Thousend times thanks!

To all the followers of the blog, to anyone who has been supportive of Frank or us in the last months and especially after his untimely death we want to say thanks from the bottom of our hearts. In the week after his passing we received so much warmth, stories, care and love, hardly describable. To us it was a very precious and valuable week and it was so good to have Frank at home where so many of his friends could visit him. And all the help, stories and info shared in that week led to a beautiful goodbye ceremony on a beautiful sunny autumn day. For those of you who could not attend, or those of you who wish to reread the funeral speeches, we publice them here (in dutch and english) with some pictures in grateful memory of, and tributed to Frank.We will miss him dearly, thanks for being with him and with us, one way or another,

On behalf of my family and his closest friends, Esther

Foto's Frank

zaterdag 25 juni 2011

Hi Folks

Yesterday, I was able to go back to the museum. It was great. They were all waiting to welcome me, and it felt as if I had not been away. The museum is doing really well. They had an Indonesian style buffet meal, which tasted great. Today it was back to normal, with the reality of my situation badly sinking in..... No, I do not feel all too well about that, but try to keep going, anyway. After all I owe myself that!


I (Esther) take over the keyboard (on Frank's request) and blog a little additional info, Frank is tired and wants to lay down.
Yesterday indeed was a fantastic day. You must imagine what it is like when you return to the place which for Frank feels closest to home after being absent 3 month. When Frank came in, all the folks (aprox. 50) gave him a standing ovation which was very touching.

His collegues and other volunteers of the museum all came to greet him, one after another, and talk to him, expressing all kinds of encouraging and heartwarming words. Everyone I spoke made one thing clear and one thing only: Frank IS the liberation museum! It's very impressive to see and hear all that, it was a privilige for me to be there and share this moment with Frank and his collegues.

Although it is advised to Frank not to drink any alcoholic beverages, the first thing he ordered after being asked what he wanted to drink, was a nice glas of red wine. His boss (Wiel) said "we commit perjury, let's call it berry juice" (meineed plegen) on which Frank replied 'wijneed' which was of course a far better pun than Wiel ever could have thought of, we all laughed and loved this exquisit verbal performance skill from Frank.

The first thing Frank did when we came in is best described by: working. "Wiel, how many visitors has the museum had the last months, can I go to my PC I want to print out a bicycle route for one of the guys" etc. etc. It's good to see Frank so much in his element right there. It was a great moment to see him behind his desk again. His closest collegue Joop immediately told Frank that he is going to rearrange the library so it will become more easy for Frank to go in and out of the room and sit behind his computer.

After one and a half hour we drove off to the SMK again and very content with the visit Frank almost immediately fell asleep when his head reached the pillow.

It was a very good experience after a rather tough week for Frank. Wednesday he had the first evaluation with the treatment team and the conclusion Frank draw from it is, "I'm finished, it's not returning to normal any more so I'm useless". I told him he is anything but useless. The Liberation Museum wants him back, his friends want him back and his family loves him and wants him into their lives (by the way, seeing and feeling all the dedication from the museum and friends from Frank I dare say they love him too!). And I also assured him that nature has it's own course and NOBODY can predict outcome. The reason for his transfer back to Kalorama is that the treatment team feels that there must be a optimal balance between therapy and doing things he really enjoys (i.e. adding quality to life). So the planning is that he will return to Kalorama on the 12th of July to the rehab. dept. over there. There he will go to his own single room and the plan is to move a bookcase and his PC over there. Furthermore his Ipad wil finally arrive coming friday (pfiew at last....). And thanks to the generosity of many of you I received such an amount of money for Frank that I will spent the rest on a new flatscreen TV. Not that tiny prehistoric litlle again! I think he will be very pleased with that, considering his reaction this afternoon to my proposal.
Oh, and at last, I found his mobile recharger and recovered his PUK-code (with a little persuasion and sad sad story telling), so you can finally reach Frank also on his cellphone (0648853891).
Well, on closing up this blogentry, I'd say it's time for a new round of encouraging cards, phonecalls, emails anything. Frank needs it.
Thanks to you all, again and again, for reacting to my pleas, the blog, everything! Frank (and we) couldn't do without it.
love to you all, Esther

3 opmerkingen:

  1. When some things are lost that doesn't mean all is lost, and losing some abilities does not make you useless, Frank.

    When I saw you a few weeks ago, struggling just to sit in a wheel chair, I never thought you would be taking trips to the museum this quickly. It just goes to show how much we can regain. I wish I could have been there last night to see that standing ovation.

    Sweet dreams for now. One last thing: I have a new phone number and have emailed and texted it to you. If you can't find it, you can also ask Esther for it. See you soon.


  2. When the first thing you do on a courtesy visit to your work is sitting behind your desk to find a bycicle route (and in such a way helping your guests and promoting your work) your all but finished.

    Rest well, exercise hard. There is more work for you to be done.

  3. Nie pictures. Lots of Mohammeds queueing up to go to the Bergh! I'm curious though, did they chain your wheelchair to your desk or is that an optical illusion? No Frank, as long as volunteers and civilians get to muck up military museums and history you will be sorely needed. Retire at 67? Hah, we're already looking into a life extension program for you.

    Useless, indeed. Pah!

    De Zaag