Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van september, 2018


Ever since we received an invitation to attend an 12.5 years wedding anniversary party, I was looking forward to go. Exited even.


I knew exactly what I wanted to wear when I read the dress code. The bride would wear her wedding dress again, and it would be fun if all the married women who are invited, would wear it too. Provided that it still fits off course.


I loved the idea!! How many other times do you wear your wedding dress? Seeing I don’t have mine anymore, I thought of my special dress. The one I wanted to wear at their wedding day as well. But due to my starting days of Crohn’s disease, I felt terrible that day, and wanted to wear something safe to run to the toilet, and change if needed. So I didn’t wear the dress. But now, 12.5 years later, I get a rematch!



I took my dress out of the closet, and checked for any wear or tear. The dress is 20 years old, and we had suffered some unwelcome family of moths in our closets, a couple of years back. But it still looked great. I took my wedding shoes out of their box, and smiled. At least one authentic item.


Ramon had a barbeque with his work on Friday, and Saturday would be the anniversary party. I would have loved to join the barbeque, and see everyone again, but I had to choose between the two. With a limited amount of energy, I couldn’t do both. So I followed my heart.


I wanted to make them a wedding cake. A small version at least. After a whole day of sleeping and taking it slow on Friday, I wanted to make the cake in the evening. Ramon was still at the barbeque, so it was a perfect time for a little Chopin and Debussy to accompany me in the kitchen. I put on my Wonder Woman shirt for some extra boost, and started pottering about.



I was having a blast!



But by the time Ramon came home, I think I was having a blast too many. We both looked at my creation, and the only sound that filled the room, was the wind created by Ramon his eyelashes when he blinked.


‘Hmmmm…. Yes, you have been busy I see. It’s nice. But you have made more impressive ones in the past…’ he said carefully, not to upset me much. I brushed some icing powder from my nose, and took a deep breath… which made me sneeze. ‘Yes, I think you are right… I think I got a little carried away with all the sugar and the music. Maybe I can write something on a card saying; This cake represents marriage. Not perfect, but a lot of love and energy has gone in it to make it work.’ I put it in the fridge, and told myself not to be such a perfectionist. It looks fine…. and will taste fantastic.


To be honest, it looked terrible.

(Very conveniently I haven’t made any pictures of it.)


And I just couldn’t let it go. I tossed and turned all night, and finally decided I couldn’t give them this horrible piece of cake. It would seem like I didn’t care for them and just ruffled something up. So I got out of bed at the crack of dawn, and made a new one.



Five hours later, I woke Ramon for breakfast and coffee, and showed him the newest version. I was exhausted, but I was finally content with the result. Later that day we shopped for some final details and a platter to put it on, and we were ready to go.




I felt beautiful wearing my dress and wedding shoes again.



We found a sweater to wear over it, that still looked nice and would keep me warm, as it was held in the garden. I put my make up on, and smiled at my “looking-good” face. It’s been a while since I looked at that face, and it felt good.





Last week I got the results back from the colonoscopy. I know I should be happy the results turned out to be exactly as I told the doctors from the beginning, because now I finally got something that makes me feel better soon.


But I am not. I am angry.


Angry for not being taken seriously and listened to once again. It’s not only my personal experience and knowledge over the past years they willingly ignored, but all the information in my medical files as well. All they had to do, was look back to the dates I gave them, when my physical symptoms were exactly the same, and act with quicker pace to state  if my ailments correspond with previous cases. I feel I have been put through these past miserable months on purpose. Because there was no need for them to just let me hang out to dry like this. A couple of ulcers and a bad inflammation in the small intestine, made  four months of chronical diarrhea, crazy amount of pain in my stomach, complete exhaustion, and a total of almost 40 pounds, loss of weight. And the reason why, was just as I thought; my Crohn was acting up again, and not even a ‘sorry, it seems you were right’. But thank God I did get the Prednisone.


So now I have been feeling quite ill the last week, but this time it’s okay. I will have to get used to the Prednisone and the dosage of it, so I will feel better soon.


It’s crazy how knowing I was right all along, and that I do know my own body by listening to it, and all the experience I’ve gathered throughout the years, makes me roar like a lion in my mind. I still feel physically exhausted, but in my mind I feel I can take any and everything. And it is within my reach, to start doing the things I like, with a little more energy in store again. I can’t wait.


To celebrate the “good” news, and stay with the positive happy side of things; I want to show you some delicious happy pictures I took yesterday.



There was doggy swimming at the local swimming pools. On the last day of the season, they allow dogs to swim in the outdoor pools. It would be too much impulses for Kuzco, so we only took Malha.



