Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Uncle Yde ~ Oom Yde

Yde Jacobus Nijholt
b. October 29th, 1935 - d. January, 17th, 2008

image copyright Auke Nijholt
"Uncle Yde in better days"

A sketch of Uncle Yde enjoying a concert in the nursing home, where he spent his last year.

copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Enjoying the Music"
pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook

Yde so enjoyed the music that day last autumn and with his one good hand, he would wave it in time to the music. I did this sketch in my Moleskine while sitting behind him.
I should have done more ... we made many trips to see him, but it never felt right to sketch.

image copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Uncle Yde and Auke (his nephew) in nursing home chapel"

Yde also enjoyed going to the chapel on our visits to see him. It lifted his spririts to sit with Auke (my husband and Yde's nephew) and look at the candles on the small alter.

The little toy dog on the top of his wheelchair, in the photo above, was his constant companion. Yde called him "Bello". When he could speak comfortably, Uncle Yde used to tell us some pretty wild stories about "his farm" - a farm full of dogs (Bello was top dog), cows, chickens, sheep, and 40 elephants and 100 monkeys! Of course, it was just a fantasy, but it always brought a big smile to his face and a twinkle in his eyes to tell us about his boederij (farm).

image copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"A view of Lemmer, Friesland - The Netherlands"
(the boat is an old Friesian schutje - this is not Yde's boat)

Lemmer, in the province of Friesland, is the town where Yde was born. He lived his entire life there, was a postman for over 40 years and sailed the waters in and around Lemmer in his boat "Vrijheid" (Freedom). He knew everyone and everyone knew him.

Yde never wanted to live anywhere else except Lemmer and I know why, it's a lovely town with a charming port and canals. He rests in peace there now, alongside his mother and father.

" 'n Beetje "
van Toon Hermans

Sterven doe je niet ineens,
maar af en toe 'n beetje.
En alle beetjes die je stierf,
't is vreemd, maar die vergeet je.
Het is je dikwijls zelfs ontgaan,
je zegt "ik ben wat moe",
Maar op 'n keer dan ben je aan
je laatste eindje toe.

English translation ( I did my best.. ) :

" A Bit "
poem by Toon Hermans (famous Dutch entertainer)

Death you do not suddenly,
but occasionally a bit.
And all the bits that you died,
it's strange, but you forget.
It often even escapes you,
and you say "Oh, I'm just tired".
But comes a time that you are,
at your end, at last, expired.

Unfortunately, I speak no Fries (which was Uncle Yde's mother tongue) and my Dutch is only passable, but I really enjoyed getting to know Uncle Yde ... if only just "een beetje".
Tot ziens,
Judy (and Auke)

P.S. I also fell down a flight of stairs the night Uncle Yde died... I've been a bit out of commission lately. I hope soon to be completely off my crutches and back in a mood to blog and make art ... it's been difficult. ~ Judy


René PleinAir. said...

Alleen maar 1 ding, ...

Een lieve groet.

Just one thing, ... a dear greeting

Meisie said...

What a beautiful tribute Judy. That poem is indeed special...take care of yourself!

Mineke Reinders said...

Judy, sorry I've been absent for so long. This is a beautiful tribute to Uncle Yde. Sorry to hear of his passing and your mishap down the stairs. Take care! Best to Auke and Sacha, too :)

P.S. That Toon Hermans poem is just perfect. I knew it once but had forgotten, thanks for posting it.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

thank you all


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