Dear brother!
Lieve Broer!
Dear brother!

Thinking about you .. Rits
Then i hear myself as a young boy saying “Yes i have got a brother”
Then i most surely think about a different Ritsaert - different from the Rits you all know
If I think about you
Then i sit on your shoulders and we walk through the house of our parents
.. and I hear you telling stories again, stories about the war, stories about persons hiding in a small room in the loft of the house
Then i try to imagine how you were lying in a ditch with our father waiting for the house of our grandparents being totally bombed by the english
Then i see my bedroom in Almelo which used to be yours
Then i see you Rits standing in the “herenkamer”- not completely at ease but self assured
Then I think about what you must have missed in your youth
Then i see the pictures of Liesbeth my sister and myself, standing since on the mantelpiece in my room, which YOU made as we were still very young

Thinking about you Rits
Then i hear my parents telling that you are doing practice in a famous advertisement agency learning all about film
I see a helicopter … I see Mickery
I see you in Almelo at birthday reunions of our father with a glass of whiskey or champagne in one  - and a cigarette in the other hand - chatting with the older generation who admire you for what you do and who you are

Thinking about you … I see father trying to read through all the press clippings you send him ... trying to understand - not always amused but always proud
If i think about you i know how much he missed you ! I know how much you must have missed him!

I see and hear Nina Simone again - I see a white plexiglas cow lighted from the inside.
If i think about you then i realise that most of you know THIS Rits much better then I do!
Thinking about you i see father sitting in your flat at the Prinsengracht enjoying himself.
If i think about you i hear him telling about the official ceremony of you being honoured by the queen... astonished that you accepted... but proud like nobody else to be present - as you did

If i think about you i see myself driving again to the offices of DAS ARTS at the “gasfabriek” ! You telling me all about the new project. For me believe it or not the first time I saw my brother “at his work”

If I think about you I see how fathers perish changed OUR live
I see you visiting Almelo more regularly
I see how you and me managed to get closer together
How we managed to talk serious the first time in our live
I see us talk about live talk about visions - I loved to hear your opinion - my brothers opinion - I loved the way you expressed yourself
If I think about you - I see you almost “coming home”

If I think about you I hear you saying in the indifferent way which to my opinion was so typically for you “now I get the same expensive “spuit” meaning injection - as father” in my ears this did not sound good - at all

If I think about you I see you and Colleen visiting “Tante” - my aunt
I see the three of you go regularly for lunch in Carelshaven in Delden
I see how “Tante” loved it ! You both must have loved it too !
Now “Tante” died - the house of our parents finally belonged to the past
I see myself taking the pictures - your pictures - from the mantelpiece who have been there for more then 40 years…  then again - I think about you

Thinking about you Rits
I see always lot’s of people around you
I see your loving wife Colleen
I think about how she toke care of you
How lonely she will be in the months to come, whishing her all the strength she will need

I see Rebecca
And many others
... I think about how you dealt with your illness... how it marked you .. but how you still managed .. even in this difficult moment .. surely the most difficult moment in your own life - to be there for others.
I think about how many people will miss you for that

If i think about you Rits
... i say farewell to a very special generation ..
… farewell to a very dear - admirable
… to a strong personality and a brave but still very fragile man

If I think about you
I hear again your beautiful gentle voice - I hear my brother saying .. “Liefs.. word vervolgd en de groeten .. je broertje ..”

Lot´s of love - will be continued and greetings .. your little brother !

Yes Rits .. it will be continued

We all think about you!



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