Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 32: From The Beginning.....

I realize now that I really don't like to write about this.
It still hurts and I rather lay it to rest.
But I don't really have a problem talking about it because my dear 2nd husband now tells me sometimes I talk about it too much till this day.
Which at times hurts his feelings and that is the last thing I want to do.
We all live our lives in a way to make sure that we are happy and comfortable but we don't realize that at times by doing so this makes other people uncomfortable.
We all gotta make an effort to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and look at ourselves from an outsiders point of view.
This is super hard and every day I am still working on this.
But as long as we learn every day we grow and that's what matters.

Okay back to the story.
I was at CVS getting some necessities and I got a phone call from The Funeral Home telling me I had to make a decision what to do with my husband's dead body.
I said: "Can't we keep him on ice in the fridge?' (you know where they keep the dead bodies before burying them or cremating).
Of course, the answer was no.
So out of respect for Erik I followed the wishes of his 2 daughters.
The girls wanted me to cremate him, so they could get half of his ashes.

Not much later I got a phone call saying that I could come and pick up my husband's ashes.
Miranda, one of my best girlfriend's in California and my mother (who came to be with me from Holland) joined me.
Miranda drove and my mom sat next to her in the passengers seat and I sat in the back.
This is where shit got real.
After walking in and sitting down at the Funeral home.
I got handed a big clear bag (like a clear ziplock bag) with sand in it.
First I was gonna say: "what is this?' but of course I realized that was what was left of my dead husband.
.......To Be Continued....

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 31: From The Beginning.....

From here on my memory is a bit vague.
Leaving the hospital without Erik felt super strange.
Knowing but not believing that I would never see him again was again very foreign to me.
As I can recall correctly Batia (my boss and friend from the salon), took me back to her gorgeous home.
I remember taking a very long hot bubble bath and just crying a lot.
Batia took me to the job site where he died a little after that.
The home owners showed me exactly where it all happened and they even showed me the dry blood on the ground from where his head hit the ground.
The home owners had their little child playing around while they were showing me around and I remember feeling sorry for that little child because she had to grow up in a house where a man died.
Of course realistically we all have lived and live in homes where someone must have died, that's just life.
Looking back on these moments now I can honestly say that I was never fully present.
I was going through the motions of life but never really slept good and as a result that made me feel like I was going through a daze daily.
I stayed for a few days at Batia's house but then I felt strong enough to go back to "our" house (meaning Erik's and mine).
Elizabeth, a very dear friend of mine whom I had known pretty much since the time I moved to America picked me up and took me there.
She walked with me through the house and helped me with some logistics I had to take care of.
Of course now I was going to be bombarded with medical bills and funeral arrangements etc etc.
Decisions I did not want to make but I had to do it.
I remember The Coroner's office kept calling me to ask me what I wanted to do with Erik's body.
They had to wait for my order to cremate or to burry.
Gosh, this was so incredible hard to decide.
I didn't want them to burn his body because I felt he could still wake up.
I know, I know....what a ridiculous and silly thought.
But I felt like once his body was gone, burned it would be all over.
I wasn't ready to let go....
....To Be Continued......

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 30: From The Beginning.....

So, I woke up in this gorgeous home of my sweet boss Batia, to a phone call from the hospital saying your husband is gone, his mother pulled the plug.
I still to this day can't believe these words and can't imagine that's my life I'm talking about.
Yes I did not want to pull the plug myself and it had to be done because he was already brain dead and there was no more hope.
I do believe it was the right thing to do to let his mother take that action.
Batia and her husband had been there for me from the very beginning.
They drove me back to the hospital.
Now, this was a very weird sight when we walked in to Erik's room and the bed was empty.
I understand of course they had to dispose of his dead body but it still felt very painful to me.
Now the reality is setting in that I will never ever see my husband again.
Gosh the pain was almost unbearable.
They were asking me in the hospital what I wanted to do with my husbands dead body.
His daughters had asked me if we could cremate so they could have some of their father's ashes.
Erik was Jewish and in the Jewish religion they don't believe in cremation.
But I have to admit Erik was more of a "convenient Jew" (meaning he didn't practice) and those were his words.
So I had to listen to his daughters and respect their wishes. Erik was at the Coroner's office because I asked for an autopsy.
That's another weird thought that was going on in my head, now someone is cutting open my poor husband because of course I had to research everything on what that entailed.
The conclusion was that he died from a heart attack at 42 years young. 
I still can not believe these words.
From the Coroner's office they put his body on ice until I give orders to cremate or whatever I (his wife) decides.
Wow! The power a wife has right?!
This power is no fun but as Erik would always say when he was alive; "It is what it is".
I remember he also always said: "Hurry up & lets get moving, you can sleep when you die"
I guess be careful what you say in life.
Your words are powerful!
.....To Be Continued.....

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Day 29: From The Beginning....

I decided to get some rest after not having slept for 3 days straight.
Or actually my sweetheart boss and her hubby instructed me to leave the ICU and come home with them to freshen up and get some sleep.
I was in a total daze.
I was just going through the motions.
You know how loss and grieving has 5 stages.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
But grief is as unique as you are.
We all grief differently.
I was definitely going through denial.
This was just a crazy nightmare and my husband would wake up and we would go home together and live happily ever after.
In the meantime I left him in his coma because all the doctors told me he was never going to wake up again.
It was now up to me to permanently end his journey on this planet and pull the plug.
I am a very big procrastinator and avoid confrontation at all cost.
I left to let his mother and kids have alone time with him.
Little did I know that his mother took the power in her hands.
I can't blame her and I actually think she did me a favor by doing "my dirty work" for me.
Also I fully realize that she put him into this world so she had the power to take him out.
She pulled the plug while I was gone.
Erik's mother and his kids stayed at a hotel and I never saw them.
I could't face them, I just needed to be alone.
They wanted to stay at our house but the thought of having others sleep where Erik slept and/or walk where he took his last steps made me nauseous. I know that sounds silly but in my mind that's all I had left of him.
Gosh I haven't cried or got teary eyed for a long time but now while writing this I can feel these horrible feelings again.
......To Be Continued....

