After my fathers death, news spread around and visitors came. Telegrams arrived, the first ones came from Bangka, where President Soekarno and Vice President Moh. Hatta were being exiled.
From Bung Hatta representing also all other leaders who were there. From my brother in Holland a short telegram came, later he wrote to us that on that day he was sailing with a friend who told him that he had heard from the radio that somebody with a name like my brothers’ had passed away……
To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. Phyllis Theroux
Yes that is true….. my brother sent us his heart… but how more joyful would it have been when a letter from him had arrived when my father was still alive…. Children sometimes do not realize the enormous value of a simple gesture of a child such as a letter, for their parents. Although my mother and eldest sister were presumably well aware of the very frail health condition of my father, it was a shock to them as for my other sisters too that he would leave us so abruptly.
On the picture all five of us are sitting on a bench that was hand made by my great grandfather in Tondano. It was made of “kayu itang” (black wood). He was a very able carpenter. Seen on the left and right side are parts of a pair of fauteuils that used to be in my father’s study, often used by him and his friends such as Moh. Hoesni Thamrin and Soetardjo, as I had sometimes seen. There was instantaneous assistance and cooperation of our extended family as is the tradition in our country.
I am happy to say that for me as a sixteen year old girl, I had only to follow the instructions of my mother and sisters and further try to overcome my sadness the best I could. The family had conferred and established a program : to fulfill the wish of my father he would be buried beside of his mother in Tondano . The next possible opportunity for transportation would have been on a vessel by the name of MS Swartenhondt of the Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (now PELNI). Since that would take place sometime later the sarge would be placed at one of he rooms at the Tanah Abang cemetery (does not exist anymore). It impressed me that there were so many people who paid their last respects to my father. All our family and friends but also many others whom we did not know.
The crowd that brought my father’s sarge was very big as can be seen on the following pictures,
After prayers, suddenly, not according to the plan, a group of young KNIL officers marched in, arranged themselves around the sarge and saluted. According to my eldest sister, she saw on that moment a slight movement of the red-white flag on the sarge, as if blown by a light breeze.The reason these men came was that they were grateful to my father for taking care of the families whom they had to leave behind during the Japanese invasion while they were overseas fighting with the Dutch army. You can read about this in other postings of my blog.
The many, many flowers are placed around the room at the Tanah Abang cemetry. It were these flowers that my father promised me to make me dream of……. Yes indeed….
N E X T