The past few days I’ve worked in a bakery, a bar, a car, an airport, a crowded marketplace, a restaurant, and three different countries. It’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds, but it’s also not what I had planned for iNSD weekend.
Family first. It’s my #1 philosophy. My mantra. What is most important to me. Not just for me, but for my entire team. It’s why I work from home (and all the above places). It’s why I run a small business in a small office off the main hallway in my house. So I can be there for my kids, my husband, my family.
This time I’m here for my dad. His brother, his best friend, is sick. Very sick. My dad had to come. I had to help. However I could. That meant picking him up Brussels airport early Thursday morning. Last minute flights can be crazy, and I think my dad’s was the craziest. All-in-all he traveled over 24-hours from North Carolina to here.
He looked remarkably good and, after a quick roadside breakfast, we drove “home” to just outside of Maastricht, NL. Straight to his brother. His brother who also looked remarkably good, awake, sitting up and very happy to see us both. We only had a half hour visit, but sometimes it’s not the time but the quality and this was a wonderful visit.
I tucked my dad in for an afternoon nap, spent a couple of hours working (in the bakery), and had a wonderful evening off with my cousins. Yesterday I balanced work with family in the most creative ways possible. And while I thought working in a bakery, shout-out to my cousins bakery: Bie d’r Bekker, with free vlaai (pie) and all the coffee I can drink couldn’t be beat… working in a bar comes a close second.
Op ‘t Indsje is a B&B, restaurant, bar in my dads hometown of Cadier & Keer. Yesterday I sat out on the terrace, cuddled in a fantabulous big, cozy chair, soaking up the warm spring sun and typing away on my dad’s macbook. The staff checked on me periodically and made sure my cassis (black currant soda) was never empty.
When my dad woke up we took a quick trip to pay our respects to the American soldiers buried up the hill in Margraten. Today, May 5th, is bevrijdingsdag or liberation day. The Netherlands was liberated from German forces on May 5, 1945. Every year the Netherlands remembers with gratitude all the Canadian, American and European forces. On May 4 they also hold two minutes of silence, nationwide, for all victims of war. It is a beautiful and moving moment.
After I went back to Op ‘t Indsje, this time inside with a glass of wine, and finished work while my dad sat with his brother a while longer. When my dad came back, I put away the laptop and we enjoyed an amazing asparagus dinner together. At 20:00 the restaurant went completely silent, the older men stood, and all paid respects to the fallen.
Two minutes of silence is long. I heard one man say that in those two minutes he could remember every moment of war. It plays like a movie in his head. Every minute. Every moment. Relived in those two minute of silence.