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day 28: From The Beginning.....

Gosh, I didn't realize how hard it is to write about this and kind of re-live it all.
Now I notice that I pushed some old feelings aside.
I might have blocked memories and thoughts from that dark time.
It is weird because looking back its hard to recall some memories.
Okay let me get back to where I left off.
All the doctors said there was no hope.
No brain surgery was possible because he came in to the hospital brain dead already.
This is what might have happened.
Of course I don't have any facts because I wasn't there when it happened.
He went to work, he was a contractor in residential construction for his own business.
The job site was in Culver City CA.
At a female doctor's house.
He parked his work van in front of the house and he started to set up his tools in the back of the house.
He got a seizure and he tried to get to the work van to grab his sugar pills but he tripped and fell and got no air.
He was laying down in the grass face down for a while before the neighbor saw him.
Now it was already too late.
You know without oxygen for too long you become brain dead.
The neighbor ran to him and tried mouth to mouth etc and called 911.
Now the medics tried everything as well but it was all too late.
When I saw him in the hospital he was in a coma but without any of these machines he was gone.
So after 3 days they told me as his wife I should pull the plug.
I didn't know that I had that kind of power/control/responsibility as a wife.
I couldn't do it.
First off his daughters and sisters and parents needed to be able to fly in and say goodbye, at least that's what I thought.
His mother agreed to fly his daughters from NY to CA.
Mind you Erik didn't get along with his mother at all.
But in my mind that wasn't my place to bring up or discuss at all.
She was his mother and gave birth to him etc, so I really felt she needed to be able to say goodbye to her son.
Of course his daughters were the most important to say their goodbye's to their daddy.
.......To Be Continued......

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 27: From The Beginning....

Finally they let me see him and let me tell you, it wasn't a nice sight.
He looked horrible, exactly how they show you in the movies.
He was pale like a skeleton, and he had tubes everywhere.
Now I am asking over and over....:'Why him?"
And then I asked: "Why me?, what did I do or didn't do to deserve this?"
Is this my Karma or his Karma?
Oh Lord can I just tell you, what I saw you would not wish upon your worst enemy.
He was 42 years young.
A very hard worker.
A loving dad.
A loving son.
A loving brother.
A loving husband.
All gone!
For 3 days I was hoping, wishing, praying for a miracle.
There was a social worker who tried to tell me nicely that my husband was dead the minute he arrived to the hospital.
I was of course in denial.
I even posted pictures on Facebook on my wall and other people's wall, how rude could I have been?
Misery definitely needs company.
For 3 days I stayed by his side and held his hand and I did not sleep, eat, drink or anything.
I so remember how excited I got when Erik went number 2 in the bed, I was like, Yeah! his organs are still working, so he is still alive!
But no, now I know it meant that his organs were shutting down one by one.
Gosh I was thinking like, I will be happy with my husband as a vegetable because that is better than death.
Finally they did a brain scan and they said there is no brain activity left.
I asked if we could do brain surgery but no, it was too late fore that.
....To Be Continued......

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Day 26: From The Beginning.....

I listened to my voicemails and the first one said: "your husband had a heart attack"
Now they never hung up the phone when they left me this message, so I heard everything what was going on in the background.
Lots of commotion and I remember them saying: "I think we lost him"
So looking back they must have been working on him while someone else left me this message.
I also got a phone call from Erik's ex-wife in NY because they must have called her first, maybe because in Erik's phone he had his ex-wife's number programmed under "Kids Home".
His daughters lived with their mom in NY.
We lived in Beverly Hills CA.
I was so confused and thought to myself, Erik had another seizure and he will be just fine.
He did say in the morning before he left for work that his neck and his back were hurting.
I told him to go to the doctor but he said, no we have no insurance so lets wait.
I told my boss at the salon about the messages and she immediately called her husband who is a doctor, to come pick me up and take me to the hospital.
I only had my pink bicycle with me parked outside the salon.
My boss her husband was there in no time and we rushed to the hospital.
He instructed me to not sign any paperwork and to not say a word.
Because we all know whatever you say might be used against you later.
Also you can easily sign your life away when you sign hospital papers.
That was really the best advice ever.
We got there and of course the first thing they asked me to do was sign lots of papers and ask me lots of questions.
They wouldn't even let me see him for a while.
I kept refusing to sign and to answer questions and I insisted I wanted to see my husband.
I so remember the very first thing they asked me was: "Will you donate your husband's organs?"
.....To Be Continued......

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 25: From The Beginning.....

