The Hebrew word for Love is on Anneke's license plate:
Here she is showing us the photo of the people who hid in her home for three years. The photo was taken the day the war ended and it was safe for them to see daylight again. Can you even imagine? I cannot.
In 1961 I went to Israel from California, I was short of my 20th birthday...I had been traveling in Europe...maybe one day I will blog the whole story, but for now its enough to say that while in Israel (a five week trip that lasted five years) I met a young woman from Holland, her name was Anneke. We were both young, idealistic, having come from different backgrounds, mine Jewish, hers Christian. She had a connection to Israel ever much or more deep than my own. She is the daughter of parents, who during World War two, when Jews were being herded like cattle and put into train cars to be carried to camps where they were exterminated, hid eight Jewish people in their home in Holland for three long years. This of course was at great risk to their own lives and the lives of their three children, should they be caught.
I had the honor on this vacation to visit Anneke in her current home in Michigan for the first time after that first meeting 42 years ago in Israel. To say it was an emotional visit would be an understatement. It encompassed several things to make it so.
First, just seeing each other after all these years, (Anneke is responsible for keeping our friendship going as she picks up the phone and calls me often. She is not an e-mailer) and catching up and revisiting our early years together as young brides, mothers on the kibbutz where we then lived...Then, being with her a short year after the death of her dear husband, who she met and married during our time together in Israel. I missed not being able to re-meet him as well. And this was sad on all fronts. And finally, because we had the high honor of sitting and listening first hand as Anneke shared with us the story of her parents heroic deeds and the impact they had on her as a young child age 3-6 yrs.
Her hospitality was beyond measure. Her home lovely, very European in style and feel, a collector of antiques, art, books, (her husband left a library of over 8000 books and they were all in her home)...it was just fun to wander from room to room...not to mention the garden where he had planted over 1000 trees and made lovely natural gardens of flowers and other plants. We were only there one day, but it was filled with love beyond belief.