Friday, July 25, 2014

Dad, boys, men & me ~ In Memoriam André Hunkar - 08Aug1931 - 25Jul2013

Dear Daddy,

Yesterday, one year ago, I was on Skype with Elma, discussing my monthly administration. The phone rang. It was your and Mom’s number so I picked up with a big smile and a cheery voice. I will never forget the sinking feeling of certainty I had when it was your friendly neighbour Corrie’s voice I heard. Without her even telling me, I knew something was very, very wrong. After five minutes of being briefed by her, I packed up some essentials and drove to Radboud Hospital in Nijmegen. There, you moved to the Other Side shortly after midnight.
beginning of July 2013
It’s been a year now… Let me start by saying we are coping with our huge loss. Mom is stronger than maybe even you knew after almost 56 years of happy and fulfilling marriage. She misses you a lot but has picked up her life again and continues to bring joy and comfort to many others.

I too keep trying to make the most of life. I’m sure you know, up there in the Great Assembly in the Skies, that your last wish for me was granted shortly after you passed; I DID convince the Ministry of Economic Affairs and made it to Rio de Janeiro for that large filming assignment you were so excited about! Being back in Brazil after so many years since we lived there was the most special treat and a way for me to feel very close to you. After Rio, many more opportunities have come my way and I always feel you’re there, guiding me along. Unfortunately, I still pick up the phone to call you every now and then… Maybe that will pass? Maybe it won’t?

I used to tell you that you were the only man in my life who had never disappointed me in any way. Sure, we had our differences once in a while, but your principles and straightforward outlook on life made you that solid rock we could all build on, as Mom stated in her eulogy to you. Your love for us – for me – was always indisputed, making it difficult for anybody else to fill your shoes. This time, while telling you the same, allow me to illustrate it with examples from my own life and my less than perfect association with the male species, starting at a very tender age. The stories will hopefully take you back to all the wonderful places you took your family to, enriching our lives in ways that to me are still evident every day.

At 4 yrs - Suriname
My first crush was E. I think he went to school with my brother, but I’m not really sure. Nor do I remember what it was about him that I found so fascinating at that young age. Obviously, he never knew. Haven’t seen him since, but these days we share Facebook likes.

My memories of you at that age are purely based on what I perceived as your heroism. You were my big, strong Dad, working with cows, killing boa constrictors, wading through mud. Somehow, the handkerchief you used all day in those sweaty circumstances smelled delicious when you came home. Your gruff voice was loud in my ears but your eyes were always loving as you taught me things with rope and glue.

At 7 yrs – Malaysia
Young A from Australia was the heartthrob of all the girls in my class. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. He set a pattern that was to be repeated in later years, telling me he liked me for my brain but not my looks. We were friends, meaning that I admired him from afar and stuttered whenever he spoke to me.

In those years in Malaysia, your work took you away from us during the week. You led a team of cattle experts on a location 4 hours driving from Kuala Lumpur. We used to visit your little house during holidays and waited for the sound of your diesel car every Friday, when you came home to make our weekends complete. You were even more of a hero to me than before, as you filled your days with very male, outdoorsy things I only knew from books.

At 9 yrs – Suriname
J was in my class. He was cool, popular, wore the latest fashion, had green eyes in an olive-skin face. What young girl would NOT fall for him? It was a very full classroom with over 40 pupils. Don’t think J even knew my name…

It was becoming clear I was the class geek in those years. I got teased a lot and didn’t have many friends in school. The headmaster thought it was wise to single me out affirmatively because I spoke English at that age. Idiot! No wonder the other kids hated me! You, on the other hand, explained to me that having something that others lack, would not make life easier, but it would make me stronger. You encouraged my geekiness, probably. And you taught me to persevere. I’m still thankful to you for both!

At 10 yrs – Brazil
I attended the very small American school in Recife in those days – only 156 students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Everybody knew everybody. Had eyes for C only. Years older, good in sports, blue eyes and floppy hair – I thought he was the most beautiful creature ever to walk the face of the Earth. I knew it must be love when I woke up one morning after dreaming of him. I daydreamed about him for years while he went steady with a blonde. He never even spoke to me.