Before I tell you how this Fairytale ended, I forgot to mention that we moved a few houses down on the same dreamy street called Oakhurst Drive in Beverly Hills.
Every morning when I walked passed that home I was always admiring it and dreaming that one day that would be ours.
Dreams do come true.
One day there was a sign outside.
Immediately we took action.
Not to long after that it was ours.
It was bright and big and had lots of charm.
Dark wood fancy hard wood flooring throughout.
High ceilings, old world charm like crown moldings and little cozy nooks everywhere.
Build in the 1920's and of course spruced up a bit overtime.
Natural sunlight galore and oh my gosh was I over the moon happy!
So back to where I left off in my previous blog.
Erik drove off and that was the last time I saw him alive.
I remember one time a long time ago I read this article about this lady who said that her husband went to the store to buy a newspaper and she never saw him again.
That was so incredible hard for me to imagine or even wrap my brain around.
After I had waved goodbye, I got ready to go to work at the salon.
I rode my pink bicycle and parked it in front of the salon with a big chain on it.
It was a Saturday late May 2012.
The salon was always busy on Saturday's.
I turned the sound of on my phone and got busy at work.
I don't really remember what time it was when I looked at my phone again, I think it was around lunch time.
My phone had blown up with messages.
Voicemails from phone numbers I did not recognize.
I started listening to one of the voicemails and what I heard you will never ever want to hear in your lifetime.
........To Be Continued......

Friday, October 21, 2016

Day 24: From the Beginning.....

So here we were, living it up in Beverly Hills.
I got the job at the fancy salon 2 blocks from Rodeo Drive and just a few blocks from our home.
I rode my pink bicycle with cute basket to work or I just walked.
Erik was starting to work on his own, so was making more money and building his own clients.
Life was good!
The owner of the salon was amazing.
A gorgeous lady from Israel and she knew everybody in town.
The salon was thriving.
The whole team of ladies I worked with were amazing.
Erik and I got invited to the best parties in town and we were enjoying every single minute of it.
I was planning a trip back home to Amsterdam but Erik couldn't join unfortunately.
He was very busy with our new business.
Also he was starting a project with the brother of my boss.
I wasn't that excited about flying to Holland and visiting my family on my own.
Erik and I were so used to do everything together.
Kind of like siamese twins.
I remember praying to God: "Please don't let me go alone".
Also we had planned a trip for Erik's daughters to come visit us in Cali.
One Friday night in May, we went out to Sunset Blvd in Hollywood to go see a band.
We walked and we always enjoyed our walks hand in hand and our great chats.
What a fun night we had!
We went to some great clubs and bars and joined a group of our friends.
Walking back home at the end of the night, Erik didn't feel the greatest.
His back and his shoulders and neck were hurting.
The next morning we both had to get up early to go to work.
It was Saturday.
Erik said to me in the kitchen while he hugged me from behind.
I was making coffee and he put his arms around me and he said: "You know I really feel that I was born to be with you"
We hugged and kissed.
I waved at him from behind the window as he drove off to work.
.......To Be Continued......

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 23: From The Beginning.....

So now we were living in Beverly Hills and the agreement was that I was going to help out financially as well.
We found an ad on Craigslist looking for Dutch Translators.
I've got my Masters in translating Egyptian Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic) and I've always had a love for languages.
So off I went for an interview.
I got hired!
The money was great but the hours not so much.
I worked from 11pm at night till 7am the next morning.
Because there is a time difference between Cali and Holland of 9 hours.
Working the graveyard shift was a shock to my system.
Of course every beginning is hard so I stuck with it.
Erik worked during the day starting early in the morning.
He started working for someone else in Construction because in order for him to start his own business again he had to do a test and pay money etc etc so in the meantime he started from scratch again.
We hardly saw each other and it started to reflect negatively on our marriage.
After a few months we decided that it was better for our marriage and my health to look for a day job for me.
I found a job as a Manager at a fancy shoe store in Beverly Hills.
It was fun but hard because it was a brand new store and prior to that job I had never been a Manager.
My assistant Manager was amazing though, he picked up where I slacked of.
The owner was a feisty lady from Spain who could be a bit of a slave driver.
I decided to work around the corner on Brighton Way at a Clothing Boutique instead.
Yup I hopped around for a while trying to find my "perfect fit".
Of course I had not found it just yet.
So I kept looking for my perfect job.
One day I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for a Front Desk Receptionist at a fancy hair salon next to "Villa Blanca" (restaurant owned by Beverly Hills housewife Lisa Vanderpump).
.....To Be Continued.....

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 22: From The Beginning.....

The Road Trip from NY to Beverly Hills took like 4 days and of course was a blast!
I finally went back to my promised land.
Nothing could have ruined my experience.
When we got to Beverly Hills we stayed at hotels and started to walk around in the places where we wanted to live.
We had dinner with my old landlords whom I am still friends with to this day.
A lovely Persian couple, they have a beautiful home a few blocks from Rodeo Drive.
They tried to get me my old place back but the tenants who moved in after me had no intentions of moving out.
I don't blame them.
If it wasn't for Love I would have never left either.
So Erik and I found a place 1 block away.
It was more Erik's choice then mine but he had made so many compromises for me so that was no issue to me.
It was a big place with gorgeous hard wood floors and high ceilings but kind of hidden in the back so a definite lack of sunlight.
Don't forget the whole reason people move to Cali is for the sunshine.
Erik was afraid I just wanted my single life back from the past while living back in Cali but that couldn't be further from the truth.
I sincerely wanted to be married in Cali and sharing Cali with my Bestie.
I started re kindling old friendships but found out that some of the girlfriends I had from the past out grew me or maybe I outgrew them.
Sad but true.
To this day I don't know what exactly went wrong with my dear girlfriend Coco.
I still think about her almost daily.
I can tell you what I think went wrong but that would not be fair to her because she can not defend herself or tell her side of the story.
You know what they say, there are 3 sides to every story, my side, her side and the truth.
......To Be Continued.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 21: From The Beginning.....

