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Click here to listen to Amanda Somerville - Angel of mine
Great song; if you know where I can find a better quality recording please please let me know. Thank you in advance! Read the lyrics
"People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." (Author unknown)
This is a monument for those who live in my heart: the people who have taught me, guided me, laughed with me, eased my pain, mended me, encouraged me, inspired me or simply put up with me. :) Thank you for making my life colourful, wonderful, beautiful, meaningful.
Don't feel that this song is not about you just because it doesn't apply to you in every little detail; each one of you is an essential, irreplaceable piece of my wonderful angel so this one is definitely for you and describes what you have personally done for me in one or more ways! Thinking of you brings me joy, comfort, peace, guidance and so much more.

This is a work in progress. I write whenever I find the right words and that may take a while. If you're not on this page today you may be tomorrow or next week... or some other time.
If you wish to be removed from this page, either entirely or partially, email me at BRAILLE NOTE GPS @ HET NET . NL (no caps / all lowercase) and let me know.

Dad, more than with any other family member I feel you and I are very much on the same wavelength. You listen to what I say and remember my planned events. You acknowledge my frustrations then tell me it's going to be okay (you seem to know I need both). Whenever I feel a gap between what I am and what I think I should be only you can reconcile me to the world and the life I lead; I don't think you even realise because when I call you during those times we talk about anything but the gap. I don't know how you do it; all I know is you restore peace to my life.
You gave me a modem for my 24th birthday and opened up the big world of online communication and information providing me with fun, great friendships and greatly increased independence.
You give me plenty of space to be me, to have my own opinions, tell my stories.
I love sharing my life with you and hope you like it too. I have very special memories of lunch before you'd drive me to Hilversum, your comforting presence when my first pet died and that first year when I decided to stay in the house rather than share in the fireworks fun (and felt misunderstood), and even of funerals we attended together. I love our "Monday evening outings", saddling/unsaddling the horse together. It was good that you were there when I fell off No Name and broke my arm. You kept your cool and we even had a laugh or two. Thank you.
Your help is more than practical and convenient. It's about your presence; don't ever think you can be replaced.
To put it in the words of David Gates: you never say too much but still you show the way and I know from watching you.
I admire your strength; I connect to your rationality; I'm very happy and grateful for the values you've taught me (love and respect for people, giving them the benefit of the doubt if necessary, trying to see different possible sides of a story).
Dad, I love you and I'm proud to be your daughter.

Mum, you have so many talents. You're fun, creative, a great cook, an excellent nurse. When I came home with a broken arm you did everything you could to make me comfortable in every way possible, solving each practical problem with determination and creativity. So many practical things I don't have to worry about, like household-related tasks, because you take care of all that. I guess it made me lazy but I'm grateful to you; I seriously don't know where I would have been without your care.
You taught me the real emotional value of touch. That's a very precious gift you've given me and I wish for everyone that they could experience this and learn that lesson. I'm convinced that your warmth and spontaneity rubbed off on me sufficiently to save me from becoming the cold, distant, critical person that people of my personality type tend towards.
You taught me not to be so scared of people's reactions when doing something "crazy"; they might actually enjoy it! (The Tiramisu story is so much more to me than just a funny story!) What started with a joke grew into a way to share my love and gratitude for people with them. The joy and satisfaction that this has given me cannot be described and defines my life to a great extent. Thank you for that.
And of course you've given me the opportunity to learn about God which determines how I experience the world, everything that is (either visible or invisible), everyone who is.

Hetty, you've been good to me, warm and accepting, embracing. You did not come to change things, to break things up and reshape as many grown-up new additions to a family do; you've been there, not to take anybody's place but just to be there; you've made dad happy and I'm grateful to you. Your home and your heart are one; it's just that we would not physically fit in your heart so a house is very convenient.

Marc, I hardly ever trust anyone with my tears but in your arms I felt safe and relaxed. You've always been my big brother - I think every girl should have a big brother like you - who loves and protects me, a brother to be proud of and brag about. You taught me how to ride a bicycle, you taught me things you learnt at school (this sparked my interest in the English language); you read stories to me when I was ill and let me play with your toys and later you wanted me to use your turntable and cd player even though as a child I broke one of the planes that you had built with so much patience and care. I was scared I would break your turntable too!
We bought our first records together; you introduced me to pop music. You fought the kid who would not let me play in peace and taught him he'd better leave me alone. One day when I was playing outside and a little boy was putting some fireworks in a tin can in the area where I was playing you "happened" to come by just in time to see what he was doing and stop him. God only knows what would have happened if you had not been there.
I have many many beautiful memories of growing up with you. And when I ask you for advice you always give me good advice but leave it up to me whether I follow your advice or not; you'll keep supporting me anyway.

