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In memoriam: Opa Koek

Dear Opa,

We just got the news that you passed away while we were in flight from Boston to Amsterdam. We landed an hour ago, and now I'm writing you this letter on the train from Amsterdam to Antwerp. We were on our way to come visit you. We still will.

I wish I could have had one last drink with you, chat about days gone by, and listen to your many amazing life stories. But most of all, I wanted to thank you in person. I wanted to thank you for making a lasting mark on me.

I visited you in the hospital two months ago, but I never had the courage to truly say goodbye or to really thank you. I was hoping I'd see you again. I'm in tears now because I feel you might never know how important you were to me.

I can't even begin to thank you for everything you've taught me. The way you invented things -- first in your job as an engineer and researcher, and later in automating and improving your home. The way you taught me how to sketch -- I think of you each time I draw something. The way you shared your knowledge and insight and how you always kept reading and learning -- even as recent as 2 months ago you asked me to bring you a book on quantum physics. The way you cooked and cared for Oma every single day and the way you were satisfied with a modest, but happy family life. The way you unconditionally loved all your grandchildren, no matter what choices we made -- with you we never had to live up to expectations, yet you encouraged us to make most out of our talents.

There are no words. No words at all for how you impacted my life and how you helped me become the person I've become. Few adults have the opportunity to really get to know their grandparents. I have been lucky to have known you for 37 years. Thank you for our time together. Your impact on me is deep, and forever. You made your mark.

Love,

Dries

Wedding
We heart opa

Seb Van Stichel

Seb van stichel

Today the world welcomed a healthy baby boy: Seb Van Stichel. Congratulations to my sister, Mien, and my brother-in-law, Johan. My Opa, the oldest member of our family at 94 years old, is holding his great-grandson, the youngest member of the family. I'm honored to be Seb's godfather; my Christmas budget will be going up. :-)

In memoriam: Moeke Hasselt

Liefste Moeke Hasselt,

Vandaag is het een vreemde dag. Ik kan helaas niet bij je zijn maar ik denk aan jou en deel de pijn.

Ik denk terug aan de liefde die je ons hebt gegeven. Met goedheid en lieve zorgen heb je ons omringd.

Kon ik nog maar een keer goed met je praten, of kon ik je maar laten zien hoe ik mijn leven zou gaan leiden.

Maar vrees niet, want je hebt ons een erg goed voorbeeld gegeven. Je was een vrouw met een groot besef van plicht. Bedachtzaam, bescheiden en tevreden -- die dingen staan nu ook in ons hart en in ons verstand geschreven.

Vandaag is het een vreemde dag. Verdrietig om het gemis, dankbaar voor de goede herinneringen, en trots op wat je ons hebt gegeven.

Moeke Hasselt, geniet van je rust, verlost van alle pijn, en van eindelijk bij Vake Hasselt te zijn.

Bedankt,

Je kleinzoon, Dries

Party

Just married

Marriage
Congratulations Jeroen and Katya! Loved this song at the wedding party:

Day trip to the Antwerp zoo

Flamingo
Stan staring at reptiles
Jaguar
Ferris wheel
Gorilla
Dries axl stan
For more photos, check out the entire album.

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