Once Anne took me to a revolving restaurant in Vancouver where she sometimes lunched with a jewelry wholesaler. Hundreds of feet up in the air and a great view of a gorgeous city.
The height and motion made my stomach turn. I threw up going 'round and 'round in the washroom.
We went together for Anne's regular regular checkups at G F Strong (hospital) or in the Surrey hospital when she still drove her car, but after she had to quit, I drove her of course.
They seemed very particular about Anne's breathing and made her blow in a tube as long as she was able to, 'more anne, more more more, one moooore...,' which was hard on her.
Still Anne wanted to go camping. I loaded the boxes in the Mazda with food and camping goods, the mattress on top, two camping chairs on top of that, our tent, pillows and blankets, the ice-cream bucket, electric frying-pan, water hose, electric extension cord, and clothes.
Most campgrounds did not allow clothes lines, so Anne placed her underwear inside the tent, four red,four black and four white, on top of the quilt, where they dried quite quickly in the desert air. Once a week we washed the rest of our clothes, the towels and bed sheets in the town where we had found a laundromat.
Every other year when Anne's brother Henk came over from Holland for a holiday, he took the undies along from the city of Groningen, because he refused to buy 'these things' in the local lady store, and when he came over for holidays, he came prepared with a present for his sister that she really appreciated, because she wanted nothing else to wear than good solid dutch underwear, refusing the slinky thin Canadian panties.
We were all set to roll but wanted first to attend a funeral. John, the youngest son of our best friends John and Rita Heida, suddenly died in a car accident on the Patula bridge, a narrow - laned bridge over the Fraser river which created a lot of publicity at that time, all complaining about the narrow width of the bridge lanes, and John's sister was very actively involved in that as well.
I found a booklet in which Anne had recorded the tragedy.
Anne was very upset, as we both were, because John's death reminded us of the car accident and death of our own son.
Monday. Aug. 23 2004
While cleaning I found this little book.
Yesterday was a sad day, as Rita Heida's son John was killed in a car accident.
At night we visited Rita. I am sure we were not helping much, for one thing, when upset I just ramble on.
Phoned Jackie this morning to tell her the sad news.
Allen (Jackie's husband) gets his kidney operation in a month.
A long wait for them.
Will write more.
Anne did not like writing, more about that later.
We took Anne's car to Richmond, where the funeral service of 'little John,' was held, who was actually six foot 2 1/2 inches, (1.9M).
The church was packed. John had many relatives living in the lower mainland and was a well known car racer and many of his racing friends were attending as well.
Arriving home after the service we found our garage doors wide open. And the front door as well.
“O no” cried Anne, “we have been robbed.”
She was right, we left the car in the driveway and ran into the house. It was a total mess, the house was ransacked, even the antique travel trunk with our deceased son Len's belongings which had not been open for thirty years was violated.
A drawer of Anne's writing table, filled with empty (!) jewelry boxes was taken, our silver coin collections were gone, as well as Anne's personal jewelry, including a unique gold necklace, and an equally unique golden armband with hangings, our passports going back to 1953, while they left our up to date, valid passports on our bed.
Both Anne and I felt violated and not safe in our own house anymore, which was the worst.
They also had taken our faithful little vacation truck.
We were called by Delta police a few days later telling us that our truck was found but was somewhat damaged.
When we went to see it, we found her burned out beyond recognition, with all that was in it, she was a total write-off. Our tent, mattress, clothes, quilt, chairs, everything we had loaded in for a month's camping trip, including food, was burned to ashes.
Our holiday was canceled course, and I wrote a letter to the offender (s), which I hoped would be placed in the local newspaper The Optimist.
It was published and I got a reply from a woman who obviously had been involved or at least was familiar with the robbery, I pleaded with her to return at least Anne's wedding ring, for which I was willing to pay her generously, but she did not follow up on the offer.
We visited all second hand stores in our town if by chance some of the jewelry had shown up but without any luck.
The reason I wrote the 'event of the break in' had to do with a question Anne was asked by a specialist – if she ever had any trauma's in her life, at which she answered - 'no.'
I had to laugh about her answer and explained my disrespect by rattling off a dozen traumas Anne had experienced, including the one of violating our house and vacation property, which was indeed a trauma that could have set off her ALS illness, according to the specialist.
Others were the loss of our 18 year old son Len through a car accident, the burning of our house, the jewelry hold-up with a gun against her head, which do not need any further explanation, and about a dozen more.
Next time something about how we felt and reacted about these traumas and ALS.
… until we meet again.