As you might remember, the only way to make any kind of impression on kids in that school was to be good at sports. I wasn’t, except for athletics. I preferred having my nose buried in books. However, the need for social contact was strong, so athletics weren’t the smartest choice. You showed me how to throw and catch a ball. Then you told me to keep practising, day in day out. I did. I made it to the school handball team and made friends. I even made it to the selection for the Pernambuco State Youth team, but that’s when our family packed up and left Brazil for another country.

At 13 yrs – Tunisia
I was the only one in my class who admitted she had never yet been kissed. I just wasn’t interested in what I perceived to be yucky business and no boy I knew was worthy of my love. When N pursued me for months on end (or was it weeks or even days?), I finally allowed myself to believe him. He gave me my first kiss – didn’t think much of it, except that I found it sticky. The next day, he pretended he didn’t know me. I saw his picture on Facebook last year… He’s a creep with a harsh and wicked face!

You explained to me that NO, this did NOT happen because I was ugly but because the boy was stupid. In fact, any boy or man your daughters talked about has always had to prove to you that they were NOT stupid. I guess that goes with being the father of four girls? You told me I was much too clever and precious to even give any boy who couldn’t keep up with me a second glance. I think I might have taken that very literally, because I do believe I still expect more from a man than is reasonable or even fair. After all, they have to measure up to you and your selfless love, even to this day.

At 14 yrs – Tunisia
By this time, I was searching for my roots and started writing to everybody I knew from my childhood days. A answered my letter and we struck up a correspondence that lasted quite a while. He was very romantic and sent me pictures of himself. I swooned and spent all my free time and pocket money on writing him back. After many moons, I was on vacation where he still lives. I was so excited about meeting him again but only then found out that, despite his romantic letters to me, he had had a girlfriend for over a year. He might even have married her at some point, but I didn’t wait around to find out. All I remember is the broken heart that lasted for over two years.

You asked me if I had REALLY believed those letters I received. You also asked me if I thought I had been very smart to let myself get carried away by young love. You teased me sometimes, trying to make me laugh despite my broken heart. I wonder if you were secretly thankful that the experience kept me off boys at that age?

At 16 yrs – Tunisia
I fell fully and completely for F, who was much older and wiser. He was kind to me and honest. He helped me with my maths and spent hours talking to me and teaching me about life. All in a purely platonic way, as he had a girl in Italy he was in love with. Of course, his honesty only made me covet him more… I continued doing so until I left Tunisia the next year.

You liked this young man who obviously had no intention of seducing your gullible daughter. You welcomed him into our home and he gladly accepted, especially on Fridays, when he knew you’d be baking bread… You told me I had good judgment in choosing a man, because I fell for one with principles and empathy. You and I both were disappointed more than a decade later, when I met F again and he had changed into a sour, disappointed and unforgiving man. At least I didn’t have to get over him the second time!

At 17 yrs – Netherlands
I finished secondary school, left for university in the Netherlands and met my first official boyfriend, S. He was very tall (especially next to me), fun, loud and full of life. We had a lot of great times together as I discovered what it was like to live in the “Free West”. I remember our motorbike rides, the sport  matches we attended, his family and lots more. I suppose I fully expected us to stay together forever, but then I found out he’d been kissing with a mutual friend of ours for quite a while.

In retrospect, Dad, I think you and I weren’t sufficiently used to life in the “Wild West” at that time. I think it was as shocking to you as it was to me that this behaviour was thought to be normal. This time, it was hard for you to console me. You just didn’t know how. Instead, you advised me – as you have done throughout my life – to concentrate on my own wishes and my independence. You also told me to beware of all men, as their notion of loyalty and honesty is not necessarily the same as mine. You explained that the biological differences between men and women are such that they have different interests and therefore different values.