Now how do you face your fears head on and take big risks?
Or should I say, how/when do you say to yourself, my dream is so big, big enough to be able to handle anything what comes my way?
That is all it is.
Fear is in your head.
And believe it or not, you can train your brain just like every muscle in your body.
Okay to get back to the story.
We had a lot of things going against our big move.
We had a business and lots of contacts that takes a long time to rebuild in a new place where you don't know anyone just yet.
Keyword, just yet because you know what, strangers are just friends you haven't met yet.
Erik had his 2 daughters who were living with their mom like 2 hrs away and we saw them every other weekend.
So now our move from the East Coast to the West Coast meant less visits but also longer visits.
And what teenager doesn't like to be able to brag about going to Cali and maybe running into Miley Cyrus?
We started selling all our belongings.
Lots of yard sales.
You know how yard sales go, you get 1 penny for a $1000.- item.
And you gotta be grateful for that 1 penny because it could be one day your last penny.
At that point we had gone from a house with pool, sauna, wine cellar, cars of choice, Chanel bag (which I still have to this day and adore like my baby), to a small guest house in the country next to a pig farm in cold Pennsylvania but a gorgeous State I have to admit.
And believe it or not our marriage had gotten stronger and stronger.
Real love does conquer all.
Let me tell you about our cross country drive from Pennsylvania to Beverly Hills.
......To Be Continued......

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 20: From The Beginning....

It's not hard to figure out the cause of a bankruptcy but of course every case is different.
The recession was a major part of our financial issues.
We moved around a lot as well which is not giving any stability.
I always wanted to move back to Beverly Hills and Erik agreed on that after the kids were a bit older and when he was able to pick up the business and move.
Looking back that doesn't sound very realistic.
Because when are the kids old enough to not care that their dad moves to the other side of the country?
If I was a kid I wouldn't like that either.
It's already bad enough that their parents are divorced.
About the business you really gotta start all over from scratch.
Which is not easy either.
Erik was born and raised in NY.
His dad was a contractor with his own business and Erik took over.
So all his life he was building contacts in NY.
Now I was asking to start all over just because I couldn't forget Beverly Hills.
Finally we decided to make the move.
Mind you this was 7 years later.
In the meantime we thought about having a child together but Erik had a vasectomy.
So we made an appointment to reverse.
I changed my mind last minute and we decided to wait.
We just had so much fun together we didn't want to give up that lifestyle.
Erik did have more seizures and the cold weather was getting to us.
We decided to get our move to the West Coast in motion.
We moved into the guesthouse of Erik's sister in Pennsylvania to save some money for our big move.
The guesthouse was on a nice property with a tennis court and pool.
Also the property was next to a pig farm, so it was a bit smelly in the beginning but like everything in life, you get used to it.
.......To Be Continued.....

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 19: From The Beginning....

Yes I am all about transparency.
Erik filed for 2 bankruptcy's, 1 for the business and 1 personal.
Of course I am fully aware that me as the wife was partly responsible.
But even though we went through tough times financially it only made our love stronger.
Yes it was a learning process.
Me coming from Holland I wanted to live bigger and better.
Even though my life in Holland was not too shabby.
I wanted to live in Beverly Hills 90210.
I wanted to drive a Mercedes Benz.
Bottom line I wanted to live beyond my means. (I know, I know I was a major DumbDumb).
Gosh do I remember the day I got my American Express Card in the mail while living in Beverly Hills.
I pretty much ran to Rodeo Drive literally.
The Gucci Store was my place to be.
I din't know at the time that Chanel was the shit!
So I bought (AMEX did) a Gucci purse and a wallet and matching daily planner.
I so remember paying for that shit a long time after that.
Yup I was living beyond my means.
So to go back where I left off, I am sure the bankruptcy was covering some of that years later.
When Erik and I met  just like every new relationship we were living it up.
Mimosa's for breakfast, Cosmo's for lunch at Neiman Marcus, Champagne dinners at the latest hot spots in NY.
Chanel purse, brand new Benz, brand new Cadillac, house with a pool and you name it.
Yeah sadly in life we all gotta learn our lessons the hard way.
Let me tell you when it went all downhill from there.
........To Be Continued.....

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Day 18: From The Beginning....

You know when you have been single for a while, the minute you are in a long term relationship and even better, married, you really appreciate finally being with one person forever.
My gosh, was I happy my single days were finally over and done with.
It is so nice to be married, it's kind of like having a sleepover with your best friend every single night!
I gotta say that once you are married it's not easy to say after a silly argument: "I'm leaving, goodbye!"
Marriage makes you respect each other and compromise and fight for each other (and with each other at times hahaha).
So Erik and I signed up for marriage counseling when we just got married and this was really helpful.
Counseling will teach you how to communicate and many useful things.
We lived Upstate NY and I loved the baby deer in our yard and the pool and sauna & wine cellar etc.
But we didn't stay there long.
Erik's oldest daughter almost got kidnapped from outside her mom's house and we lived a bit too far away.
So we decided to move back closer to NYC and closer to the kids.
Also we couldn't pay the mortgage anymore and 2 of our cars got impounded because of lack of payments.
We filed for bankruptcy.
First for the business than personal.
I remember Erik had tears in his eyes when he realized he had to file bankruptcy.
We learned a lot from that time.
I had to go to court one day and I brought my Chanel purse (what a dummy!) but thankfully the female judge didn't notice.
Maybe because Erik was hiding the CC's kind of on his lap under his arm.
The judge did take my diamond necklace (which was from my parents) my engagement ring and my cartier watch.
Legally they can not take your wedding band because that has emotional value.
I was actually pleasantly surprised that all this didn't  really bother me.
I guess I wasn't as shallow, vain and materialistic as I thought after all!
.......To Be Continued.......

