home. Betsy was there doing stupid games with my sisters. ‘If I were you,’ she greeted me, ‘then I would go to the Foothills, it is going  absolutely wrong.’ I said nothing back, because I understood that I had to be quick if I wanted to see my mother. I abused the Pontiac, I raced it to the other side of town.

My father was in his suit waiting for me. ‘The time has come boy,’ he said. ‘The Lord is beckoning.’ ‘You're crazy,’ I said and he looked at me in disbelief and then his expression changed again in mild softness.’ You're confused boy, you don’t know what you are saying.’ And you’, I said,’ do not know what you are hearing.’ ‘You've always been a good observer,’ he laughed. ‘Mom is dying and is waiting for us’ and that brought me back to the long corridors, nurses and reality.’ Everything dissolves now,’ said my father and went to my mother's room. My mother beckoned us and we both came closer. ‘Hands,’ she whispered. Then we both gave her a hand she laid them on top of each other, ‘Big and and small Dan Dan,’ she said with emphasis, and I understood that she wanted us to get on well. I said, ‘of course, Mom,’ but I knew I could not keep that promise, I said it to give her peace in dying. ‘Now you must go’, she told me, and if only I had  been told that they would end her life with a syringe then I would not have left. But I, ignorant in this world of solutions, which are evident, and not realized, left the room.


A little later my father came out with a nurse. ‘Your mother is with the Lord’, he began and I said, right from my heart, ‘please shut up’ and walked into the room and there she was, white and pale and without breathing. I stood transfixed. I ran to her and kissed her, then I went to sit next to her on my knees and said, ‘God forgive me that I did not understand it’ and I became very confused. A head nurse took me away, ‘they were very close,’  my father said and I thought ‘die, you devil that you are.’ Euthanasia was forbidden but I understood what had happened. My father had last seen my mother alive.

I came to myself and drove away lost in the car and stopped at the home of Richard. I went to the most important place for me, my friends, the friends. I heard the music and got lost inside, the voices fell silent but I could not speak, I could only look at them. ‘Man,’ said Beverly, ‘don’t be so,’ and she walked towards me, ‘your soul is gone,’ she said, ‘come here big boy, give me your pain’ and she rocked me in her arms and then said, ‘come along’ and unresisting I followed her to a bedroom and she kissed me and kissed me and undressed me and kissed me and I gave my life away and away and away and so our friendship changed and we were still a long time intertwined. It was the hippie era and she wanted to heal me.

San Daniel 2015

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