Kitty, it's wonderful to have you as my sister-in-law. You're so much fun to be around - warm, genuinely interested in people, you share your joy of life through all your original ideas for things to do. When I struggled with the question: "how will I know that when I fall in love that my love for him is real and that he's truly that special "one and only"?" most people gave me a glazed over look (I could hear it in their voices) and answered: "well... you'll know" which didn't cut it for me of course. You showed you understood my question and basically told me: "go out, live, don't be afraid to get it wrong and you will learn to tell the difference. And when it's really right, you'll know." So you're not only fun, you're wise as well.

Quinn, you're such a sweet boy. Full of energy, full of life, always curious, always eager to help; you're definitely one of the greatest kids I know. One particularly stressful weekend I was at your birthday party (you turned 7!) and when you thanked me for the present you threw yourself into my arms as in total surrender. The feeling you gave me was like a ray of sun that kept shining throughout the weekend. How I needed that!

Sander, when your mum and my dad got married and it was time to take pictures you said as you walked up to me "I'll stand next to my sister". That gave me a very warm feeling and it is still attached to this memory. Something in your voice always tells me that you care deeply about your little sister.
And where in this technologicalised world would I be without your readily available help? I admire your patience and systematic approach with which you can solve each of my many computer problems.

Robbie, you are one of those people the world needed so badly but the world could not make you feel you had a place here. It's so sad. You are my spokesperson, my guide, my inspiration. Way back when I was struggling to find my place in this world you, through your poem, acknowledged my struggle (how I needed that!) and put the helplessness I felt into a different, beautiful light, giving it meaning. Through the years I kept coming back to that poem in my head and found peace and strength in it. Now, years later, you share your deepest thoughts and feelings with all of us through your writing. I hardly dare compare myself to you but your thinking and feeling resonate with me, I find myself in your words. Your quest for truth and meaning, for ways to deal with and share your love of people, seeking to understand the world and yourself, those are my hobbies too. :)
I'm not a poet like you but you inspire me to at least write down my thoughts and feelings. Thank you for sharing with us, thank you for trusting us.

Shirley, you were the first person I met who radiates life. With you beside me in church, dancing to the music, I could never feel dull or down for long. Highly energetic, sincere, deeply loving and expressing that love too, that is you. You can make anyone feel special (and you mean what you say!). You are an amazing person, a wise friend, and your passionate yet level-headed sincerity in your Christian faith makes you just the right spiritual coach and inspiration for me.

Soekhdew, you always respected my boundaries (and, therefore, me) and I love you for it. You offered me opportunities to experience new things but never forced me nor tried to persuade me. Not everybody possesses that quality.
Your very attractive mind was always willing to discuss any idea, however silly, far-fetched or insane it might appear to others. One such discussion, inspired by an article I read, was about the question "if mankind got a brandnew start but had either heart or mind (in other words, they could feel or think, not both), who would survive the longest?" This little intellectual exercise made me question the theory of evolution on "philosophical" grounds.
I also still remember how you explained the concept of "shadow" to me. And of course you have a great sense of humour. I still tell the tangerine story to people sometimes.

Dave S, whenever I think of your voice and your hand on my shoulder I feel calm. You have a soothing effect on me. You taught me that you can't reach every goal in one big jump; often you just have to take it one step at a time, sometimes a little, tiring step; take the time and enjoy the view. You also taught me that usually it's the small things that matter most, like a smile, a word, the tone of a voice. This helped me to be more relaxed about my own relational goals, to just set out and see where the road would lead. The result was a stronger, deeper relationship with a family member; what could have been a frustrating guilt trip turned into a wonderful journey with a happy end. And yes, I enjoyed the view.

