About Me

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Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother, not a grandmother,I don't know if I'll ever be, but I'll let you know in due time! Oh and um ... I am a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!

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Heaven is in Belgium

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Around the World in 80 Clicks. Mama ...

This meme was started by Catherine,Her Bad Mother and David from It’s not a Lecture who wanted to see if they could go around the world in 80 clicks. Kim from Frogpondsrock tagged me with it, and the idea is to write about five things you love about being a mother, tag five others and link back to Catherine and David, and leave them a comment with your link so that they can follow the clicks around the world.

So there, live from Belgium ...



Mama, mama
those who have her smile at her
those who miss her yearn for her.

Italian saying.


When she tagged me, Kim had no way of knowing this would be so hard for me to write.
Those of you who read yesterdays post probably realize this is not an easy subject for me.
And no, I have never talked about this on my blog before, so bear with me.
I can not make this a list of five things though. Being a mother is but one thing for me, so please read this post, and maybe you will understand. I am not tagging anyone with this, but I do hope someone picks it up from here. If you do, let me know.

My daughter and I got separated when she was only three years old because of a very ugly custody war. I could no longer allow them to tear her apart the way she was being torn in this whole situation. All I could do to prevent that was to step back myself and let her live her life in peace. There was no other option. All I was hoping for was for her to hurt as little as possible.

She was a three year old toddler. I wanted her to have a secure life, I hoped that I would become a distant memory for her, that she would have a happy life without me, and that someday the spell would be broken and I could hold her in my arms and be her mother again, at last.

Until then, I could do nothing but wait.

I believe that when your baby is born, they may cut the birth cord, but they can never really separate a mother from her child. The birth cord becomes an invisible line between two souls.
The soul of the mother and the the child stay together, even if they're not physically together.
For years and years I punished myself thinking I was a bad mother, that I had abandoned her, (which I had not) although deep in my heart I knew that I had chosen the only possible path that was laid out for us. I had been forced to sacrifice my motherhood, but I never stopped being her mother. I know that now.


Not a day went by I did not think of her. Not one night I would go to sleep without virtually kissing her goodnight. I could not be her tooth fairy. Missed her first period. Missed being there when she was ill. The tears we cried, we cried alone and I could not be there to dry hers.
I could have lost my sanity over this, at one point I almost did, I was desperate because I could not get through to her and make her understand. But I kept hoping one day she would let me be part of her life.

Until then, I could do nothing but wait.

And then one day, we were part of each others lives again.
But we were relatives, nothing more.
It took years before she became aware of the bond we have together.
Before she began to see how much we are alike.
We are two drops of water. I am her and she is me.
Two souls.
One entity.
Mother and daughter.

21 comments:

frogpondsrock said...

Oh Jientje my friend, you are right, I had no idea. I am so very, very sorry if I have caused you pain by tagging you with a silly meme. I dont have any words. But I can offer you a (((hug))) that comes from the very bottom of my heart.

The Old Fart said...

I was moved when I read this Jientje, not being a parent I can only try to imagine what you must have went through and being Male I wouldn't even be able to know the Mother/Child Bond. You had a hard decision to make, I am glad that it worked out well for you and your daughter in the end.

Thank you for sharing.

Bientje said...

You even do things the same way... some things she could never have known... like looking at a recipe and adding a personal touch to it... even some of the movements the two of you make... It is fantastic to see how the two of you have finally found each other after all those (difficult) years!
And this blogpost moves to tears dear sis!
Big hug,
Your little sister

Sue said...

I'm so sorry youir daughter was kept away for so long. I can't imagine losing my son (now 2) like that.

I hads originally dropped by to merely say that I kinda worked in Brussels for a while last year and really liked the people I talked to. I mean, I liked them well enouigh to understand why you are so positive about Belgium. :)

Robin said...

Oh Jientje, what a heartrendingly beautiful post. I'm so sorry for all those years you lost, so very sorry, and so grateful that you and your daughter have now been able to turn that sorrow towards joy again.

You always wrote with such overwhelming joy about time spent with your daughter, now I begin to understand why.

Much love my friend.

LceeL said...

I am so glad she knows you to be her mother, now. I know what a sacrifice you made for her. Someday, she will as well.

I know how hard this was for you to write. Well done.

Dr.John said...

You did what was best for her and not you. That is so sad.
I'm glad that my son and his former wife share custody of the boys.He and they are here these weekend and I am glad I wasn't cheated out of that experience.
My son and his ex have tried very hard to make life as normal as possible for the boys after the separation.

Avril said...

A heartwrenching post - tears streaming down my face. An unimaginable sacrifice you made for your daughter. My heart goes out to you. The bond between you now is truly extra special.

