Saturday 10 February 2018

Thought Picnic: The memories of times, places, events and people

The memories of another day
16 annual Sundays ago on February the 10th in 2002, we gathered for brunch at my favourite Paris haunt, Café Beaubourg to celebrate the 50th birthday of my dear friend Dick van Galen Last. We were both residents of Amsterdam, but we had met in Paris some 4 years before, when I still lived in England and kept contact through when I moved to the Netherlands in 2000, when he was my most friendly support in helping me settle down in my first month.
We had a tradition of meeting every few months for dinner, usually, at his place where he entertained an eclectic crowd, Dick was a global citizen with friends from all corners of the earth.
Dick would have been 66 today, but he passed on, on the 2nd of February 2010, just days short of his 58th birthday.
To memories of events that last
February presents to me in many ways, the end and the renewal, 2002 was a celebration of life and the joy of friendship, a few years after, I had two nephews born on the same day, two years apart, young boys coming into adolescence I need to make more than an acquaintance with.
On the 8th of February 2010, I had two events to attend, the morning was at a chapel where some crowd numbering hundreds on one of the coldest February mornings in Amsterdam gathered to bid Dick farewell, I could not make it to the reception after the internment.
For memories to recall in the future
Then, I hurried to the hospital for my penultimate session of chemotherapy with a nursing team who were just as shocked as I was at Dick’s demise, we shared the same consultant and oncologist. That session of chemotherapy when we finally found a vein to stick a needle in, turned out to be my last and the road ahead of me after that became one of recovery and recuperation.
The memories are keen and they are fond, to friends and lovers gone before, you are never forgotten. Let February bring life and happiness again.

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