I got a message yesterday that my Dutch son lost his mom. Kalle is a friend that my daughter met on the internet years ago. She started writing to him while she was in high school and always referred to him as a penpal so that I wouldn’t keep referring to him as some “creep she met online.” After months of her getting to know him online, we had the opportunity to meet him while we were traveling to London. When she asked if she might be able to meet him while we were there, I said she could as long as she was handcuffed to her dad the entire time. We kept our travel plans very vague with her in case we were still dealing with a creep who wanted to abduct her and we finally gave her a meeting spot. She was to meet him standing under a clock in the train station. He was to be wearing one green sock and one red sock. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw Kalle and not a creep under the clock. Before we allowed my daughter to approach him, we allowed him to meet her older 6’4″ brother and her dad. Finally, he got to meet his penpal and we had a wonderful day touring the city. It amazed me how similar he was to her friends from home. Just a typical teenage boy, it seemed that we had known him forever. Since she often wrote of her family, he knew a lot about us and asked us questions. It was hard to remember that he was from a foreign country so far away. We genuinely liked him from the time we met him.
He later came to visit us and spent a few weeks in our basement touring our neighborhood and then we went to visit him in Delft, Netherlands. He was a gracious host as he showed us his beautiful country and reintroduced me to bike riding. Now, this “penpalship” has branched beyond our daughter and has included the entire family.
Though I’ve never met his mom, we communicated online a few times. I knew of her courageous battle with cancer and I knew of her sons’ attention to her. Kalle talked of her often and I kept her in my prayers . I mentioned her to friends and shared stories of her battle with others. Yesterday she lost her battle with cancer. Now, this friend of mine, who lives 3,852 miles from me is hurting and all I can do is send a facebook message and a prayer. I wish my favorite “Netherlandian” could get a big hug from me, his “American Mom.” But, for now, we’ll just shed tears together yet apart for his loss. My daughter sent me a text yesterday that said, “Sorry for your loss” and I replied “Sorry for your loss.” It is amazing that we truly feel a real loss for a woman that we had only got to know through stories told by her son. That truly says something for the power of the written word. I hope she knows how much I cared about her and how much I will continue to care for her son in her absence. Kalle, I am sending you all my thoughts and prayers. May your Mom rest in peace. God Bless You All.