Gertjaap, my extraordinary beautiful friend, faithful companion on my journey to better understand the world and myself, a journey that should lead to a better me who will make my own small contribution to a better world; we share a lot of the same values and ideals, we essentially share the same viewpoints though small nuances enrich my analysis and conclusions with a slightly different perspective and save me from getting stuck in my own mental patterns and routines. When I emailed you about my thoughts and feelings during a testing / training / soul-searching adventure you replied: "we will reflect further on this together, that is, if you want to, because good things can come out of it for both of us". That is the most beautiful response I could imagine and shows who you are: to you (and me) learning is ultimately a "together" experience (rather than a teacher / student thing) and this makes learning fun and very inviting. Always listening, accepting of people, encouraging, acknowledging people's efforts and achievements, the respect you show for people creates space for people to share their minds and souls, to test their views, to learn from others, to grow.

Jan Joost, you taught me that friendship comes in different forms. With you it was truly possible to have one minute conversations on the phone, just to check how the other one was doing. I've never known anyone who was so trapped inside themselves, full of feelings but totally deprived of tears; I never found it so hard to connect with someone whose pain and vulnerability I could understand and, indeed, sense on the other side of the wall. But you shared what was so hard for you to share, in your own crude natural way. As a consequence I recognised the treasures only afterwards. In many ways you were a wysiwyg person; no games, no politically correct behaviour, just the real you, like an unpolished diamond. You taught me that regrets only serve a purpose as a lesson for the future; otherwise they're useless and a waste of precious time, the here and now that can be shared with someone. Our friendship only lasted a few years before life, which had given you an unfair share of hardships, dealt you a final blow and you relinquished, physically exhausted; you accepted your options and made your choice. The last time I saw you, you said "you'll make it". I carry those words in me through my life; words from someone who believed in me. With everything we didn't share you left me with valuable insights and hopeful reassurance. You live on in my heart and in my memories.

Roger, an incredible encounter brought you into my life just when I was about to embark on the adventure of buying a house. Very exciting, very nerve-wrecking. Understanding, supporting, you coached me through the process. You were always there when I wanted to share my thoughts with a caring, level-headed person and gave me a break from the whole house buying thing when I wanted one. And still, today just like then, whenever I feel stressed I turn to you for your supportive reassuring words of wisdom.
You've been a true friend and in your own special way you've made me feel more complete and independent.

Neelam, if ever I flirted with anyone I e-flirted with you and it was fun. I knew it was okay and there was this mutual understanding which made it safe (no expectations, no broken hearts). You are unique that way.
You were there when I was in shock from my first "internet friendship fraud" experience - someone who pretends to be a friend then tries to rip you off. The most shocking thing was that I found myself mistrusting each one of my e-buddies, even you. Trust is such a fragile thing, so easy to break and it cannot always be restored. But you were so understanding, supporting my decision to leave that internet community, trying to think of alternative ways for us to keep in touch; you took away all my doubt concerning you. So I stayed, learnt my lessons, got a little internetwiser. You're caring, sharing, very open, funny and much more intelligent than you give yourself credit for - or maybe you know yourself better by now. :)
Let's go to the beach together, someday.

Vijay, in a time of crisis you were there for me. I could only, barely, share my anguish with someone far away and objective; it was so good to share with you. Your sympathy and wisdom really gave me some emotional relief and helped me to think clearly and make the right decision.
Since you and your wife are one in your communications and you always made my mother part of our email exchange it felt like a family-to-family relation, an interesting new experience for me.

Esther, I often think of you, of the little play we did in church, especially the part where you and I had to move and speak in unison. I'm very grateful to you for including me in that activity because of the experience. I would never volunteer to take part in something like that because I don't believe I have any talent for acting but it was great to try and with you as our patient and efficient director rehearsing was fun. Ironically my scenes, in essence, became reality years later (gift of prophecy? grin). Remembering our in synch scene makes me feel less isolated during those days and adds a faint glow to them - but a glow nonetheless. Thank you for adding such positive things to my life.

Mike M, I'm so happy to be your friend. Hug me and make me feel loved, respected, strong. Thank you so much for the beautiful words you wrote about me on the blog. I keep them in my heart and my thoughts and they are an encouragement to me.
Your GPS program and confidence in my group travelling skills gave me enough confidence to try the unknown and made me more independent.
Another great gift you gave me is that you made me realise that if every person is unique and every friend is special then every person is still unique and every friend is still special. There is no such thing as most unique or most special really; it's unnecessary to compare ourselves to others. You have loads of friends and still I feel special. Now that I can feel special in a friendship I no longer need to look for that "true love" to whom I would be special (as if romance is a guarantee for that, grin). How peaceful!

