When searching for a hibernation location for this winter, I would have thought anywhere possible except Holland. And so I ended up in Holland…

Over the last 15 years, I’ve been wandering around the world; the intention to move back to the Netherlands steadily declining with time passing by. However, I agreed with myself, if there comes a time when my parents need my support, the world can wait. I’ll do whatever I can to take care of them like they once took care of me. That time came, and so I did what I thought I should do. Not in the slightest way was I prepared for what was to come.

Mid November, still in Georgia, I received a phone call that my father was hospitalized with what seemed like a stroke. Coincidentally  I would fly to the Netherlands for a motorbike fair 2 days after. Just when I arrived in the hospital, so did the suspected diagnosis of a brain tumor. Exactly 8 weeks later my father passed away.

I was lucky to spend most of that time with my dad and his wife; I postponed my return flight to Tbilisi and decided to stay as long as my support was appreciated. It turned out to be the most precious time I’ve ever had with my father. We naturally made the best of it, knowing that time was running out … just not knowing how fast exactly. He told me stories like he never did before; showed me pictures that I had never seen. I sat down and listened. Enjoyed getting to know him in a different way than the past 40 years. Was the tumor in his head causing him to behave differently than he used to be? Or did he just sense that it was now or never? I’m glad that I used the time when we still had some. I’m glad that I chose to stay, when I shouldn’t have gone away.

Although my father never showed himself overly enthusiastic about me living my life rather different from the ordinary (let alone his little girl traveling by motorbike for who knows how long!) at last he seemed to start to better understand my choices. In his last days he urged me to move on and to write a book one day.

I assured him: I will.

All this just made me wonder … aren’t we all running out of time? We are! We just don’t know how fast. Why do we wait for death knocking on our doors to become so much aware of the limited time we’ve been given? My father passed away, but we are still here. Do we need any more reason to live life to the fullest? To add our personal touch to the world? To express ourselves without fear, without shame, without doubt? To make sure we won’t have any regrets when our time’s suddenly up?

It all comes down to those 2 words – spoken by many, but lived by few:

Carpe Diem.

4 thoughts on “Carpe Diem

  • January 24, 2019 at 10:21

    Lobke, my condolences with your loss. I am happy though, that you have been able to spend meaningful time with your father in the time that was still there for you to share.

  • January 25, 2019 at 19:04

    Your father certainly left his personal and indelible touch to the world: you! When you write that book, I’ll definately read it!

    Good travels Lobke.

  • January 25, 2019 at 19:45

    Dear Lobke, so sorry to hear what happend. My sincere condolences. Stay strong, and you are so right with continue carpe diem. We never know what time is left on this beautiful Planet.

  • January 28, 2019 at 22:13

    Dag Lobke,
    Mooie herdenking. Vanmiddag met Mary gesproken over de gang rond het overlijden van je vader. Heftig. Voor Mary maar ook voor jou. Wens je het allerbeste.
    Jan vdM


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