At 19 yrs – Netherlands
I met G through S. They shared student digs in those years. He especially liked photographing me, saying that I looked great in black and white. We had good times together for a couple of years, but his heart was never really in it. I suspect he never got over his former girlfriend, maybe even to this day. I have often wondered what became of him. At least I still have some of those photographs to remind me of younger days…

At this point, you started worrying about me. You were certain I spent too much time having fun and too little on getting my life organized. Despite my fine grades in secondary school, my attempts at a higher education all failed. I explained to you that I was sick and tired of Academia, after having spent all my school years learning new languages and catching up. You didn’t understand. We quarrelled. A lot. I told you I wanted a career in radio. You told me to find a reasonable dream. I told you I’d show you and took the very long, lone and winding road. Your early lessons in perseverance paid off, because years later you told me you had been wrong and I had been right. You were very proud of my achievements in Dutch media.

At 21 yrs – Netherlands
J had the most incredible voice, full of authority, knowledge and self-confidence. I fell in love with the voice before I met the man, as I listened to his weekly radio show. Definite sparks flew when we did meet but it never became much more than one-sided adoration. He liked me a lot but was just too caught up in his own life (and, as it turned out, a couple of very bad health habits). We were friends for ages, sparring with each other, throwing witty remarks at each other and trying to change the world. Although our meetings became less frequent over the years, it was always great and quite exciting to link up with him. His habits must have caught up with him… He suddenly died a couple of years ago.

Once again, you asked me why my healthy brain allowed me to fall for men who aren’t strong enough to hold me up. I told you no man but you ever could be... You laughed. You always laughed when I told you that.

At 24 yrs – Netherlands
F was my colleague at work. I found him obnoxious and not particularly attractive but he was persistent in his pursuit. Maybe all that attention did the trick, because I finally gave in. Little did I know he was having a parallel affair with another co-worker. They ended up married.

Your simple reaction was that “a good-looking woman does not have to settle for an unattractive man”. Once again, you urged me to set my standards high and to concentrate on being me. I did. I got my first job as a radio presenter at a tiny radio station right across the Belgian border. You were amused and probably surprised that I put so much heart into it.

At 27 yrs – Netherlands
My phone call to a record company (enquiring about Lenny Kravitz’ first album before it was out) brought me in touch with H, who had a major impact on my life without ever meaning to. H made me music compilations, cooked for me, taught me all there is to know about roots reggae and introduced me to the island of Jamaica, long before it was possible to get there from Holland in less than 24 hours time. H was a troubled soul who should’ve kept to himself and our relationship left a lot to be desired, but I will forever be grateful for what he taught me! Reggae and Jamaica still play a key role in my life, even though H no longer walks this Earth. His spirit still greets me from time to time when I am in Jamaica. I always salute him, although he caused me lots of grief. Certain songs will always remind me of him, like John Holt’s Strange Things.

You didn’t care much for H. You found him weak and furtive and you were probably right. You did acknowledge what he brought to my life and were very proud of me for starting my second life in Jamaica – from scratch. I won’t ever forget standing with you on the roof of Pocadise and you telling me you fully understood my need for a place like that. You told me how proud you were of me and enjoyed the tropical life there for the same reasons that I do. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity of having you and Mom with me in Jamaica three times. We had so much fun and did so much talking, as we did during all the travels we shared in my adult years!

At 32 yrs – Netherlands
A man I really thought I'd keep was W. He ticked all the boxes: intellect, eloquence, poetic nature, his great sense of adventure, love of travel and music, and looks! W and I shared the wonders of life and never had trouble finding topics of mutual interest. Unfortunately, I was not his dream girl, at least not physically. His constant commenting on other women made me so insecure that I ended our liaison. He finally settled down with the girl he met after me – as happened with different men I gave my heart to. Glad to report we’re still friends and still laugh about the same things.

Although you really liked W, you wondered how it is possible for so many Dutch men to not “recognize a prize woman when they find her”. I told you once again I would probably never meet a man who lived up to the standards you set by your own actions.

