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Tribute (Florien Deelstra)

In this story I would like to make a tribute to my grandfather.

When I was 8 years old, me, my sisters and my parents, moved to a farm in the middle of nowhere. Wessingtange, near the German border. This farm was quite old and had a lot of land, which we needed for our horses and dogs, and so a lot had to be done. My grandparents would stay with us every summer, in a caravan behind the house. Every summer I would just sit with my grandfather. He was a silent man, but he loved teasing us. When I sat with him, he would just look at me, put a little smile on his face, or pull on my ponytail, and I felt like I could take on the world.

My grandpa used to be a carpenter, so every summer he wanted to work on the farm. After a few years of living on the farm, though, we found out that he had cancer. We had no idea how long he had left. Yet, still every summer, when we got back from vacation, he would have fixed something on the farm. He would paint the doors, make a path of stones into the yards, or he would fix the fences for the horses. He would get tired after the day, lay on the couch, with our Flatcoated Retriever in his arms, and he would say nothing. He never admitted he was tired, but we could see it. He didn’t want to send us away. I think this was his way of enjoying the company of his family. And that dog, that dog was his biggest love.

My grandfather was a man who did not easily give compliments or say his pride. Yet, as the years passed he would get more and more emotional. He would tell me how proud he was of everyone. One time he got in the hospital, we all thought he was going to die, but he kept holding my hand and I prayed for him to make it, even though I am not that religious, he was. And guess what? He made it.

After that he still wanted to fix the farm. My mother always worries, she would tell him to stop

working. But he would not listen. One time my mom was away and so my grandpa wanted to work. I told him to please be careful. He looked at me and there was a moment of silence. He listened.

After my grandfather died, everything on the farm reminded us of him. It was painful, it hurt, but it brought so many beautiful memories. And that is one of the wonderful things of living on a farm. Everything that he had done, everything that he had fixed, it all carries memories of him. The house is one big memory of him. Once my parents can’t live there, my sister wants to take over the farm. After that, I just hope it will stay in the family as long as I live. It’s a place where I will take my kids and tell them about the most strong and amazing man I have ever known.

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