Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: IN-LAWS (07/11/19)
TITLE: Alie's strength
By Peggy horjus
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The news of having ovarian cancer was a slap in the face, it is 1975, Alie was to be my mother in law.
Special diets, surgery, chemo filled the next 20+ years of her life.
None of these approaches in medicine were guaranteed
and in their early trial stages. So little was known then.
Alie and I didn't particularly get along, she didn't approve of me, later I learned not of the other daughter in laws either.
Other than this she was not much of a complainer as far as I could tell. I share this because despite the fact she wasn't very fond of me
and I not of her, what followed in the years to come made me love and respect her.
After surgery, diets and chemo things appeared to be under control and she could go on with life.
Ron, my hubby and I immigrated in 1981 from the Netherlands to Canada, we were visited by Alie and her hubby Mart in the summer of 1985.
This visit improved the relationship some, it was still far from great, she was just not affectioned nor encouraging.
The distance, the ocean between didn't help either, real connecting didn't happen.
A few months after their visit we received the call, the cancer is back now it's the breasts that were affected.
It all started from the beginning, surgery, chemo more diet as if this wasn't enough Mart my father in law had a massive stroke.
He was paralyzed from the waist down, medicine wasn't were it is today, and they lived with this for over 10 years.
No communication, he couldn't talk nor write. Alie took 24/7 care of him, she now was down to 120lbs. Mart was 5'11 and was about 200lbs, so, in comparison to Alie a giant. She battling her cancer now had a man to wash, dress etc...….
Although we didn't monitor this closely it didn't take much to know this was an impossible task, that would take great courage,
strength, endurance, planning, determination and focus. She was inspiring to say the least. She didn't have her driver’s license which she
now wanted to get and did. She drove her Mart to all his doctor's appointments. We visited yearly, once with all the kids.
It was tough to see their Opa this way, but we managed to get some wonderful memories in, we even had some funny things happen.
At one time we, Ron, I and our 3 kids all drove on bicycles when were surprised by a torrential pour down,
we all got soaking wet which made my father in law to laugh so hard he couldn't stop, we looked like a couple of cats that drowned,
it was a glorious sound; he didn't laugh very often anymore. Mart passed in 1997.
During all these hard years of caring for her man, while battling with cancer I never heard Alie complain though she had plenty of reason to.
Alie passed in 2001, she had been remission for 3 years than was hit with long cancer, she was done fighting, she shared with
me she had a full life, saw her kids get married and have kids it was all good, she was ready to go she said.
We inherited her Bible, I found notes, scriptures underlined, and it became obvious where her strength came from, who knew?
She didn't share, didn't preach, they didn't go to church.
In 1 Peter 3;1 it says this: "wives be submissive to your husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, that they without a word may be won by the conduct of their wife." Alie won my respect by her conduct, she became an inspiration to some of
her grandkids and our granddaughter, her great granddaughter, is named Alie after her.
The Bible also tells us not to be rude or use coarse language, she was a great example in that as well.
It is said that the behaviour of believers may be the only Bible some people read she did leave in that regards a great legacy,
praise be to God for Alie the mother of the love of my life.
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