Charles, we actually owe our great guiding GPS program to you. Seems to me you love that program dearly, you identify with it and nothing is as rewarding as making the program even better. You work tirelessly on that program and never seem to get tired of more suggestions, opinions or even criticism. On list and off list I only know you as a spontaneous, fun, kind and caring, enthusiastic, energetic person. If I threw a party I'd definitely want you to be there because your presence lights up any place. Thanks for the confidence and independence you've given me through GPS, thanks for all you give to this program and to us; I'm grateful to know a beautiful, warm, open person like you.
You and Theresa are a lovely couple. I love Theresa, she's really sweet. I find your wedding prayer really beautiful and touching. What a deep and powerful expression of love and commitment, what a wonderful way to start life as a couple and a family! It truly reflects how I see both of you. May God continue to bless you as a couple and a family and each of you personally.

Sheila, in dealing with a company it's always very nice and reassuring to know that a friendly, professional, knowledgeable, flexible, reliable and dedicated person who truly has the customer's interests at heart will answer any questions, advise on what to do or get, (help) solve any problems and make sure people get what they ordered in a timely manner. That's why I love to buy from you. You are a combination of enchanting playfulness and a strong sense of responsibility + efficiency. Service is not what you do, it's who you are. This blood type makes Sendero Group what it is.
I was so glad we were roommates during my first WayFun event and very honoured you recommended me as a roommate to someone else later, someone who was a bit reluctant to share a room due to an earlier not so positive experience. It has really meant a lot to me.
You, along with Esther L, Jim and Michael, all of whom you don't know (I would be greatly surprised if any of you knew one another), convinced me that I have a talent for writing. It's the only talent, besides sleeping and dreaming, that I'll admit to.

Nigel, you're kind, respectful, relaxed and you have a nice sense of humour. You possess many great qualities which all come down to being truly interested in and focused on people. You really listen, don't interrupt people, notice when and how people need help and offer them that help without drawing attention to it; make people feel they have your undivided attention even though you're busy. Do you have a natural talent for building a structure of priorities and boundaries which lets you relax or do you simply refuse to let plans and schedules have priority over people?
As a salesperson you have your customer's best interest at heart. The information you give is honest and complete. You ask the (potential) customers what they expect from the product and how they think they'll use it. Then you'll say "go for it" or "I don't think this is the right product for you because..."
I'd love to be more like you. For the moment I'm trying to learn not to interrupt people and you are the mirror in my mind, you show me how I'm doing. I trust your advice because I know you're honest, you want what's best for me and your advice is based on careful consideration of pros and cons (like I would do).
You made a dream come true (twice): working with you to demo my beloved BrailleNote and BrailleNote GPS. You're a great person to hang out with. I can't think of many people, if any, who understand my implicit question when I look in their direction but you do; an amazing experience.

Alan, it's so much fun to exchange emails with you. Somehow you understand my sense of humour although you hardly know me. Makes me feel like there's a connection. It's so nice to share my crazy ideas with you and to get a kind, fun and appreciative reply. Your email messages make me so happy as do your regards that you send me through Nigel.

Gert-Jan, you were the first person I met who listened so intently, without ignoring the rest of the world, your focused attention was palpable. An amazing experience. Naturally you were very popular; there were always children clinging to you, climbing all over you, and everybody wanted you on their team. It was fun to watch. No wonder you were popular with the girls - not just the two whose love for you was a public secret. For me it was the first - and possibly the only - time where "can't have him" simply meant "find someone like him" (I never did though).

Luc, my lecturer, you were the second person whose attention was tangible. If you had gone over my first assignment with me to tell me which parts you marked for improvement I would have missed a very precious opportunity to share (=bond) with my dad. So thank you for forgetting :)

J.R. van Helvoort, I'm sorry I disappointed you when it came to literature. I was lucky to have you as a teacher. Your honesty was scary and pleasant at the same time; so was your natural authority. You didn't need to raise your voice, you calmly spoke the word "silence" and the class went quiet. I loved being good at spelling and to this day I take pride in striving for perfection in terms of spelling (haven't reached that point yet, probably never will). But it's only what you taught me, the confidence you gave me, that has made me love language. What you taught me can't be wrong no matter what the norm may be these days.
Two questions that you asked me I will never forget: "are there problems at home?" (after I did poorly on an exam) and "are you cheating during tests?" (there was a rumour about me to that effect). At a time when I felt people were mainly assuming things about me you came right out and asked me. This showed me you truly cared, you took me seriously and trusted me. You taught me the true meaning and value of trust; it's a beautiful, precious gift and a lesson, a mirror you held up to me. And I knew I could trust you, confide in you, if only I could find the words. You are awesome.