Friday, October 14, 2016

Day 17: From The Beginning....

So you know how life is when you just fall in love and you move in together.
It's kind of like you are wearing glasses with pink lenses.
Everything is dreamy and rosy and new.
But now reality sets in and you are getting into a daily routine.
We never really got to a daily normal routine because when you own your own business you have the freedom to set your own hours.
Don't get me wrong, owning your own business is not easy and it is very simple that if you do not work, you will not make money.
So every day Erik woke up early to work at his business.
He was a residential contractor.
I was never an early riser but I became one, the minute I met Erik (okay it took a while and lots of moaning and groaning while getting used to this new lifestyle).
I gotta say that I have never seen anyone in my life work harder than Erik.
Oh and minor detail this is manual labor.
He was building homes from the ground up.
He was lifting material that 1 human should not lift by himself.
He was crawling on his hands and knees without kneepads (because he was always in a rush and he didn't make time to put knee pads on) through crawlspaces under homes where rats and lots of other rodents live. Can you imagine? Just the smell alone was horrific because of course there were dead rodents as well.
A relationship build on respect is very very important and man did I have respect for Erik!
I always called him Superman!
I accompanied him to most of his jobs with the intention of being a helper but even being a helper was an extremely tough job.
Erik an I were like siamese twins, we were together 24/7 and in the beginning like with all beginnings that was hard.
We had to blend 2 totally different lifestyle's together.
Living in Beverly Hills my life was like waking up whenever (I worked evenings) and hiking whenever, having coffee with friends, maybe some shopping, maybe a little nap before work.
......To Be Continued......

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 16: From The Beginning......

So here we all are in the middle of a crowded mall in NY.
So many bystanders.
Because you know it's like watching a train wreck, everybody wants a piece of the action.
Misery needs company.
But I do have to admit that some people really sincerely and genuinely want to help and they immediately jumped into action.
The medics had already arrived and they were asking me a million questions about Erik because obviously he wasn't able to talk himself.
They took him into the ambulance and I wasn't allowed to go with him in the ambulance because I had Erik's 2 daughters with me and there wasn't enough room for 3 more.
I remember looking for our car in the parking lot, but because I was so out of it that was hard.
We finally found the car and raced to find the ambulance and followed them to the hospital.
Arrived there it felt like it took forever but finally he woke up and was slowly but surely getting better.
This seizure wasn't the first and certainly not the last.
So this was the reason that we decided to get married sooner rather than later.
Erik had made our newly purchased home in NY gorgeous.
He made us a brand new master suite with fancy wood flooring and a fancy big jacuzzi tub and a enormous closet and all the bells and whistles.
The winter wedding on Christmas Eve was super romantic under our 12 foot Christmas Tree with some close friends & family.
After our fairytale wedding we lived happily ever after....
.......To Be Continued.......

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 15 continues: From The Beginning....

We had planned for a summer wedding but we ended up getting hitched way quicker on Christmas Eve, the year prior to our scheduled summer wedding.
Let me tell you why.
Erik used to be obese, 450 pounds to be exact.
He was 6'3, so a tall guy.
He tried every diet on the planet and personal trainers etc.
Nothing worked.
He decided to get gastric bypass and lap band surgery.
Afterwards he got some plastic surgery as well because as you know when you lose weight, the skin still kind of sags on your body.
Kind of like a Shar Pei dog, you know the one with all the wrinkles.
All the surgeries were very successful.
He was now 220 pounds.
But he wasn't very healthy.
He used to be borderline diabetic.
Now after all the surgeries he was hypo glycemic.
Meaning he always needed to carry around sugar pills and he had a lot of seizures.
I witnessed one of these seizures up close and man was that scary!
One winter day before our wedding we went to the mall with Erik's 2 daughters.
I was with one of his daughters who was 3 years old in Target and Erik was with his oldest daughter who was 8 at Toys "R" Us.
I had just put little Emily in the shopping cart and we were cruising through Target the 2 of us.
All of a sudden I got called over the microphone, and I was like uh-oh, what did I do? haha
I rushed to the information desk and they told me that my husband had a heart attack at the toy store.
I grabbed little emily out of the shopping cart and ran as fast as I could to the toy store.
There he was laying on the ground shaking and moving like crazy while there were a sea of people around him.
One lady had put her sweater under his head.
......To Be Continued......

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 14 continues: From The Beginning.....

