You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.


Big Zed and I went to the Toronto Raptors game last night.  We had such a great time.

We ate pizza, m&m’s (ironically), and got to cheer our favourite players on.

Zion told me on the way home that this was one of his best days of his life and that he couldn’t believe that it took him this long to go see the Raptors at the arena.

The Raps won 107-85.  Zion still remembered the score this morning.  I had forgotten the score already.

But I’ll remember the “best days of his life” comment.



I was honoured to play at a funeral today.

It was a funeral for our friend Leo.  He had cancer.

Leo, Marisa and I were in choirs together for many years.

Marisa and Leo clicked right away.  Marisa loved joking around and so did Leo.

Leo loved music.  Marisa loved music.  Leo loved Marisa and Marisa loved Leo.

I spoke to Leo many times over the past number of weeks as Leo got sicker.  Sometimes I didn’t know what to say.  So I would tell him that I loved him.  He would tell me same thing back. 

Leo was 74.

Marisa was 33.

Marisa’s cancer bothered Leo very much.

So I’m glad that they could reconnect.


When the four of us were in the fort that we made, Jacoba said to us that “adults shouldn’t cry”.

I investigated and asked her what she meant by that.

She said that kids are allowed to cry if they get hurt or their brother is mean to them but adults aren’t allowed to cry. 

I smiled at the brother comment.  And I asked her why adults aren’t allowed to cry.

She said,

“this year they just can’t”.

I think Roads is on to something when he said some kids naturally think that way because they know that stuff happens. 

Sadly, that is true.  My kids know that stuff happens. 

Compost happens.

After Jacoba said that this year adults can’t cry, I reminded her that I am going to take care of her.

She then rolled her eyes and told me that “I know that, you tell me every day”.

Yes Jacoba, I do.  And I will continue to do so.

Yesterday I had to sign papers at the lawyer’s office.

I needed to review one of the papers to make sure all my information was correct.

I started to read, name spelled right, birthdate, yep, address, yep, marital status….

It stated,

Mendelt Hoekstra is not a spouse.



Mendelt Hoekstra is not a spouse.

(once more)

Mendelt Hoekstra is not a spouse.


And then I had to sign that blasted form.


I have received your requests for the book.  Thank you.

I will keep all those e-mail addresses private and will contact you when the book is near completion.

Thank you for all your comments.  This blog is a tangible branch of Marisa which I appreciate.

If you are still interested in the book, please leave a comment and I will put you on the list.

Thanks again,


I love bringing our kids to bed.  They are intimate moments.

When I brought Zion to bed last night he asked me why Mommy got cancer.  I told him I didn’t know.  He asked how people get cancer.  I told him that I didn’t know.  He told me that Mommy had cancer in her hair.  I told him that Mommy loves him.  And that I love him.  And that we need to eat our vegetables.

He asked if the doctors knew why Mommy had cancer.  I told him that one day we will find out why people have cancer and we will fix all those that have cancer but that we don’t know how to fix all cancers yet.  I told him again that I love him and will protect him.

Then I left his room and prayed.

I prayed because cancer, your kingdom must come down.


So here we sit between Valentine’s Day and Ontario’s new holiday “Family Day”.

Both ironic as I still go to bed without Marisa.

But I am glad that Marisa and I had the same opinion about Valentine’s Day.

Family Day together would have been cool to celebrate with Marisa.

So the four of us will do that.  We will celebrate eachother. 

And we will celebrate Marisa.


Since Marisa died I have been trying to figure out what the best thing is that I should do with her blog.

It’s been decided.

I am going to turn this blog into a book.

This book will have many of these posts in it as well as more insight and perspective from me on what was happening with Marisa, myself and the kids during the past year.  As well, it will have many more stories and glimpses of our journey.

So, I haven’t asked much of the readers of the blog until now.  I am going to ask that if you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, please leave a comment on this post.  I will keep all your e-mail addresses private and will not share them with anyone.  I will then contact you when the book is finished.

The funds of this book will go towards a scholarship in Marisa’s name.  I’d love your help with that.

Thank you.


Jacoba’s party

—the beautiful birthday girl—

The dutch have many traditions.  One of the best ones is that when it is anyone’s birthday, everyone gets congratulated.  For instance, when it is my Mom’s birthday, all 6 kids call each other and say congratulations.  It is a wonderful relationship solidifying practice.

So…all of you that have supported Marisa and I and thus Jacoba, I say…congratulations.

