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

My Christian friends

I told the people in the church that during the years of the German occupation I knew what it meant as we asked God in our prayer, "give us this day our daily bread". There were many days we had to do without it. In 1944 God sent his angels in the form of American troops and liberated us from this terrible tyranny. How could I ever forget those angels as I spent my time with them in the trenches and foxholes, drove around on all their war equipment, ate with them and shared in their misery of war. Their kindness will never be forgotten. From then on I always wanted to live in America, and in February 1957, my dream came true as I was able to settle in this country.

I continued by telling them that I married Lu Lu in October 1963 and that she came from Burma. How it was possible that the East and West had met in America. God has a reason for whatever he does.

I told them about our trip through Asia in 1982 and how we visited villages where people had six to ten children and hardly any financial income. Their main income was what God gave them of their fields. There I saw how God works and looks after his children by letting the sun shine and rain come on time so they will have enough food on the table. I continued by thanking some of the members who had showed their sincere friendship and visited our apartment several times and told us all about the church. Lu Lu and I had strong backgrounds in Christianity but at that time we were not members of any church. In November 1978 we became members of this church. What we liked about our church was the diversity of the members, the friendly and helpfulness of so many members, and the presence of God in this beautiful church.

I said, "last week we sang the Hymn number 272 - Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart - and after we sang it I read the words very carefully over again, and I said God, you are so right about those words."

My final presentation to all my Christian friends in the church was what I felt life was all about.

I said it's not how long you are going to live or how much money you are going to make; the most important thing is your relationship with God, and your relationship with God should be shown to others.

I thanked the minister and my Christian friends in the church for letting me come forward to say what I had to say.

I received several phone calls from our church members who told me that they were very touched by my words. I was glad I went into the church pulpit that Sunday just to let the people know that there is a whole lot to live for in life.

In the summer of 1988 I decided to take a summer vacation to Holland. I had not been back to Holland for the last thirteen years. For several years I kept delaying this trip hoping that Lu Lu's medical problems would improve so that she could come along. But day by day I could see that Lu Lu's health turned out worse. She started to complain about numbness in her arms and slight pains around her chest. The pains kept coming and going. It looked like the same symptoms I had before my open heart surgery. Lu Lu's doctor kept telling Lu Lu to take nitrostat pills whenever she felt those chest discomforts. The doctor didn't want to put Lu Lu in the hospital too quickly due to her diabetes, but all along I had a feeling that she had to go through the same operation as I had. Lu Lu and I decided that it was better for me to go to Holland by myself. Some of our very good friends told me not to worry and that they would look after Lu Lu while I was gone. My mother, who was 82 years old, and my three sisters had been after me for a long time to come home. I wanted to go home for a long time but so many things happen to us in a few years time that I wasn't in any condition to travel anywhere. The doctor who treated me for my heart condition told me that it was OK for me to travel in the summertime. I felt bad for leaving Lu Lu behind as I knew my family would love to see her. I told Lu Lu not to worry and that I would stay in touch with her by telephone.

Even though I didn't work, through the Southland Profit sharing program I was able to withdraw some of my money again and finance all of my trip expenses. The years I had worked for Southland Corporation all together I had withdrawn more than $40,000 for vacation money and still have a comfortable share left for my later years. I could have never worked for a better company where, financially, I could be that lucky.

CONTINUED: A trip back home
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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