You know how you neglect all your friends when you get in a new relationship?
I have always been guilty of doing that.
But don't forget I had to leave all my friends behind in LA when I moved to NY.
After I had lived in NY for a while I started looking for girlfriends on MYSPACE. (hahaha remember that site?)
I met some amazing girlfriends that way who I am still friends with to this day.
One of these girls was Angie.
We met on MYSPACE and then we set up our first lunch get together at The Cheese Cake Factory.
I remember Angie saying after we sat down: "Oh let me call my hubby real quick cause he's a cop and he just wanted to make sure I'm safe".
Yeah with the internet you just never know.
Some women when I befriended them on MYSPACE they questioned my intentions, like who's that lady who wants to hang out?
These days it's way easier to make girlfriends.
Now I am the organizer of a Meet Up Group called The Fit & Fabulous Ladies.
Back To NY life and making new friends in a new place.
I was enjoying every minute of it.
1 year after we got engaged at Rockefeller Center we got married at our new home in Upstate NY.
After our rental in the suburbs of NY we decided to buy a house in Upstate NY because you get more house for your money away from a major city.
We found a gorgeous home.
The house was owned by Robert Redford a long time ago.
It had a pool, a wine cellar, a sauna etc.
The pool had big lights underwater and inside the house there was a special room with a connecting wall with double sided mirrors. Almost like a room they interview criminals in. Weird huh?
The home was amazing but it was a bit in the middle of nowhere.
We had great times there and oh my gosh we did so many renovations on that house.
Erik had his own business in residential construction so that's what he was always doing as a hobby as well.
I got so much respect for contractors, carpenters, people who work in construction, manual labor.
Let me tell you about all the work Erik did to the home and about our wedding with the mayor of our new town called Goshen marrying us in front of all our family and close friends during a snowstorm under a 12 foot christmas tree.
......To Be Continued.......

Monday, October 10, 2016

Day 13 continues: From The Beginning

NY life in the suburbs was great!
You know it's funny because I actually had on one of my vision boards a big house with a pool.
And that became true!
I do want to mention that you have to be very specific on a vision board because I did not clarify where I wanted the house with the pool.
What I mean by that is I got the house with the pool in NY and as you know NY has 4 seasons.
So winter time that pool was closed for business.
I grew up in Holland and I disliked winters with a passion.
I swore to myself I would never live in a cold climate again after I moved out of Holland into The US.
But of course I was madly in love, and Erik and I enjoyed getting to know each other.
Don't forget we only knew each other for like 10 days prior to me moving cross country to live with him.
Of course I still had my place in Beverly Hills.
A few months after moving in Erik proposed at the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center.
My mother flew from Holland to be there for that special moment.
Not to long after this event we flew back to Beverly Hills to pack up all my stuff and drive my car and Saint Bernard and 2 cats back to NY and of course give up my home.
I remember Erik wasn't a big fan of my big dog and 2 cats but that was the package I came with.
Erik had 2 daughters out of his previous marriage and he owned his own business so that's why we couldn't start our life together in Beverly Hills.
But I gotta tell you, I missed Beverly Hills!
NY was great and all but the four seasons got to me eventually. (burrrrrr....way to cold!)
Also the suburbs are way different than the city. Some women after they get married, they kind of let themselves go, meaning there was no fashion for me to get inspired by,  I know I know that sounds so vain and shallow!
I don't mean it in a bad way but then again there is no other way to say it.
For me it's motivational and an inspiration if other women step up to their game and dress nicely or put themselves together in an fashionable way.
I am not saying put on a dress and high heels but just brush your hair, put some lipstick on and a clean pair of sweatpants that you did not sleep in.
.........To Be Continued......

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Day 12 continues: From The Beginning....

I was 33 years old and thought I was going to be a "spinster" and/or a "cat lady".
There was no lack of single men in LA but there was a lack of single men who wanted to commit.
When people say: 'it's hard to date in LA', I get it.
Again I do not blame guys not wanting to commit in "LALA land".
There are so many gorgeous single models/actresses out there, why just commit to one single girl?
A girlfriend of mine Nina asked me to come with her to New York.
I had never been to NY and honestly didn't have a desire to go there.
NY to me was big and intimidating and cold.
But Nina persuaded me and off we went.
We stayed at some motel outside of the city in Nyack NY.
And oh my gosh, was it cold!
I remember we went to the Nyack Mall and I bought a warm jacket.
That night we went out to a bar/club and I met Erik.
You can not fight chemistry.
It seriously felt like a truck hit me head on.
Our conversation was flowing and sparks flying everywhere.
Later I did find out he was married but they where in therapy.
I am sure you have heard that bullshit before hahaha.
After 4 days in NY, Nina & I flew back home to Beverly Hills. (LAX).
From the second I landed till 10 days later and lots of communication with Erik, I flew back to NY.
Erik had divorced his wife (of course the legalization took a bit longer), moved out and found us a home.
Erik asked me what kind of home I wanted haha.
I said preferably a bit bigger then my place in Beverly Hills because of Dutchess (the saint bernard) and Coco & Chanel (the siamese cats).
Erik found us a home with a big yard & a pool in Nyack NY (like 40 min outside of the city).
Our NY suburbs life together has begun.
......To Be Continued......

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day 11 continues: From The Beginning...

Gosh, dating sucked!
Then again I have never heard anyone say that they love dating.
I can't talk for all women, but I can talk about my story.
From when I was a little girl growing up in Holland all I wanted was to be married and live life together with my best friend/lover/hubby.
Every time when I met a guy I was like, 'is he The One?'
I did not enjoy the process of dating.
Let me tell you why.
Because I am an instant gratification kind of girl, I want to know now if he is the one for me not a year from now.
Don't get me wrong I do believe in getting to know each other before marriage.
I do believe in living together to see if we can even stand each other.
I am an all or nothing kind of girl.
I am sure I sent a lot of "frogs" (men) running away from me because I am pretty intense.
Generally in life I do not like to waste time and/or energy in investing in the wrong people.
I am very transparent and say how it is without filter.
Maybe that's the Dutch in me but that's just who I am.
I met some amazing people that way who are still in my life today but I also had to 'weed' out a lot of bad people.
Again in life we are not growing if we don't lose friends.
I gotta say dating was getting old and no fun for me.
There was no lack of single guys in LA but nobody wanted to commit.
Then again I couldn't blame them because if you can have all the candy in the world, why stick with just one?
I am not saying I am candy but I am saying if you are a guy living in LA and there are so many girls to choose from why stick with just one girl?
Okay here I was living my dream in Beverly Hills 90210 with a gorgeous apartment, a Saint Bernhard Dutchess, 2 siamese cats Coco & Chanel, a beautiful pre-owned Mercedes ML 320, friends galore, a fun job and dating away.
I was lonely though  and wanted to meet my future hubby.
I remember crying myself to sleep at times with my tears flowing on Duchess her fur while resting my head on her.
Let me tell you how I finally met my hubby.
.......To Be Continued......