At 34 yrs – Netherlands
In order to help myself get over W, I let myself be seduced by V. V is a hotshot photographer, quite a bit older than I. He wooed me with stories about his travels but couldn’t hide the fact he was primarily searching for someone with whom to make babies. At his age, that was the last thing remaining on his to-achieve list, he said. V proposed to me - the only man who ever did. Tempting as it was – he was, after all, offering me a life of luxury – I had to say goodbye. I had never wished to become a mother and his stories started to bore me. Our short fling ended and six months after I broke up with him, his next girlfriend was pregnant. I hope the three of them have a good life!

You were impressed by his stories and hoped that our liaison would help me get on further in life. You always found it hard to bear that certain media colleagues of mine had it easy due to the networks offered by their parents. I explained I rather prided myself in being totally self-made and independent. You warned be there would be a limit to what I could achieve in those circles and you were right, as I found out many years later.

At 37 yrs – Netherlands
M’s beautiful, lazy green eyes and laidback manner were simply irresistible! We had first met during a work project, when he was not available. Fate brought us back together when he was and things went quite naturally from there. He and I had a good thing going, until we didn’t anymore. Intrigues and work-related matters got in the way and I let him go. I now see him once a year on average; he’s doing fine!

The four of us had good times together. You found him easy to talk to, as did Mom. Remember our week in Italy together? We went to four open-air operas and enjoyed each other’s company. You also met his two sisters – quite a memorable afternoon! This was a man you thought was good enough for me, although you did understand my reasons to end the relationship.

At 42 yrs – Netherlands
Rastaman L brought new horizons to my life. He was the only man who could deal with all sides of me, even the most volatile. The adventures we shared, on the road with his reggae sound system, are too numerous to describe. L has the mental and physical strength to be his own man and I loved him for that. It still hurts me that he got the worst version of me… Life was catching up on me in difficult and painful ways, when Aisha got sick and I was at war with my former bosses. Finally, after several attempts, our relationship crumbled.

I always loved watching you and L together! There you were, two men from Surinam, born on the same day in August, feeling totally at ease with themselves and each other. You finally had the chance to speak Sranang with somebody one of your children brought home. Maybe it surprised you that I could fall for someone from such a different background, but you saw and acknowledged that he was good to me in many ways.

Later years
I suppose I gave up on love after L. It was a time of struggle and sadness for me. My career in the news business ended and you helped and supported me throughout the many months of battles with the powers in charge of Dutch media. I guess the only time I ever heard you express the need to really knock somebody senseless was during that time, whenever you spoke of some of the people I had to deal with. Their unjust treatment of me, their lies and conniving ways were probably even more of an insult to you than they were to me. I will always be thankful for all the hard work and thinking you did on my behalf during that period.

Perhaps the most important reason for my concentrating fully on my own life was the fact that Aisha’s health continued to deteriorate. We lost her after her heroic 4-year battle with cancer. During those four years, you often had to fend for yourself, as Mom was in Hilversum, keeping Aisha’s life going. Never ever did I hear you complain or express feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, you took over Mom’s chores at home and made the best of a lousy situation. Losing your youngest child in April 2011 was simply unbearable to you, although you insisted you were coping with it.

Your own health started to deteriorate but still you never complained. In fact, I believe none of us knew fully to what extent you must have been suffering. “No need to fuss,” you used to say. You said you were thankful for the full and precious years behind you and enjoyed the bonus time you had. You bore your fate until that fateful day, one year ago yesterday, when you embarked on your final voyage in dramatic but stylish fashion.

During all those years of worry and grief for Aisha and you, until this day, there simply hasn’t been room available in my heart for anyone else than family. 

I am now 51 years old. I very recently met a man who awakens me in many ways. He is attentive, very clever, romantic, genuine and caring. Who knows? Maybe you sent him to me? I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I do!

Here I sit, Daddy, with a huge hole in my heart where your Earthly you used to live. I miss you every single day but am grateful that you did not suffer in ways you might have found unbearable. I carry your lessons with me, have silent conversations with you and will remain honouring you in every thinkable way until it is my hour to meet you again. Please continue to watch over me until such time, as you have always done.