And now thinking back to previous posts there has always been little hints of this overwhelming bond you share.

Cherie said...

Gosh, I am so sorry that it happened in the first place. And a child, not yet able to understand that you did it to prevent a bigger hurt. But so wonderful that you have found each other again. It must have been very hard to share this, but such a powerful post. :hugs

David said...

Wow, this is really moving and I'm glad you summoned the courage to write this and contribute. I've been keeping track of all the posts on this topic, and yours is certainly unique. Many thanks for doing this.

quilly said...

What a beautiful tribute to to a mother's love.
You and your daughter are blessed to have come together at last -- and your loving relationship will never be taken for granted.

Thom said...

Putting your child ahead of your self is remarkable and very commendable. Your relationship will continue to grow as you find each other more and more with each passing day :)

Paz said...

Touching story. I'm glad it had a happy ending, I think it's because you are a good person and a good mother.

Best,
Paz

SandyCarlson said...

Ow and wow. What a sacrifice you made for your child. That must have been difficult. Motherhood is as much a sacrifice as a gift.

Beautiful post. Thanks.

Christine said...

I love happy endings and this story does have a very happy ending. I am so glad that your precious daughter is back in your life. May you have many years of joy and happiness together to make up for what was lost. Just think of all the times you have ahead of you to share.

Melli said...

Ohhhhh Jientje... I just can't imagine how you EVER maaade that decision! It must have torn you right in two! But God is good! He DID bring you back together... and you DO have each other now. I really know I would have lost my sanity over that. I guess that's why God tests ME with things like MIL instead of with my child. I honestly don't think I could have DONE what you did. Bless you, my friend!

Mar said...

Oh, Jientje, what a moving story and I am so happy for you two it has a happy ending! Children have such fragile souls, you made the hardest decision a mother can imagine, but only because you love(d) your daughter so much. ((Hugs))

Gattina said...

It's hard for me to comment on such touching post. I always had chance in my life, now that I can look back. Of course there were moments I thought I was the unhappiest person in the world, but looking back, I wasn't.
I read your post below, yes we were lucky with the weather but today it's over ! It will rain, only because I watered my new planted plants outside yesterday !

Jientje said...

@ Kim: I don't think this is just another silly meme. If I thought so, I would not have participated. But I finally found a reason to write this post, it wanted to be written for so long now. Thanks for the hug, dear, it means a lot.
@ Bill: thanks for your comment, and yes, it was hard.
@ Bientje: You of all people know what it has been like. Hugs, sis. And yes, she is SO MUCH like me, I'm proud of that.
@ Sue: I hope nobody ever has to go through such heartache.
@ Robin: It is a great joy that I can finally be her mother for real, yes.
@ Lou: I hope she knows one day too. It was hard to write, yes. Thanks.
@ Dr John: I'm glad your son and daughter in law had a more sensible approach to a similar situation. It's so good you can see them.
@ Avril: Thanks, our bond is special, I hope nothing ever gets in the way with it ever again.
@ Cherie: Yes, it was a hard post to write, but I'm glad it came out so well.
@ David: This was the perfect opportunity to do this. Thanks for hosting this.
@ Quilly: I will never take it for granted, never did, never will.
@ Thom: I'm glad I have put her ahead of myself. Would never have done it any other way.
@ Paz: Your comment moves me. For years I thought I was a BAD mother.
@ Sandy: It was, but it was the only thing I could do. Thanks.
@ Christine: I have waited 25+ years for this. It's so precious.
@ Melli: I suffered, yes. No mother should ever have to go through that, I'm so glad she's in my life now. I'm so glad she lets me be her mother now. I thought so too, but I could NEVER allow HER to be TORN in two.
@ Mar: I do love her so much. I'm glad it shines through.
@ Gattina: You're one lucky lady, and you know it. Hugs, dear.

@ EVERYBODY: Thanks for the friendship, the understanding, the hugs, the support you've given me by commenting on this post. This was a milestone for me. This post was very very hard to write, but it came from the bottom of my heart, as I'm sure some of you have felt. I was drained after I wrote it. Looking back on it, the next day, I'm very very happy that I've found the courage to write it.
THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING MY FRIENDS.

lisaschaos said...

Oh wow - this must have been incredibly hard for you to write and to live! I cannot imagine - except in a way I can because my "dad" had to do something similar with me. Unfortunately ours did not have the happy ending. I love how you wrote - we are two drops of water. . .

*BIG HUGS*

Alida said...

It speak so highly of you and your daughter that you both worked through the many difficulties you faced and have found that link, that while strained was never broken.

Sending you much love from my side of the world and I'm going to wish you a Happy Mother's Day, albeit early. (We moms know it's never too early!)

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