Philip, I appreciate how you noticed the flowers along the way when you walked me to the bus stop (sign of a soul that knows how to take the time to enjoy that which has true value and beauty), how you tried to stop the bus so I wouldn't miss it, how you did not change the way you approached me or interacted with me even when my mother was with me (you actually beat her to offering me assistance which is quite an achievement; grin) and how you appeared genuinely happy for me when you congratulated me as the new owner of a house (you see so many people make big decisions in their lives and sign the necessary documents, it could be a job routine to you but apparently it isn't). Your being so happy for me made it a happy special moment. I see you as an attractive human being, dignified professional with integrity and a good, warm heart that doesn't take things for granted. I wish I could find a reason to see you again.

Leyla, I hope I did not misspell your name. People sometimes write or talk about "angels without wings" or someone who is "heaven sent". Well, you were just that; it felt like it anyway. I had to do some shopping. GPS is very helpful but doesn't completely eradicate the need to ask for directions. So I got off the bus and you were there. You took me to the first shop then "disappeared". I left the shop and you reappeared - you'd been waiting outside. Thus you took me from one shop to another and finally back to the bus stop; always near yet discreet, kind and quiet. Luckily there are lots of helpful people out there but you were one of a kind.

Dr. Walter, I only saw you a few times in over 28 years but just before you retired I came to your practice with a very sore foot. You gave me some stuff to put on my foot and two days later the pain had gone completely! I'm forever grateful to you. What's more, you sat down to listen to what I had to say (I didn't have much to say that day though) giving me the feeling that I could have talked to you about anything that bothered me. Too bad I only realised this when you were leaving.
Only very recently (this year - 2010) did I learn that you were a member of the board of the Bentinck Fonds, a name I've known in relation to my horseback riding, before I took up horseback riding. The things you learn when you get older about connections in the past between people and events! Mum said you pointed her in the direction of this Bentinck Fonds and that eventually got me on horseback. That makes you the first link in a chain of great memories, valuable lessons (not just riding lessons!) and special encounters both with horses and people. A number of those people are on this page.

Dr. Gaasbeek, what can I say about you? I only saw you three times; I've thought of you more times than that. I like you, I like your voice, I like your sense of humour. I almost wished I had a reason to see you and the other staff more often. You were all so kind.

Pieter, as I said on the main page you're reliable, a good listener, understanding and caring. These qualities made me feel at ease as a first-time physiotherapy recipient. You seem to me to be an inquisitive person - another nice quality. I'm sure I could add so much more to this if I knew you better but I don't so all I can do is remember you fondly. The memory of your hands checking my neck for any possible problems has a calming effect on me.

Nicole, thanks to your expert, thorough treatment I have normal use of my arm again without any noticeable "scar". Your patience and clear explanations helped me to relax, made me feel at ease, and I'm so grateful to you! I'm sure you're a pillar of strength to your employer and many others; responsible, efficient, disciplined - you must be with everything you do - but not rigid; people always come first. You truly touch people with your heart.

Maarten, ...let me see, did I cover it all? ...Warm...open...sense of wonder = life-giving... Did I mention you're considerate?
You answered a question I didn't dare ask (very kind of you!) so I guess you can read my mind. And thanks to your question I got some information worth knowing. I'd like to keep you in my heart if you don't mind; feels great to have you with me.

Ariane, whenever I think of you, or rather, perhaps, the image I created of you, you bring a sparkling smile to my heart. This image is purely based on your voice, the way you talk and possibly some things you said although I can't remember them concretely. So here's a bit of my amateur psychology (ROFL allowed as long as I'm not around): I think you're totally cool, warm, intelligent and caring; I sense an energetic, fun-loving expressiveness as well as a deep, perceptive, listening, knowing, understanding quietness; I think you pay attention to detail and therefore you can see through people which could be threatening to people if it wasn't for your empathic and fun-loving nature which brings something relaxed to your personality. Must be great to have you for a friend.