This Wednesday, we buried your ashes; a tiny ceremony at a location of Mom's choice, just the way she wanted it. Whether or not it was divine intervention, our ceremony coincided with a day of national mourning in the Netherlands to honour those who died in the MH17 plane crash. The tolling bells, the flags lowered to half-mast and the sense of solidarity among all Dutch citizens gave extra meaning to our own grief. In many sad ways, it was a beautiful day.

With deepest love, I dedicate this video to you… My personal adventures during my off-duty hours in that week in Rio de Janeiro… I am positive you made it happen, as the Ministry of Economic Affairs signed my proposal on the very day you departed...

Aldith Hunkar

Friday, May 24, 2013

Die omroep toch...

Het is ook altijd wat... "Talent is moeilijk te vinden, laat staan Groot Talent!" De Nederlandse omroep bedient zich al decennialang van die kreet. Ja, zelfs in de tijd dat ik er nog rondliep, wat al snel een paar eeuwen geleden lijkt...

Dat er Talent is in Nederland weten we allemaal. Maar wat we inmiddels ook weten, is dat er met Talent niet vaak erg netjes wordt omgesprongen.

Ik zie Eva nog zo rondrennen op de buitenland redactie van het NOS Journaal. Altijd bezig, altijd druk, altijd op zoek naar de diepte in het verhaal dat zij die dag maakte. Grappig, oprecht, intelligent, harde werker, geen kapsones! Ooit, jaren later, liet ze mij weten dat een losse opmerking van mij (over haar speciale combinatie van kennis en looks) ertoe had geleid dat zij een screentest had gedaan. De rest is geschiedenis; zelden heeft een televisievrouw in Nederland zo'n bliksemcarrière gemaakt!

Maar ze ging dan ook wel ERG hard! Ik begon mij al zorgen over haar toekomst te maken in de tijd van de oneigenlijke "discussie" over haar relatie met Bram M, die werd ingezet om haar een beloofde baan bij Nieuwsuur af te pikken. Want, laten we eerlijk zijn, er zijn wel meer nauwe banden tussen presentatoren en Belangrijke Mensen Uit Het Nieuws te bedenken, maar daar hoor je nooit iemand over. Mijn inschatting destijds was dat er al flink aan Eva's bevallige pootjes werd gezaagd.

De "redding" kwam in de vorm van een contract bij WNL. Zo'n vrouw MOEST op de buis, daar was iedereen het over eens. Ondanks het feit dat zij daar prima werk heeft verricht is ook dat inmiddels heel lelijk afgelopen. Kennelijk mocht zij van WNL niet kiezen voor nieuwe kansen, maar moet zij daarvoor boeten.

Dan nu mijn echte vrees: bij Eva's nieuwe werkgever, de KRO, is nog lang niet helder WAT zij gaat doen in het nieuwe seizoen. En DAT, lieve lezer, is in mijn eigen ervaring het begin van het einde! Omroeppolitiek is ondoorgrondelijk en vage afspraken worden met groot gemak "vergeten" of schaamteloos van tafel geveegd.

Ik ben zelf ooit "niet dankbaar genoeg" geweest in de ogen van mijn omroepbaas. Die had mij iets moois beloofd voor de toekomst, maar er hing geen datum of prijskaartje aan. Uit het niets kwam toen een "mooi aanbod" van een andere omroep. Zo mooi dat ik het niet kon laten schieten, dus ik vertrok, nog voordat dat mooie aanbod goed en wel was uitgewerkt.

Inmiddels weten we dat niet ik, maar Matthijs het gezicht werd van wat toen de NPS heette. Tot zover dus dat mooie aanbod waarvoor ik vertrok bij de NOS. En ja, hoewel ik met plezier terugkeerde naar de NOS was daar inmiddels ook niet echt ruimte meer, want Sacha deed al naar volle tevredenheid van ons allen wat mij voor mijn vertrek in het vooruitzicht was gesteld. Bovendien voelden anderen (laat ik vandaag verder  geen namen noemen) zich bedreigd door mijn terugkeer. Een paar jaren later barstte de bom en verliet ik de omroep - gedesillusioneerd, verdrietig, via de achteruitgang, zonder afscheid te nemen van mijn kijkers die door alle jaren heen blijk hadden gegeven van grote waardering.

