Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

Today is my granddaughter’s 4th birthday. Today, my ex-mother-in-law died.

Aaltje Stolte, formerly Den Uyl, nee Westerhuis, born on April 11, 1911, in the Netherlands, was 97 years old and lived on her own until about two weeks ago.

She was a strong woman, a woman who made her own way through life. Her way was the only way, the right way, and no one could tell her otherwise. She was, at times, my nemesis and my inspiration. She was a part of my daily life for about 25 years.

To her, a clean home was the most important part of being a wife and mother. There were times I hated her and, at the same time I wished I could have been more like her. She was married twice, first to the father of her only child, my ex-husband. He died when my ex was just a small child. She married again when he was about 16 years old, emigrating to Canada to marry her second husband. She never expected to see grandchildren of her own and was grateful to have three of them. She loved them dearly and babysat them every week for a lot of years. At her death, she even had six great grandchildren.

There are stories I could tell about her, but none of it is important now. She was courageous; she was strong; she was stubborn; she was hardworking; she loved on her own terms. She was my mother-in-law.

April 23, 2008, Trinity Eliana Renee’s 4th Birthday and Aaltje Stolte’s last day on this earth. She is at rest in the arms of her God; I’m thankful she died a peaceful death. And I’m thankful I knew her.


  1. Oh Evelyn, I am so sorry! I know the some of the stories you could tell, but I also know how much she meant to you and your family! You are in our thoughts and prayers. Congrats on lil miss Trinity!

  2. If I could I'd give you a hug, and share a glass of wine with you right now. Take care, and know that we are thinking of you.
    Love Gloria

  3. I am so sorry to read of the loss of your mother in law. She was a very lucky woman to have had you in her life! You gave her grandchildren and they will keep her memories alive and a part of her will live on in them forever. You and she will be in my thoughts and prayers..she is now with God.

    And Happy Birthday to Trinity!

  4. Gecondoleerd met het overlijden van je ex-schoonmoeder in law.
    Bijzonder verhaal heb je geschreven over haar. Wat een bijzondere vrouw en is er veel veranderd in al die jaren dat ze leefde. Ook bijzonder dat ze zo lang zelfstandig heeft gewoont.
    Bedankt voor het delen van dit verhaal met ons.

    Dat je kleindochter maar net zo'n sterke vrouw mag worden! Van harte met haar.

  5. Happy Birthday to Trinity

    And my condolences on the loss of your ex-MIL. Your post was truly lovely to read, and it shows that she will live on in your memories of her, good and bad, for many years to come. Take care and keep well. :)