Below you can find another chapter from the book Thank you, mum. I hope it touches your heart.
(For the Swedish version, scroll down and then select Next post.)
Videmiss. (Willow pussy.) What a wonderful name for a cat. The name of my first cat, a big, black one, came to you while admiring willow catkins. You had a trait for making up names. There was once a stray cat, which randomly decided to live with you and Dad, although you tried hard to find the owner. You named her Missyou.
The fact that I wasn't given a name until after I was born could perhaps be perceived as a lack of imagination. You and Dad watched an episode of Pippi Longstocking at the hospital, and there it was: Annika - I was going to be called Annika. I'm happy you didn’t decide to go for Pippi. I'm also happy that you didn't follow Grandad's advice to name me Gretel since my brother's name is Hans.
Not that you cared much for our names. You made up your own names anyway. I was often AnnKicka, Kickan, or Stumpan. My dad, Olle was often Loll and my husband, Michiel became Kilen. (Understandably so, pronouncing his name is a challenge for anyone who doesn't speak Dutch.) My kids, Sebastian, Samuel and Lukas were nicknamed Bastian, Mamuel, and… Lukas probably remained Lukas, except when you called him something completely different like Lillknöpen or charmtrollet (cutie-pie).
Your imagination didn't end with nicknames. You also had wonderful solutions to everyday problems. Like the times when my brother Hans and I helped an elderly neighbor mow the lawn. Again and again, we got stung by wasps, and we became reluctant to do garden work from then on. Even though we could protect ourselves with clothing, our faces were left unprotected. Your solution? We wore biker helmets with the visor down. It sure looked ridiculous, but it worked.
Thanks for your imagination, thanks for your creativity. That, together with Dad, convincing me I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to, gave me a limitless and fun childhood.
Thanks to the two of you for teaching me that everything, literally everything, is possible!
Please share this blogpost if you think it can help someone!
This was a chapter from the book Thank you, mum. A book for those who miss someone.
If you would like to give the book to someone you think can be soothed by it, or to yourself, you can find it on Amazon on any of the links below, or you can search for it on your Amazon of choice.
Amazon in the Netherlands (if the price of the paperback is higher than about 17 euros, check out another market)