Dat lijkt futiel, maar dat is het niet! De band met je kijker is zo ongeveer de enige reden waarom je op televisie zou moeten willen. In een wereld van gebakken, opgeklopte lucht is dat namelijk het enige ECHTE wat je opbouwt. Dat merk ik nu nog, hoewel ik al jaren niet te zien ben in de huiskamer. En ja, als presentator (lees: hoge boom) vang je veel wind en dat is prima. Maar dat neemt niet weg dat je toch je recht behoudt om fatsoenlijk behandeld te worden. Voortijdig van je goedlopende programma afgehaald worden omdat je wat anders gaat doen in het nieuwe seizoen getuigt in mijn ogen niet van fatsoen.

Dat er een mooi leven mogelijk is na de omroep onderschrijf ik als geen ander. Toch hoop ik dat Eva nog even door kan. Dat de KRO haar niet ook een kunstje flikt. Dat zij gewoon door mag gaan met bewijzen dat er wel degelijk Groot Talent is in Nederland. Dat Talent er ook spectaculair mooi uit kan zien. Dat je niet in je half nakie hoeft te zitten om op te vallen. Dat je blond kunt zijn EN hooglijk intelligent. Dat je in de journalistiek een mening mag hebben die afwijkt. En ja, dat je best ambities mag hebben als jonge vrouw en die mag waarmaken ZONDER concessies te doen of afgestraft te worden. Een Matthijs vN, een Herman vdZ of een Jeroen P hebben dat toch ook mogen doen? Nou dan!

Aldith Hunkar

Monday, May 13, 2013

Resuming blogging soon!

Dear all,

After two years of mourning my sister Aisha, I'm ready to start blogging again without it HAVING to be about her...
Giving you fair warning... Plenty of goodies and baddies I'd like to comment on, so keep your eyes on this spot! Coming soon... Cliffhanger...

Aldith Hunkar

Monday, August 01, 2011

Letters to Aisha ~ part 2 (Farewell and Family)

Hellversum, 01 August 2011
NOTE: click on pixx for enlargement!

Dear Aisha,

I’m back, with my second letter to you since you-know-when. In fact, it’s an edited and translated version of a letter I wrote you on July 9th  in Dutch. Edited, because that version was for family purposes only 
and too personal to share publicly.

How are things at the Great Assembly in the Skies? 
Are people listening to your sound advice and creative plans 
to make this a better Universe for us all??? 
So far, we’re experiencing a lousy summer, 
so I suspect there’s a couple of non-talented non-listeners 
in your Heavenly Group… 
Please make sure they shut up and serve drinks or something 
while you do The Work!

It’s been 95 days since you passed on – not that I’m counting; 
got an iPhone app for that… 
I’ve grown a lot wiser in those 95 days! 
One thing I’ve learned, for instance, is that all clichés 
about losing a loved one are actually true! 
Every single person deals with mourning in his or her own way, 
but MUST go through a number of phases 
before Life can resume any degree of normalcy.

My personal feeling is that you’re not really gone. 
My days are still largely filled with activities that are 
directly or indirectly linked to you. 
What I miss most are your voice and your touch. 
Apart from those, I feel that communication between us two 
is still completely intact. 
Saturdays have changed though… 
Used to enjoy doing errands and shopping for you in the centre of town. 
It’s a lot bleaker doing only my own rounds.

So far, four people have mentioned talking to you in their dreams. 
Three of them said you told them you’ll be sticking around for a while, 
keeping an eye on things and spurring on those who need it most. 
That would be a very YOU thing to do, so I’ve decided the stories are true. 
The fourth person who told me their dream about you is likkle K… 
must keep that between her and me…

The news of your passing was spread digitally on April 29th
The cards were mailed a day later because they had to be printed 
and Mom wrote ALL addresses by hand. 

