Herberdina Dejongh, a forward thinker woke up every day grateful for her life and family. There was never a day that went by that Dina didn't touch some one's life along her day. She loved to listen to all people. She would always seek to understand before needing to be understood. On a trip to Toronto, she came across a lady that lived on the streets. When she got back to her home, she wrote a poem which she entitled "The Bag Women."
So sadly, she sat there, surrounded by walls,
With all her belongings, awaiting a call,
Perhaps from a stranger, a friend, or a foe,
Her eyes told the story of sorrow and woe.
Just wanting to greet you and ask you your name.
Her answer was clear, could yours be the same.
Six children I had, grandchildren just eight.
So sorry to tell you, I know not their fate.
Please give me some money, the sad lady said.
The government rations, I just have not had.
My home is just yonder, across this big street.
But I just want to say here for something to eat.
This lady intrigued me, and I wondered just why.
She was only dependent on folks going by.
She rambled a moment, showed confusion to time.
Then showed me her Bible, said this is truly mine.
Dina's free-spirited thinking led her to come to Canada with fourteen dollars in her pocket and a dream.
Growing up during the war came with many challenges and heart break but she stayed strong.
How we loved sitting around the table fascinated by the stories she told of her life. "Oma" as her grandchildren would call her. "Tell us the story of the soldier who gave you a piece of chocolate when you were so hungry and how you held it in your mouth until it melted, not wanting to swallow it because it tasted so good. She would lean back, clear her throat, and begin.
Know mom that your children (Sandra and Brenda) and your grandchildren (Amber, Tanu, Dustin, Koomie and Bartt) will return your ashes to where your life began in the Hague. The spot where your brothers and sisters played. Where your father Peter worked so hard as the chief of police and your mother as a schoolteacher. Where your nephew Williem still lives.
Although we are shedding tears because you are gone. We promise to smile because you lived.
We will remember you in the sound of the rain, the smell of apple crisp or beans baking in the oven. Every time we slip on your handmade sheepskin moccasins, we will hear your voice explaining the healing powers of sheepskin.
How you loved your family and wanted us nearby. Always giving, never judging. We will forever be in awe of you.
In lieu of flowers, please be kind to someone.
To send flowers to Herberdina "Dina" (Huff) de Jongh's family, please visit our floral store.