It was great to see her exuberant enthusiasm, and her enormous amount of love and devotion towards Ramon.




They are like two peas in a pot. Just like me and Kuzco. She had a wonderful time.



Playing and swimming with other doggies and Ramon.



When she became tired of all the new impulses, she was clinging to Ramon for comfort and safety like a child. It was just too adorable to watch, so obviously there were a lot of Aaaawhs made by people who saw them together.



Next year, we have to stay on top of all the different dates the nearby swimming pools set on their closing the outdoor season. Because we have to do this again and again!!!! This was so much fun!








We went for a little ride on the sidecar, without the doggies. I had filled a bag with snacks, coffee and rosé for a picnic. The weather was good enough for a ride to the beach, and just chill out on a blanket to enjoy this beautiful day.



I just love it so much, to sit next to Ramon and enjoy the rough and noisy ride the sidecar makes. And because it can’t go any faster than 60 km per hour, you can really enjoy the surroundings while driving.



We went to Zandvoort. There was still a nice spot left on the beach that was downwind. Even though a lot of people thought it was a good idea to go to the beach on such a nice September day as well, it felt like we were all alone in a cocoon, observing all the people around us. It was nice and quiet, and the sun was actually quite warm, which made the cold rosé taste even better.



We laughed and yoked about a young seagull, which was rather bold, and almost joined us on our blanket begging for treats.



‘Really, this is a true personal reflection I’m having right now. Seeing Kuzco and Malha are just as audacious in their begging for treats.

Hmmmm….I wonder if we just look so easy to manipulate for food… I just have to look more strict, I’ve just learned.’



‘You mean be more strict.’ I got as reply with some sturdy looking eyebrows.



I laughed, because the seagull was sitting closer to Ramon winking its left and right eye alternately at him. That by itself said enough…


When we drove back home, we decided to get a Chinese take-out first. I had to laugh so hard during the ride, it almost hurt.


When you drive a sidecar, it means you physically have to work really hard. Especially when the road has many sharp turns. You don’t just wiggle the steer left or right, you have to put in all your weight pushing it left or right. So often times I hear a loud caveman-like moan coming out of my earpiece when it’s a heavy turn. But this time, when we crossed a second roundabout short after another, the tire slipped, and made a squeaking sound while turning. I’ve never heard this before, and it made me think of those ‘chasing the bad guys’ scene, in old movies. With squeaking tires and me flying up in the air, to then hit the ground with no suspension of any kind, shaking my helmet back into the right position, and grabbing the bar tight keeping my head low behind the windscreen. We are going super-duper fast you know!!!!

In the split second this scene was playing in my head, I looked at Ramon and laughed so hard. And I knew he laughed at the same thing. This was so cool!



But my limits of excitement were reached when Ramon wanted to proceed this old time movie ride, by going up, almost vertically on a paved dike. At least, that’s how it felt like. A nice short cut, he said…. I screamed like a pig. Oh my God!! When you already suffer severe diarrhea, it is not advisable to scare your pants off. And when he didn’t succeed the first time, he tried again, and again!!! Maybe it was the sheer paleness of color that was left on my face, or the bewildered look, or the fact I almost bended the bar; in any case, he gave up. And I stepped out of of my bin with my knees still wobbling, telling him I will walk to the Chinese restaurant instead. I’m almost certain he will try again when he takes the sidecar by himself for getting a Chinese take-out, and that’s fine by me.


I’m just glad he first have to order what-cha-ma-call-it to install on something-something, before we can take the sidecar to the sandpit, he really wants to go to. I have agreed to come along. Would be/could be cool I said…. But after this vertical paved (!) disgrace, I wonder how hard I will scream going up and down the sandpit….


Please take your time with ordering and installing…..











It was bliss. Complete and utter bliss.



Angel was coming for a sleep over, and all week long I was planning and scheming. Recently she is crazy about horses. When she asked a while back if I had any books that contained horses, I was all smiles when she sat on the floor “reading” my old horse-magazines. She is a true fantasist, and likes to tell us stories that “really” happened. So when she was done looking at the pictures of a circus girl doing tricks while riding on a horse; it was only logical she also had done this before. On her very own horse even. Sure-sure, it was quite a difficult trick to master; she had fallen off her horse once while performing, but she wasn’t scared at all. She jumped right back on her horse, and everyone applauded….


That’s what made me call several horse-riding centers in the neighborhood. I thought she might be surprised if we told her she could actually learn to ride a horse. I found a horse-riding center nearby, which sounded very easygoing and unpretentious for a little girl of six years old. I was so excited!


