“’Only if you say I’m right,’ she says with a laugh”

“’Only if you say I’m right,’ she says with a laugh”
“’Only if you say I’m right,’ she says with a laugh”

Curious what preceded this? You can read that here.

“Koen, you are a father of a toddler and a father of two adult children,” Loretta sums it up for me. “You are the husband of a woman who can hardly afford this apartment on her own. And you have two boats that need to be maintained.” The look in her eyes leaves no room to respond. “Moreover, you have already decided to do volunteer work. One very elderly woman then fell in love with you and the other treated you like a slave. So I don’t know what you’re thinking now, but I’m voting against.”

I breathe. “Okay, I hear you. May I now?”

“Only if you say I’m right,” she now says with a smile on her lips that she can no longer hide.

“You’re right. But…”

“No buts!” she says sternly.

I think for a moment and then say, “Yet – not but – I can’t get the idea out of my head that I have to do something.” I grab her hand and she immediately withdraws it, so I quickly grab the other hand and kiss it.

“Dushi, you don’t have to worry about having to pay for the apartment alone, we will do that together. I just need to give meaning to the second part of my life.”

“I understand, but then you can also come and work with us. There are so many vacancies in nursing care for people with dementia and the chronically ill that you can get started right away.”

“That doesn’t suit me, and you know it.”

I unintentionally stoked the fire again. “Well Koen, there are days when I don’t feel like changing diapers and putting unwilling people in the shower. Do you know how strong the elderly can be?”

“Dear, calm down, I would like to do something for others, but within my own expertise and capabilities.”

“That’s what I meant…”

My phone rings, it’s Rosa. “Rose, you called at exactly the right time,” I say. “My wife has opened the attack on me and I am under heavy fire.”

“Good time to run,” she says. “Mom is coming home, she asked for you.”

I actually listened to Loretta and didn’t immediately jump to attention. “How good to hear that they have come home!” I say calmly.

“Well, ‘home’ is a big word. They both go to a rehabilitation center in the city.”

“That sounds intense,” I say. “Would you like to ask mom to text me if she wants me to come? Then I’m sure it will come true.”

Loretta looks at me with satisfaction.

February 1, 2024

The article is in Dutch


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