Wiep was an important person in my life. When I was small I adored her
and looked up to her.
She was a lot older than I,and my big sister who used to tell me
fairytale stories on a Saturday night when
bathing me.I looked forward to those evenings.
As we grew older we grew closer as friends, the age gap no longer applied.
Wiep,s youth was spent in Mantgum:during the war years she went to a
high school in Leeuwarden
where she often had difficulty traveling to because of transport
problems.She would not hesitate to
walk there if needing to.(13km from Mantgum)
Our Beppe Wiep lived next door and she was Wiep,s special friend and
person to go to when she had
problems at home,as one does when a teenager.Wiep was very fond of her.
After high school Wiep started studying medicine in Groningen but had to
discontinue her studies
due to financial difficulties.She took on nursing instead in Amsterdam.
I visited her there many a time.
she had made her apartment really cosy,as she did later her flat and
much loved home in Enschede.
I loved visiting her in all her abodes.
Wiep loved traveling , she traveled on a shoestring cycled or walked
wherever,she was really tough on
herself,the only way she could get anywhere.Wiep met Nam on one of those
travels. They got
married in Mantgum. their two sons, Manoel and Alexander where born in
Amsterdam and Paris,and I
was glad to have met,and got to know to some extent,both boys before
departing to Australia to
continue my life there.
Wiep and I continued to see one another whether in Holland or
Australia.The first time in Holland Wiep
took us camping in Terschelling: five kids ,two adults two tents, bad
weather. We had a memorable time,
despite, or because of the weather.
When in Australia,Wiep , Carlo, our children , and I went out camping,
traveled and stayed in motels.
In Sydney we went out to visit family and in the evening went sometimes
to the opera.
On one such occasion we went to the opera and when just seated every
person rose from their seat.
Wiep and I did not know the reason, and were debating in Frisian whether
to do the same or not.
On looking aside we noticed some young man grinning as if they
understood what we were saying.
Then everyone was seated again.After we found out that the Queen of
Denmark had arrived at the opera house,
and realised that the two man , possibly lifeguards, must have
understood our words in frisian ,words perhaps not fit for a Queen?
We often had a good laugh together,Wiep was always ready for a party,a
picnic with wine and fruit in Granada or
a lunch in Rome with Carlo, Giselle and I.Wiep was part of our life in
Australia,even if we did not see one another
every year we picked up from where we left off without any problems.
She stayed with Anke and Robert, and Giselle and Gerard in
Canberra,Roland and Vanessa and children stayed with her in
Enschede,we were all always very welcome there.She would poke her head
out of the loft window and with a big
smile say hello.That is how I will always remember her and will always
keep talking to her in my mind.
I hope that after your long illness Wiep you can now rest in peace.