My grandparents were roughly the same age, there was less than five years between the eldest and the youngest. The eldest was my paternal grandfather, Henk (Hendrik, officially) van Kampen. As the eldest son of the eldest son, I was named after him. Opa Henk, as we, the grandchildren, called him, was born on 9 November 1912. One hundred years ago today.
My maternal grandmother outlived my other grandparents. Her name was Maria Theresia Coppens, but the grandchildren knew her as Omoe. She passed away earlier this year, on 13 July, 97 years old. Just over a hundred days ago.
The age of my grandparents lasted a century, from 1912 to 2012. A lot has happened in that time. Two world wars. The rise and fall of empires (like the Soviet Union). The Russian revolution. Universal suffrage (1917 for men, 1919 for women, here in Holland). The fall of the Ottoman empire. The foundation of Israel. Men on the moon. The list goes on and on and on – events that to me are ancient history happened in their lifetime.
A lot happened in their personal lifes too. They grew up, married, had children, grandchildren, lived fulfilling lifes. They played important roles in their churches and in their local communities. They experienced the horrors of the 1944 famine first hand. Opa Theo, my maternal grandfather, lost the battle with a debilitating disease too early, the others lived long lifes and died of old age. They had their ups and downs, good times and bad times.
The age of my grandparents and my age overlapped. They overlapped a lot, thanks to the longevity of my grandmother. But their age is over now. What remains is memories. Lots of memories. Beautiful memories.
|In loving memory:|
|Hendrik van Kampen (1912-1997)||Alida Melessen (1917-2007)||Theodorus Joannes Gerardus Adrianus Pardoen (1914-1977)||Maria Theresia Coppens (1915-2012)|
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