Mama, 1943 – 2012

Lijntje Elisabeth Pel - Garden - 12/06/2012 (

Lijntje Elisabeth Pel – Garden – 12/06/2012, the day of her funeral


Last Painting Mama (Lijntje Elisabeth Pel, 2012)

5 years ago today Lijntje Elisabeth Pel, my mother, passed away. She was just 69 years old, far too soon to die. Last year I commemorated her with her last painting and the lyrics to Roxy Music’s Psalm, which was played immediately after my goodbye text.


Today I commemorate her with this piece (about music) from the text I had prepared for the funeral service:


“Music played an important part in our family. All the music we selected for this remembrance meant something to her. When I was young she regularly visited concerts with us. There stood my mother, between the punks and skinheads in youth center “de Koog” as Herman Brood or Raymond van het Groenewoud performed there. My mother was cool, standing in between my friends. We saw many concerts together, including the big ones, like Prince, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. But her favorite concert was the one by Bryan Ferry in Amsterdam. That was her idol. Bryan Ferry was the beautiful man she finally got to see in the flesh. She was ecstatic!”


In closing the lyrics to the song that became synonymous with the loss of my mother, mother-in-law and grandma. At times, I still can’t listen to the song: John Denver’s Rhymes And Reasons.


Rhymes And Reasons

So you speak to me of sadness and the coming of the winter,
The fear that is within you now that seems to never end,
and the dreams that have escaped you and the hope that you’ve forgotten,
and you tell me that you need me now and you want to be my friend,
and you wonder where we’re going, where’s the rhyme and where’s the reason?
And it’s you who cannot accept it is here we must begin

to seek the wisdom of the children
and the graceful way of flowers in the wind.

For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers,
their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day.
Like the music of the mountains and the colors of the rainbow,
they’re a promise of the future and a blessing for today.

Though the cities start to crumble and the towers fall around us,
the sun is slowly fading and it’s colder than the sea.
It is written: From the desert to the mountains they shall lead us,
by the hand and by the heart, they will comfort you and me.
In their innocence and trusting they will teach us to be free.

For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers,
their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day.
And the song that I am singing is a prayer to non-believers,
come and stand beside us we can find a better way.

© John Denver

Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!