This might sound strange, but I enjoy getting older. Some days more than others. There are certain things in life I appreciate so much more. For instance our family photos. Not just any family photos. Very very old photos of the people who came before me. My mother has these old worn out photo albums of our family from the Netherlands. I feel so privileged to have these photos. When looking through the albums, I feel nostalgic and sad, but at the same time I’m in awe. They all look like strangers, forgotten by the rest of the world. But if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. They are such an important part of who I am and my history.

 The house in the Netherlands where my grandmother grew up. You'll see (very small) my grandmother standing in front of the house on the right with her doll & pram.

The house in the Netherlands where my grandmother grew up. You'll see (very small) my grandmother standing in front of the house on the right with her doll & pram.

It’s been a yearning and a dream of mine for many years now to visit the Netherlands with my mom. My grandfather & grandmother left the Netherlands in 1948 on a boat to come to South Africa. My gran was the same age I am now. Unfortunately I never knew my grandfather. He died in 1980, before I was born. Although my grandmother doesn’t remember me or most of my family she is still with us. She turned an unbelievable 95 this year! Now that I’m older, I regret not talking to her more often. Listening to her stories and asking her about her life. She has stories of World War II, giving birth to 4 children, immigrating to another country and never seeing her own parents again. For this reason, I’m so thankful for the photos. It’s a little bit of history left for me.

So, I think we have to think about our own photos. How much do we value them and what will we leave behind for the generations after us? Take time to do those special family shoots! Life is short and tomorrow might be too late. 

 

 My great grandparents. Bernardus Pluymers and Tannetjie Elizabeth Mary van de Woestijne. 

My great grandparents. Bernardus Pluymers and Tannetjie Elizabeth Mary van de Woestijne. 

 My great great grandparents. Elizabeth Freeman Jane and Joost van de Woestijne

My great great grandparents. Elizabeth Freeman Jane and Joost van de Woestijne

 My grandmother, Liesje Elizabeth van Muylwyk on the right as a young girl. 

My grandmother, Liesje Elizabeth van Muylwyk on the right as a young girl. 

 My beautiful grandmother on her bike in the Netherlands with my aunt riding with on the back.

My beautiful grandmother on her bike in the Netherlands with my aunt riding with on the back.

 My grandmother's registration certificate for South Africa.

My grandmother's registration certificate for South Africa.

 My grandfather's registration certificate for South Africa.

My grandfather's registration certificate for South Africa.

Posted
AuthorLourensia Burger