The week before Christmas we drove through the Netherlands on our little road-trip and we passed several locations where my parents and her best friend Eliane + family had been on vacation together. I had to think about them together and I started  singing "Zwei Kleine Italiener"  in my head. I pictured my mom and Eliane line dancing on this song with a funny self-made text about their life on their 50th birthday. I remember their rehearsals and their giggles.  Right after this memory, I picture them dressed up for New Year's Eve where they for years always chose a dress up theme with persona's together with their other friends. They were always up for some silly pranks.

In so many childhood memories, Eliane is present. She was part of our mirror family: her birthday only a week apart from my mom's, her class in school only 2 rooms further from my mom, her husband was my dad's colleague, her children were the same age as my sister and I and her grand children handed their clothes down to us.   She was the teacher that went to search hair clips to clip my growing hair out of my eyes when I was in her class.  I went on a field trip to the castle in town and we jumped on her example through a knee high pile of leaves in the fall.

I've not seen her anymore in the last years but I kept track of her battle against illness through my mom.  We knew that she was losing the battle. The phone rang on New Year's Eve and it sounded ominous... There was no more time for a last New Year's Eve prank.  The bubbles and the fireworks at the start of 2017 are without her.   Rest in peace, Eliane, you will be missed by many people.


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