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.