The PR-woman in you would have loved the avalanche the news caused. 
My first tweet was retweeted 30 times 
and brought on 77 immediate reactions. 
The following tweets, including the uploads 
of the digital obituary  and the thank you card 
generated even higher stats and, as a consequence, 
reached hundreds of thousands of people. 
Good for you!! 
I only wish news about myself would have this kind of impact!!

It was quickly evident that your Twitter farewell would be substantial. 
I therefore asked all peeps to bring their own drink or have one virtually, 
like we used to do during your twitter parties. 
The condolences ceremony was one of 
brotherhood and newly-formed friendships, 
and even a romance or two! 
Yes, once again, you connected people online and in real Life!

The cremation ceremony the following day 
was a beautiful, varied gathering. 
Your brother and three sisters all spoke, 
your niece and nephew played music, 
your aunt and cousin read a beautiful story. 
Sweet likkle K accompanied every speaker, holding a candle. 
What I remember most of that day are her courage and strength. 
She watched over you like the likkle Souljah Girl that she is.

The ceremony went into (expensive) overtime and 
we gave you a standing ovation at the end. 
Don’t think the peeps at the funeral parlour had ever experienced that… 
They estimated that over 600 people in total attended the two ceremonies. 
Not many of us will be able to boast the same. 
It was a beautiful and heart-warming thing to see 
so many people in shades of purple…

(not merely edited, but completely re-written for blogging purposes)

The decision about K’s future address has fallen. 
She will be living with her father, new baby half-brother and her father’s girlfriend. 
This news is hard for me to publicise, because many people know how you felt about this. 
You blogged about it many times!

But this is the paragraph in Life where post-mortem complications are illustrated: 
not everybody is equally satisfied with this outcome, 
and that’s putting it extremely diplomatically. 
However, everybody has accepted the situation and we are all trying to work together to make this as easy on K as is humanly possible.

Of course, I’m personally heartbroken! 
The day you died is 
the day I became a mother; 
it’s like a Mom-gene suddenly grew in me 
and likkle K miraculously became my daughter – at least, in my heart. 
We’ve grown even closer and a day without her is empty, sad and dark. 

Even thinking of her brings tears to my eyes… each and every time! 
I had been looking forward 
to living with her and 
coaching her forward into young womanhood, 
but the Gods have thrown an ugly hand of dice my way. 
I must now shift my energy towards 
making sure I still play 
a substantial role in her Life, 
so that your influence won’t be completely gone.

Just to reassure you, K is taking this all in great style. 
She’s generally calm and happy, does her best at everything she does, 
brings light and warmth to our hearts, sounds more like you every day, 
and is a regular likkle peace maker! 

It is through HER doings that the tension 
between her father and the Hunkar Clan has diminished 
and that we are all on speaking terms, even better. 
She worked really hard with me last week to pack up her belongings, 
so that they could be moved to her father’s house.
 Mom and I were heartbroken while brother M’s car pulled away 
with her bundled up in the front seat 
and a load of her stuff piled in the back.

What K’s future will bring? 
Only Jah knows, and possibly your peeps 
in the Great Assembly in the Skies… 
All I can say is that my heart is broken in 850 pieces 
and I can’t find the glue! 
I must promise myself to keep a positive attitude 
so that she once again becomes the carefree, 
happy likkle girl she should be…

Helping out with her school musical and
making her Big Wish of visiting the Army base come true
might have helped a little...
Big THANX to ALL peeps at K's Primary School 
and to @360marco
for ALL you've done!!

 ~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~

Unbelievable how many things need to be done when someone dies! 
Not just the farewell ceremony 
(did you know that Mom and K washed and dressed you for your send-off? 
A beautiful and heart-wrenching thing to see!), 
but also all those loose ends that need tying.