Wim P, I owe my job to you. Fresh from university I wouldn't have known what my strengths and weaknesses were but you gave me time to discover all that and to grow and grow stronger; you supported that inexperienced insecure student and created a peaceful and safe environment where I could learn. Later I found out that some people are not nearly as lucky. So you've given me a smooth start in working life because you believed in me. Thank you for that. Their offering me a job was their gift to you when you retired; it feels so special to be a gift to someone!

Wim dK, you let Wim P convince you to offer me a job. That made me your protegee I guess and even now, years after you retired, whenever you see me you make sure you say hello and ask how I'm doing. Feels great.
You're famous for your oratory skills. You're very bright, vibrant, dynamic. Energy and action, that's always been you. You can be diplomatic or direct, whichever you choose. I love language and I loved to see how you gently steered people, including the politicians you served, in a certain direction; sometimes they did not even realise it right away! You'd smile triumphantly (don't deny it!:) and I smiled with you.
Your ingenuity and energy greatly appealed to me. I even considered trying to be more extroverted and direct and test the new me on you. You probably would have liked it; you like people who are open and direct. Your directness and visionary creativity were not always highly appreciated by everyone; each time you came back from your Summer vacation some people nervously wondered what idea for change you'd bring them this year. Some people found your resolute directness rather frustrating but I appreciate the fact that you took responsibility. Personally, if it is decided that something is going to happen that I don't like I'd rather someone tell me "this is how it's going to be, like it or not" than have my solicited input be ignored or, much worse, deliberately misinterpreted, and be made responsible because "I chose this" or "we agreed" (yeah right!). So you were clear and honest and that's good.
Sometimes you'd come into the office because you just had to tell my supervisor your latest clever trick (you naughty boy!). :) It was fun to see you like that.
I don't believe any of your successors knew the company nearly as well as you did.

Ad, you took me under your wing during the first seven years of my working life. I had to get used to you; your questions showed how much I did not know and your habit to balance my remarks by taking the opposite side sometimes drove me crazy but I learnt a lot (like: I don't have to take every bait) and we share a desire to explore topics and debates should be a means to learn rather than a power struggle. But you created a relaxed atmosphere in our office, you introduced me to many songs (singing seemed to be a multifunctional means of expression: a way to share your joy, to greet someone, to help you relax and relieve stress, to help you think and focus) and most importantly, you would never give up on me. If you see something good in a person - and you easily do - you will give that person your support. It made me feel secure in my job, a feeling I lost after you were no longer my supervisor. We were also a team. So fun, creativity, intellectual stimulus, critical but positive thinking and team spirit ruled in the safe and relaxed environment of our office. You were my first supervisor and what a special one you were.

Annemiek, you and I struggled together and bonded through the first two years of the new department. You took blow after blow but remained the most social person of our "team". You are very creative, you always come up with good, nice, fun ideas. You did not give up on me either even though I let you down numerous times. You never even complained. I admire that in you especially because you are very efficient. You gave meaning to my days at the office and made me feel appreciated, made me feel I had my own personal talents I could add to the job. We were a good team and I truly hope that our ways will never part completely. Such a feeling of belonging, of togetherness, is very rare for me especially at work.

Hans, when Ad left I wondered who would feed me with critical and positive thinking, not politically correct, not frustrated and cynical. You are the answer. I love your cheerful, relaxed personality. Few people will be able to notice when you are under stress. Helping people is in your blood; when someone asks you to help them and you say no (because even you can't find a creative way to squeeze that extra job in your far too busy schedule) they are in shock. I am so grateful to you for all your efforts, time and energy spent to understand us and our needs and the creative ways you find to make things better and easier for us. You've saved us a lot of work. Creativity is your middle name. I also love your genuineness; you're open and dare to be vulnerable; your enjoyment of life, of nature, is so pure. If you want to build a snowman you build a snowman; if you want to kick the Autumn leaves on the ground you do it even if there are no kids around to use as an excuse. All of this makes you a very beautiful person and I'm very happy to know you.