We had a great party.  Jacoba loved getting her presents, making the cake and joking around.

There were four candles on the cake.  I don’t like that number.


I just tucked in Jacoba.  That will be the last time I tuck in a 3 year old Jacoba.  Tomorrow she is 4.

As a young boy I thought I was going to have a daughter named Jacoba.  But I didn’t think that she would be the most beautiful 3 year old ever.

Jacoba is a firecracker.  She doesn’t back down from anyone.  It is a good feeling for a father of such a beauty.

Jacoba once told Marisa that she would love her for 100 years.  It gave Marisa joy. 

Jacoba is good at giving joy.  She got skill that from her mother.

Happy Birthday kid… I love you and will protect you.


Yesterday I was reading an e-mail from a family that has also been punched with cancer. 

The mom’s name is Delaney and she is gorgeous.

Just like Marisa. 

I don’t know the family well, but our paths are similiar in some ways.  Delaney and Paul have three children, two girls and a boy.

Just like Marisa. 

Delaney, the mom, battled stage IV breast cancer.

Just like Marisa.

I read that they have experienced some kick ass news that Delaney’s chemotherapy has been successful and that there is now NO evidence of disease.

Unlike Marisa.


So when I read the e-mail I cried.  I cried for them.  Tears of joy.  I wept/rejoiced that their children Rachel, Caleb and Elysha get to watch their mom’s hair and life grow.  I rejoiced that Paul gets to sleep beside Delaney.  And that Paul gets to introduce Delaney to strangers.  And that he doesn’t have to tell people that ‘she died of cancer’.

And I cried because all those things are something that I can’t do.

When I was crying, Jacoba (almost 4) came in the room.  She saw me crying.  I didn’t hide it from her.

She asked me why I was doing that.  I told her that I was sad that mommy died.

She said “stop doing that”.


Then this morning as we were all in the van driving to church, Jacoba asked me again why I was crying yesterday.  I told her that I was crying because I miss mommy.  Then Zion asked what happened.  I told him. 

He told me he missed mommy too.

Then he gave me his prescription for the day.  He said,

“You are happy mommy is in heaven, but you are sad she died right?”

What beautiful, honest theology.


Since Marisa died, it’s been hard to look at older couples.

Yesterday in the grocery store I saw a couple I know that are in their 70’s.  Much of me wanted to stop them, ask them if they realize how blessed they are to grow old together.

Long before I was married, I remember being with a friend when her sister’s husband came home from an extended absence.  The husband and wife hardly acknowledged eachother with more than a friendly exchange.  I remember saying that if I was away from my spouse from an extended period of time, I would take her behind the barn to reunite.

I wonder if there are barns in heaven.

Thank you for all the comments.


So we’ve all made two months ‘without’ Marisa.

I appreciate those that are still reading this blog.  It has been good for me to connect with you still.  You are still a tangible part of Marisa for me. 

Life is good for the kids and I.  We love eachother, have dance parties, read many books, play countless games of tag and chess and we also miss Marisa together.  We miss Marisa together.  The four of us.

Human nature has set in so I thank those who are still here with us.

This week we are going to the VanderVeen’s to celebrate Marisa’s mom’s birthday and next week Wednesday our Jacoba turns four.  For most of the year, I’ve asked Jacoba to stay three forever so she is extra excited to make the age hike.  She told me tonight that I was invited to her birthday party.  Whew…

So here’s to two months.


I don’t know a better feeling in the world.

I walked in the house after being away from the kids for 4 days and they ran up to me and each gave me a hug.  Then Zion gave me another one.  Then another one.  Then three more.

Then Zekijah and Zion held on.  We hugged.  Then Jacoba joined the group hug.

I don’t know a better feeling in the world.

It is good to be home to be with the kids.

It is also strange to be home and not share my new stories with Marisa.


Good ‘ole Marisa.


I’m in a hotel room in Miami watching the Superbowl with my good friend Matt.

We took in a hockey game last night, Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning and today we watched Florida State University lose to North Carolina in overtime.

Tomorrow we are going to watch the Toronto Raptors play the Miami Heat.  It should be a lot of fun.

It’s good to have friends.

It’s good to relax in a different way than raising three kids.  Because that is relaxing at times too.



Shine On DVD

This DVD is of a concert put on by Marisa's family that raised funds for a yearly scholarship in Marisa's name.

Donate Now to receive a DVD