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 10 Continues: From The Beginning...

Let me tell you all about The Blind Date Show.
Coco & I were watching The Blind Date Show on TV and at the end of the episode they showed a phone number and said to call the show if you were single.
I don't think I have ever known Coco single, she was always with Stacey but they started out as just friends and it blossomed from there.
Okay let me not get of track here.
Coco and I called and got invited for a casting call.
We both went and I don't know why but they picked me to be on one of their episodes.
They paid $100.- and came to my house with a camera crew and "my Blind Date"
Andy was/is his name and he was/is a doctor going through his residency.
An Oral Surgeon to be exact.
We hit it off!
We chit chatted at my house outside in my backyard while the cameras where rolling.
They had given us a shot of a liquor of our choice because we were both very nervous prior to the taping.
Then we went to a nearby park and played a game called "operation" hahaha it was fun!
After that we all went to The Stinking Rose Restaurant on La Cienega in LA where they taped us having dinner and chatting some more.
Andy dropped me off at the end of the night at my house and believe it or not we ended up dating for a while after this. I don't remember how long maybe 6 months to a year.
He was always busy with work and he was/is Persian and at the end of the day his family really wanted him to marry a Persian girl and he supported that.
So it is what it is.
I did like/love him but I moved on.
Back to the dating drawing board.
......To Be Continued.....

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Day 9 continues: From The Beginning

Let me start off  by saying that in this life in order to grow we will lose friends and of course continue to make new ones as well.
I can't talk for you, but me personally I am always looking for that "Bestie," what I mean by that is that girlfriend who you talk to every day just checking in and sharing your deepest secrets with.
Coco, was my bestie, we chatted every day and if/when she couldn't find me she left me a voicemail saying: "I am worried about you, where are you? I feel like I am your boyfriend checking up on you"
I loved it when she said that because it meant she totally cared.
She always invited me everywhere, even at family events.
She knew my family was far away in Holland.
To this day I am sure there are 3 versions of why/how are friendship ended.
My version, Coco's version and the truth.
All I can say is that I think it was just some miscommunication and maybe we just grew apart.
I wish I could have her friendship back though.
But I would love her to be totally transparent about everything.
I am not saying that she wasn't but I have no filter and say how it is and I wish she would do the same. That's all.
Coco still lives in Beverly Hills (LA) and I live in Carlsbad (San Diego county) so that's like 2 hrs apart, so maybe one day we will rekindle our friendship.
Who was/is your Bestie?
I had a bestie growing up in Holland Kim Jansen and I have been trying to find her on all the social media platforms but no luck to this day.
Besides having great girlfriends in Beverly Hills I was always looking for "my Prince Charming"
One of my dear girlfriends Zhanna whom I am still friends with but sadly our friendship is not as close as it was because she moved from Beverly Hills to Minnesota and got married and had 3 kids so life goes on.
Zhanna helped me set up my profile etc on all the dating sites and that's where some fun adventures started.
Gosh I had to kiss some "frogs" before I met my 'Mr Right".
I went on a date with a guy with a glass eye, I didn't know where to look, his right eye on the left, it felt a bit strange but sadly we didn't have any chemistry.
I went on a date with a guy who didn't look like his pix at all.
Those pix where taken at least 10 years prior.
Oh and I was even on TV on a show called "The Blind Date show"
......To Be Continued.......

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 8 continues: From The Beginning

Okay after lots and lots of research and feedback from others, I decided to get a Saint Bernhard.
I found a breeder in Bakersfield CA and drove there to meet the whole Saint Bernhard family including grandpa Saint Bernhard named Cowboy who was 250 lbs.
The owners/breeders were extremely nice and I couldn't have found a better place.
I picked one of the smallest babies with light coloring just because she came over to me and was such a cuddle bug.
I named her Dutchess.
She was the love of my life.
Oh was I in love with her and proud of her.
I couldn't have picked a better furry baby for me.
She grew overnight.
I remember every morning after I woke up looking at her and asking her; "what did you do to my puppy?' hahaha
She only got to like a 100 lbs and that is small for a Saint Bernhard.
I remember walking with her to Rodeo Drive and there were always tourists stopping me asking me if they could pet "Beethoven". (like the movie)
Yes she looked like a little Beethoven.
She got along great with Coco & Chanel (the siamese cats).
Dutchess lived till 11 years young.
Now I realize that big dogs generally don't live that long.
She got hip problems etc.
To this day I think about her and miss her but she will always be in my heart.
So now I was living happily in Beverly Hills 90210 with 2 siamese cats "Coco & Chanel" and "Dutchess" the Saint Bernhard.
Besides my pets and friends I didn't have my family with me because they are all in Holland.
My best girlfriend was Christine (Coco is her nickname).
She really was special to me and I miss our friendship to this day.
I guess we kind of grew apart.
Let me tell you from the beginning.
......To Be Continued.....