Via twitterfriend @EricSuiker  we have found 
a friendly and no-nonsense realtor 
who will help us sell your house in Hilversum. 
There’s just a few more small things to take care of: 
Jet and Mary will be in today for a few small paint jobs and repairs.

The business end of your estate is taken care of 
by Amsterdam sisss and her husband. 
Your medical supplies have arrived in a hospital in Surinam, 
where patients in dire need are thankful and in less pain now. 
Mom and I are sorting through your stuff, 
deciding what goes out and what stays in storage for K. 
Thank you for sending a vibe so that 
Mom’s broken arm is finally getting better! 
She needs it during the painful but necessary task at hand!

What will now happen to the Entrada apartment 
that’s being built for you and K remains to be seen. 
We are investigating the options at hand. 
Will update you on that in my next letter, I suppose.

Just letting you know that the infamous V&D Assault Case of January 2010,
in which you were a victim, 
is FINALLY being dealt with properly! 
Slachtofferhulp (Aid to Victims) have altered their standardized letter, 
so that other families won’t be confronted 
with the crude choice of words we had to deal with. 

Furthermore, they have now put me into contact 
with a very zealous gentleman 
who is the first coordinator between 
the Police, Aid to Victims and the District Attorney. 
It’s a new function and he is VERY determined 
to have your case dealt with properly. 

Mom and I met with two District Attorneys who are 
on the case like a fly on syrup… 
It was scheduled to appear in court on July 19th (K’s Earth Day!) 
but the culprits got cold feet and have hired a lawyer. 
The case is now postponed to September. 
Looking forward to the Judge handing out punishment 
to the animals that attacked you in the V&D warehouse!!

(added to original letter, because Time has passed)
The month of August will never be the same. 
It was always the month of many family Earth Days, including yours, 
but without you the happy festivities have lost their shine. 
As you know, Dad will be 80 years old in a few days, 
but he doesn’t want the traditional gathering of family and friends 
on a sunny Sunday in their garden. 
Instead, he took us out to dinner last Saturday: 
children and grandchildren 
(except for the French branch, because they are in France), 
and Auntie T and her hubby C. 
We all went to Mom and Dad’s favourite restaurant, 
the Turkish one on the market square in their hometown.

 Vibes were nice, especially during my trip with K to Mom and Dad’s home. 
She plugged in her iPod to the boom box in my PocaMobile
and we loudly sang and played “guess the intro”. 
She looked at me with a happy smile a couple of times. 
I’m sure she was remembering – as I was – the countless trips 
the 3 of us made in the same way... 

Dinner was good and harmonious, as you can tell by looking at the pixxx. 
We did miss you though, how couldn’t we??

Mi likkle Angel, I think of you every day. 
Like I said, you’re not gone at all from my Life! 
I talk to you in my heart, especially during quiet nightly hours 
when I lay awake trying to figure out what this is all about.

I then think of you during those last 13 months, 
lying in your bed, on your back. 
Never complaining, but only spreading love to all who came by. 
That to me is what’s so raw: the pure Love you exuded!

I often wonder what you think when you look down upon us   and our measly attempts to sort out matters. 
Are you content? 
Is there a smile on your face? 
Or do you think things could and should be better? 
If so, how would you rather have them,
given the circumstances? 

And how will you let us know?

I really would not be able to bear it 
if you weren’t satisfied with my work so far, 
or if K were to reproach me for anything in the future. 
It would mean I had failed to do what I promised 
and I think I could never forgive myself for that.

You see, likkle sissss, what’s most important to me 
is that you and I sing, laugh and dance like we used to 
when we meet again.
I pray we will hug each other again spontaneously at silly moments, 
just because we are one… 

I don’t know when I will start missing you any less, 
or even how to start doing that. 
I don’t even know IF I will ever miss you less.

Until that becomes clear, I will carry you with me, 24 hours every day. 
I will also continue to be as honest and complete as possible 
when writing my thoughts to you. 
I do that for you, I do that for me. 
And for K, one day…

Nuff luv!

Aldith Hunkar

Photography: @AnitaUnderCoverFreeLemon, PocaPixx