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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

The spirit of God is everywhere

As my heart problem was diagnosed, Lu Lu became very frightened that something very serious would happen to me and she'd be left alone. Lu Lu was suffering from bad arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. She needed me to be around at all times. Without me there would not be much life left for her to live. For all those years I had taken care of Lu Lu's comforts. She didn't know what it was to write a check or pay a monthly bill. All she ever asked me for was cash so she could enjoy the things she wanted to buy. Her greatest joy was inviting friends and cooking all kinds of different foods. She did that for so many years. I told Lu Lu many years ago to slow down. She always gave the most of herself even for the employers that she worked for.

All her life Lu Lu had worked very hard, and I could see the day coming that she couldn't do that anymore. Already in 1982 when Lu Lu and I took our vacation trip to Asia, her walking started to get bad due to her arthritis in both legs. Lu Lu was always looking out for her friends and she could never do enough for them. I told Lu Lu many times there will come a day when you can't do things for your friends anymore, and the only one who will look after you is me. As the years went on Lu Lu's physical condition became worse. She became totally dependant on me, and was taking an average of ten medical pills a day. The experience of my heart-attacks didn't help her much in the conditions she was in, but she kept herself strong as much as possible. Both of us realized if we wanted to be together for more years to come we had to look after each other and slow down in our hectic lifestyle.

Throughout our entire marriage Lu Lu and I have always made Sunday our church-going day. If we didn't go to church on Sunday we didn't feel good about it. It is not that we were extremely religious, but both of us came from strong Christian backgrounds, and the church gave us always comfort and happiness. Many of the members we met in church became very good friends of ours, and many church friends we made were very helpful in our life. There were many members of our church who were foreign born. We had many bible studies in our apartment with some of the members of our church and Lu Lu would go out of her way to put up a marvelous dinner. It became well-known among the members of the church that Lu Lu served good dinners during the bible studies. Other homes where there were bible studies served pot-luck dinners. As Lu Lu's health became worse she wasn't able to continue the bible studies in our apartment.

One Sunday the minister asked me if I could come in front of the church in the pulpit and say some words of wisdom about my Christian life. A few Sundays before several of us foreign born members had read the verse of John 3-16 from our native language bible. After the service I talked to the minister. In our conversation, I told him that I was quite impressed by the diversity of our church membership. We both felt that it would be of great interest to other members of the church if some of us would come forward and tell some of our native background; what made us come to America, and how we became members of this church. I have never stood in front of a pulpit to talk to about 300 people. This is not as easy as it looks — having 300 people staring at you. I don't know why the minister picked me first, but I was too proud to back out. I always like to challenge things in life which are tough. Once I was in the pulpit I told the members of the church what I have witnessed in my life is that the spirit of God is everywhere, and as long as you are a child of God he will always look after you. I told the people in the church that I was born and raised in Holland. When World War II broke out, my family and I lived in the center of the city of Rotterdam, which was brutally bombed by the German invaders. I was only seven years old then, but I will never forget that moment when our house was bombed and all of us thought it was the end of our lives. I told them how, during those moments, we prayed to God to save our lives and God heard our prayers as we survived coming out of a totally bombed house. Even when we were walking through the bombed city and buildings around us were on fire everywhere, there was somewhere a cross hanging on one of the bombed out buildings telling us God was still around.

CONTINUED: My Christian friends
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index