Paul, PreciouS, you kept my mind sharp and alert; you were always ready to discuss any idea or comment on any treatise I threw at you. We did not always agree but we had good discussions and you showed me respect. You made the effort to re-learn how to convert documents back to an older version of the software we used and made many documents accessible for me again at a time when I had to read up on topics that became important for my job. Thanks to you - and Joop vH - I could get on with my work.
You came to my rescue one day, when I hadn't been in that job for long, when I got desperate over a stack of papers I was supposed to scan and read. You calmly sat down and patiently went through all the documents with me so I could decide which ones were worth scanning and reading.
We could always rely on your memory and your knowledge. Both were great. You had lots of great, insightful things to say. Too bad people couldn't - or wouldn't - listen past the tone which they perceived as negative. If they had they could have learnt a lot from you.
I saw you as my fellow prisoner of work. It felt like being soulmates in that regard. You had the courage to leave. I stayed behind and miss you.
I hope you've found the inspiration and happiness you were looking for and which will nurture your scintillating being.

Dino, you made it your personal goal to ensure that the PC (at work) ran as smoothly as possible. Whenever I called you about a problem you were there in no time and worked calmly and diligently until the problem was solved. You set things up such that they worked best for me - and you were very good at seeing things my way and imagining how they would work best for me. Never deterred by adaptive technology you didn't know, you still knew when to ask the A T experts for advice. You always went the extra mile(s) and often dropped by just to check if everything was still okay. That one time when you couldn't solve a problem (very very buggy program!) your calmness replaced my stress and the way you enthusiastically showed me new things about programs that I worked with basically said "you can do it!" and gave me the feeling that things would be alright. That moral support was invaluable! You went way beyond the call of duty, you were truly my guardian angel. Technolife hasn't been the same since you left.

Petra, my riding instructor, you are so laid back, so admiringly patient; you seem to know exactly how to deal with us, each one of us so different; you seem to know when to ignore our worries and complaints, when to acknowledge them and take them seriously; when to give us that little push we need to get out of our comfort zone so we can reach a new level of competency and when to give us a little more time; when to encourage us after a fall to get back on the horse and when to tell us not to because of possible injuries. And as far as I can tell you get it right too. All this just comes natural to you.

Sandy, we never really met but I was always curious about "the girl next door with the lovely name", the person on the other side of the thin wall whose voice I could hear although I couldn't hear what you said. You introduced me to the music of Evanescence especially their song "Bring me to life". I love to bleed along to their songs; melodies and words that express my feelings and even seem to describe some experiences similar to my own. Listening to their songs I came to the conclusion that my darker side is simply a part of me, nothing to be fought, nothing to worry about; no need to fix me, I'm not broken.

Mike, we lived in the same neighbourhood. You were a special young boy. You helped me cross the street many times; your mother told you not to cross the street unsupervised and you didn't except to help me even when the boys threatened to tell on you. The urge to help was so strong.
Other boys your age were shy to talk to grown-ups but you had no problem with that whatsoever. Polite, sweet, energetic, your cheerful voice with which you greeted me brightened up my days during the toughest years of my working life when it was so hard to bring myself to go to work in the morning.
Wherever you are, I hope you will always be the nice, considerate boy that I knew. May you be safe and happy forever and may all the goodness you give to others return to you. You made me happy many many times.

Mike V, you nice, polite, caring, hardworking, reliable one; what a treat it is for a house owner to know a professional like you! I can always be sure you'll do a good job. I loved to listen to you and Dave when you worked on my room; you were a good team and created a good atmosphere in a hectic and stressful environment. When I finally gave my heart to this house it was because of you two, because it was the place that you lovingly created, especially my room. Nick has also been very helpful; he came to fix the garage roof because he heard it was leaking - and we hadn't even called him yet! How's that for service?

Lyrics to "Angel of mine"

You are everything I need to see
Smile, and sunlight makes her way to me
Love incarnate looking into me
Breaths of moonlight washing over me
Can I show you what you are for me?

Angel of mine, can I thank you?
You have saved me time and time again
Angel, I must confess
It's you that always gives me strength
And I don't know where I'd be without you

After all these years, one thing is true
The constant force within my heart is you
You touch me, I feel I'm moving into you
I treasure every day I spend with you
All the things I am come down to you

Angel of mine, can I thank you?
You have saved me time and time again
Angel, I must confess
It's you that always gives me strength
And I don't know where I'd be without you

Back in the arms of my angel
Back to the peace that I so love
Back in the arms of my angel, I can finally rest
Feeling you again around me

Angel of mine
Let me thank you
You have saved me time and time and time and time again
Angel, I must confess
It's you that always gives me strength
And I don't know where I'd be without you

Angel of mine
Can I thank you
You have saved me time and time again
Angel, I must confess
It's you that always gives me strength
And I don't know where I'd be without you
...without you

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