We had to do some shopping before we would pick her up. We already had a spare bed, but no pillow or blanket, let alone a cheerful children’s duvet cover and pillowcase. I don’t know which one had a greater glow on the cheeks, while searching the duvet covers, Ramon or me. Ramon found a perfect one holding a unicorn. We were so happy. We knew she would love this! We walked to the cash register, and ‘bumped’ into a huge stuffed unicorn. All though I’m convinced Ramon had already spotted it long before I did…



‘Look! Isn’t this fantastic!!! Malha would lo-ooooove this!’ He grabbed a medium sized one off the shelf, after he looked at my frown knowing I would think it’s rather undue to buy a stuffed animal that is three times the size of Malha. I smiled. Yeah, why not. Angel would love it just the same, as a similar unicorn is printed on the duvet cover. We almost skipped to the car, ready to pick her up.


We took her to a second hand store two blocks from our home, after we first played shortly at a playground. ‘Why are we going to a store? You had already shopped before you picked me up. I would really like to play with you a little while longer aunty Joyce.’ But when we told her we were going to a shop where they sell all kinds off horsy stuff, she was already skipping 10 skips ahead of us.


Her cheeks went all rosy when she saw horse-pictures on the wall, boots, caps, competition clothing and prizes on the shelfs.



We made her fit some boots and a cap, and when she saw a hobbyhorse, she immediately ran around the store pretending she rode a horse. ‘What do you think about we actually going to a horse-riding center and you ride a real horse?’



She made a funny face, and thought I was yoking. ‘No really. We are taking the cap and boots with us, and mommy already put a legging in your bag. So what do you think…you want to rush home to change cloths, and then head to the horsies?’



It was wonderful!!!!



Her smile was up to her ears when she saw all the horses. Without hesitation she ran up to a horse, and pet it’s nose. ‘Hello horsy, I’m going to ride you.’ She said with a big smile. We were welcomed by the proprietor, and were showed around the stables and horses.



Angel immediately was taken in, and when she was introduced to ‘her’ horse, she had to help with brushing and cleaning,



and to saddle up her horse.



When she actually got up on her horse, her little face was intensely focused.



Ramon and me were like two Japanese snapping pictures and filming, feeling utterly proud and overrun by emotion.



We thought she would be exhausted by all these new impulses, and probably wouldn’t want to help make spaghetti anymore, as she requested when we picked her up. But there was nothing of a sort. She couldn’t wait to help me when we got home.


My day couldn’t get any better than this. I felt I was living my dream. And I wasn’t the only one. I could see Ramon was taken just as much as me, by this little girl laughing and tittle-tattling about, in our house. Oooh, how we longed for this sound to fill our house for ourselves.



Angel and me pottered around in the kitchen, letting her knead, chop, smell, and taste.





After a lovely dinner, all three of us walked the doggies. Angel ran and played with Malha, and then she picked flowers for me and Ramon. ‘Will you put them in a vase aunty Joyce?’ ‘Off course I will. I will put them in our most beautiful and special vase we have, because we love how you picked the flowers especially for us.’ And I gave her a big kiss. She gave us a beautiful smile in return, and picked a hundred flowers more.



When we lay in our bed to sleep, Ramon held me tight. We lay silent for a while, and then I felt a tear fell from his face on to mine. I couldn’t hold mine back anymore either. ‘Can we keep it?’ he said softly. I laughed through my tears. I knew exactly how he felt. ‘It is such a mixed feeling. I feel so much joy having Angel around, but on the other side, it grieves me so, for us not being granted this for ourselves.’ I gave him a kiss, and hugged him even tighter.



The next morning Angel and I made croissants together, and set the table. She watched how Kuzco and Malha jumped around the bed to wake Ramon, and the laughter started to fill our house again. I loved how she wanted to try each and everything there was on the breakfast table. ‘I can’t eat all, that’s too much. But I can’t choose. Everything looks and smells so nice!’ I told her she could have small bites of everything, and she did.



We went to the park to walk Kuzco and Malha, and then went to the petting zoo.



She was definitely stalling to go home, but after we got an ice-cream, she really wanted to tell her mommy all about the things she had done. Especially about her horse riding experience off course, and show mommy her super-duper cool riding boots which are never coming off her feet anymore.



I was exhausted when we came home after bringing Angel back to my sister. My body hurt like hell, and my seizures were pushing with great frequency. I was amazed Angel wasn’t bothered by them. Off course I had explained all about it, but still, I thought it would make an huge impression on her. But all she was on about, were all the things we did together, and how funny Uncle Ramon is. She really had to laugh so much about his silly things. Well, isn’t that a huge compliment?



My recovery days are filled with happy memories.








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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress