We never know…
This world is beautiful, messy and bloody with no way of avoiding what is coming. We have so little time to take it by the horns and live it with dignity, courage and humour.
My viking sister, Caroline Van Ewijk was one of those who did, before her life was cruelly taken in the Dutch port of Hoorn, two days ago.
Carro, you welcomed me into your life in that freezing cold Amsterdam winter, where I had no refuge on my old boat with her limited heating. With Swedish hospitality ‘Happy Six’ became almost a second home and you taught me about the Baltic and connected me with your uncle Micke at Borka up in the north of Sweden. How many bitterly cold winter evenings did you ply me with hot tea and great food? It would have been so easy to play the ‘polite – oh you must pop round sometime’ response when we met in the washroom at Sixhaven, Amsterdam back in the winter of 2012…
But that wasn’t your style Carro, not at all.
You had it all… handsome husband, beautiful good looks and a character to light up any room. Men adored you and women loved your company. Your optimism, and ‘go for it’ courage activated the dullest of folk; and yet despite all this you had a sweet humility and acceptance of anybody who approached you. You could have turned away when meeting this scruffy old Geordie sailor, but you didn’t, you became my dear friend.
As I sailed north during 2013, you were always at the end of a phone for a text, or sitting in my inbox with a positive message.
Now my world seems painfully empty on this bleak, rainy day up here in the north of Sweden. I sit alone sharing the moment with your memory, just me and you; for every one of your friends and family will also have their silent time with their broken hearts, trying to grasp what life will be like without you.
You have left behind so much love and linked us all together to reflect on a life so well lived.
I wanted to write a poem for you, but just couldn’t bear it because the words could never capture the essence of who you were.
How lucky am I to have known you.
Goodbye my dear friend…
Gone but never forgotten.