September 25 1949

Sixty years ago today, my dear godmother and grandmother Maria Antoina De Vidts, born in Pamel on January 31 1885, died in her home in Okegem. She passed away in the presence of her husband and her three surviving children. I will never forget the dramatic story of her death as my mother told it many, many times.

My grandmother had been visiting us in Ghent, were we lived in the St Maartensstraat 5, and had fallen very ill during her visit - a very dangerous pneumonia if my memory serves me correctly. At a given moment we even thought she would never see her home again. And every single day, her devoted husband, my dear grandfather Joannes Franciscus Neukermans, came over from Okegem by train - we did not have the place to let him sleep over.

But she recovered quite well and returned home to die shortly afterwards and quite unexpectedly from a coronary disease (hartaderbreuk). She was 64 years old - I don't know why my mother always said her mother was 63 years old when she died.

In previous posts I have described how her life was filled with misery, grief and mourning and very little joy. Still she remained a shining exemple of love and devotion to the grandchildren who knew her. We will never forget her.

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