My dad, my hero!

Door AnnaElize gepubliceerd op Tuesday 21 June 15:03

 Pap,  U R a sun!

My dad, my hero, was born on the longest day of the year,
The first day of summer
The same day as his 6 years older brother
Who thought he was a present for him
June 21 1921
Lived on number 21
Shone like the sun
The son of a doctor, a sweet brilliant man who wrote his dissertation on the heart
The grandson of the minister of the St Lawrence,
the Great church in Rotterdam
He was good in all he did
And did all he could
To make life perfect for everyone he loved
He was fun, he was funny, he was smart, he was sweet
He was modest, he was mild, he was helpful, he was kind, he was handsome, he was principled
He refused to sign the document of loyalty to the Germans as a medical student in Leiden
That’s how he ended up in Amsterdam,
the same way as my mother
Which is how they met
Two beautiful young people
In Leiden he had the same room as her uncle
Who was a famous filmmaker
And my mother was the niece of a Nobel prize winning doctor
Who discovered the Electrocardiograph,
the technique my dad mastered wonderfully well
He survived the war because of the efforts of my mothers niece
Who supplied him with identification which prevented him from having to work in Germany
He was a tennis player, a bridge player, a fisher, a golfer, a skater who did the longest skating tour of 200 kilometers in the coldest year ever
With newspapers to keep him warm
He was a carpenter, a gardener, he strung the tennis rackets for everyone in the club
We had dogs, cats, a monkey, birds, fish
He studied medicine  to fulfill his dream of becoming an eye doctor
So he could heal his mother who was blind
He drove a car from Amsterdam to Arabia  and from there he went to Aruba
Where he worked as a pediatrician
Then back to Netherlands where he worked as a house doctor
Found a cure for COPD
Then retired in California
With my mother he had 6 children, for whom he provided magnificently well
Did whatever he could to make our lives comfortable
And was always thinking how to make it better
He built us a swimming pool,
gave us houses, cars, the best educations
For us and for his grandchildren
Encouraged us to do well, supported us and was our biggest fan
He swung me round on the beach when I was little,
let me steer the car on his knee when I was three
Taught me that driving a car was like playing a musical instrument
He taught me chess, we played tennis together, skated together, skied together, ran together
He was the best dad ever
He died on the last day of summer
Exactly 84 years after his conception
Exactly the time Uranus takes to make a full circle
Reassured by his brother’s experience
Who had seen a bright light when being clinically dead
And felt tremendous love and comfort
And knew from then on death was not to be feared
20 days before my son was born
My father’s youngest grandchild
Who had been expected to be born 13 days earlier,
The same day as his eldest grandson
The son of my eldest brother
Who has the same name as my father
Who died 17 years earlier
Their graves are next to each other
2 heroes
2 completely unselfish  souls
I met my husband the same day my father had his operation 7 years earlier
The same day my father’s 10 year elder sister died
Probably from worry for my father
And now our son looks so much like my father
From tiny things, such as the way he looks and stands
To larger things, as his brave, honest, helpful,  completely unselfish character
Is it a coincidence that I went from someone who was always missing important things no matter how tidy my house was
To someone who always has the most important things no matter how messy it is?
That I see his initials every time on license plates
JLDH, Jésus Lumière Des Hommes
The words on the church of the town where we found our perfect house
That I found the ring my mother and he gave me lying outside on the driveway of our new house after  having lost it in our old house years before?
I don’t think so
I think he is a an angel in heaven and still watches over us
As do all our dear ancestors and loved ones
Whenever I miss him I see so many signs that he’s still around that I feel deeply consoled
What a beautiful thing it is we are all born with parents
And how lucky I am to have and have had such magnificent examples in my life
Happy Birthday Pap, and thank you, for all you did and do!
We love you forever



Jacob Leonard (Leo)  de Heer,

Rotterdam June 21 1921- Claremont September 20 2004

Annemarie de Heer-van Lennep

Batavia May 6 1924








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