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Maitri is the name of the boat of my father. You were not allowed to sail her if you didn’t know what it meant. I’ll help you: loving-kindness to oneself. He put it on his boat at several places to remind himself to be gentle with himself. He tried to, but often it was an upward struggle. His natural pattern was more about trying to be in control. So he planned to the minute in self drawn agenda’s the visits of his grandchildren to his vessel. They sailed, slept, swam, made pictures, ate and all was meticulously registered in his tiny hand-writing. I just found out going over the boxes with his belongings.

My kids were very enthusiast or grumpy but sometimes vulnerable too. They slept reasonably well, were homesick or infected by blue algae – he wasn’t sure- and good at removing plastic out of the propellor of his outboard engine. My daughter likes to eat noodle soup (and still does 8 years later) and my son fish and chips with sweet sauce (?). He made an educational puzzle trip for them (this is the route: check the map if we can pass all the bridges, find 15 different species of birds, how long does it take to get to the McDonalds from the harbor) but my kids seemed to be less interested if I see the answers to the questions.

The past week my son did what his grandfather liked best: go out with Maitri to some place in nature together with his girlfriend. They stayed overnight at the Kaag and the cows visited them. The other day my daughter took his boat with a friend. I was never allowed to take his boat. It was too precious to him. I imagine he enjoyed from heaven seeing them sailing over the Hollandse Plassen.

In his notes it touched me when I read that he was happy and proud with himself. Happy that he was flexible and had adjusted his plans to the longings of my kids.

Maitri after all.


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