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 7 continues: From The Beginning

Okay here I am in Beverly Hills 90210 California, United States of America.
Gosh I am loving life and living life to the fullest.
I am checking little by little everything of my bucket list.
Don't forget prior to living in Beverly Hills I had already lived in Egypt doing commercials for TV, got my masters in translating Arabic, lived in Rome, lived in Canada, Hungary, Prague, Holland etc.
I had already worked as a stewardess and seen lots of the world.
Meaning I think I could honestly say that Beverly Hills was heaven to me.
Landscaping was spectacular everywhere, the homes all looked different and had so much character.
The people were all different and from all different cultures and backgrounds.
I honestly woke up every morning so happy and excited for what the day could bring.
There was so much to do.
So many choices.
Like going for a hike, the beach, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd, Hollywood blvd, Santa Monica etc.
I made so many different friends.
You know when people say about Beverly Hills (LA), 'oh it's so fake over there!" I seriously don't know what they are talking about and I bet that they have never lived over there.
You attract the people in life who you are supposed to attract and yes you will attract some "rotten apples" and maybe you are a 'rotten apple' at times hahaha but we will learn from them and move on or they will learn from us and move on.
That's life.
So back to life in Beverly Hills.
I hiked a lot at Runyon Canyon and felt a bit out of place without a furry best friend, so I started doing research in what kind of dog I wanted.
I went to The Beverly Hills library down the street from my house and got all sort of books on different breed of dogs.
Guess what dog breed I decided on.
......To Be Continued......

Monday, October 3, 2016

Day 6 Continues: From The Beginning

Gosh I felt that I had finally arrived in Paradise on earth.
My home was gorgeous, the location was Fabulous!
I mean seriously it was walking distance to Rodeo Drive, The Grove, Sunset Blvd, Melrose etc.
The beach was like a 10 min drive.
Malibu was 40 min away.
Hiking trails galore just a short car ride away.
The neighbors were fabulous, my landlords were amazing.
One of my neighbors became one of my best friends and we remain friends to this day.
She is a successful realtor and lives in Bel Air now, in Bill Maher's old home.
She has always been an amazing friend.
I remember one time I had borrowed some money from her that she had put on her Amex for me for some furniture, and 1 week later I had the cash for her but she said: "just help me clean up the house (after one of her parties) and we are even." Wow! to this day I am grateful for her in my life.
I also remember a Halloween party at The Playboy Mansion, she had lent me her "I dream of Jeannie" costume to wear to the Mansion.
I kid you not there were 5 other "I dream of Jeannie's at the party.
My personal experience wasn't the greatest.
The whole reason that I got invited was because a girlfriend of mine was dating Hugh Hefner's best friend, so I was her plus one.
She left me behind pretty quick once we got inside.
I saw some celebrities, models and playboy bunnies.
I remember one famous model I recognized because she was originally from Holland as well, but I gotta say she looked very different in person.
Also there was a lot of drugs going around.
Me being from Holland, this was actually the first time that I saw cocaine.
I have never had the urge to try it.
Weird idea to me that you gotta sniff that stuff up your nose and/or even worse I would never ever entertain any recreational needle stuff.
Lots of drunk people and lots of barely naked ladies.
I felt totally out of place and pretty miserable so I called a cab and got out of there as fast as Speedy Gonzales.....
.......To Be Continued........

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Day 5 continues: From The Beginning

This time around while looking in the newspaper The LA Times, I was looking for a roommate.
I figured I can look for a job while over there and I didn't really feel like working as an Au-Pair again.
I didn't know what area in LA to look for but figured Hollywood would be the place to be.
I found a photographer living with his young son in Hollywood walking distance from Sunset Blvd. and Hollywood Blvd. and his place looked fabulous!
Palm Trees everywhere and a pool etc.
I hopped on a plane and off I went.
I met a Boston cop on the plane and we kept in touch.
My new roommate even picked me up from the airport.
I knew he was safe because he had his son living with him and he really was a nice guy.
Not to long after I moved to Hollywood I found a job in Beverly Hills.
That's when I realized Beverly Hills was The SHIT!
I loved loved loved Beverly Hills and still do to this day even though today I live like 2 hours away.
I moved out of my roommate's place & got my own studio in the same building in Hollywood.
Oh my gosh I loved my life with a passion and it kept getting better!
I got 2 siamese kittens Coco & Chanel and loved them dearly.
I walked everywhere and loved every minute of it.
Attended acting school because eventually my visa would run out so in order to extend it I needed to look at other options of a work visa or sponsor etc.
Acting school wasn't for me, I'm not a good actor, I can't fake it. I am always just me, take it or leave it hahahaha.
My job in Beverly Hills was going well and I decided to save up and move to Beverly Hills.
This was my paradise!
Beverly Hills 90210!!!
Oh gosh, I found a gorgeous 1 bedroom apartment that I miss to this day.
Crown Moldings, Hard Wood floors, Fireplace, Yard etc
Build in 1920, so I'm sure you can imagine how full of character that place was/is.
Here in Beverly Hills 90210 is where my journey really started for me.
........To Be Continued....

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Day 4 continues "From The Beginning"

While I was in Holland I bought a Canadian newspaper looking for Au-Pair jobs in Quebec Montreal (Canada).
I found an Au-Pair job an off I went.
The reason I picked Montreal was that it borders Boston and I had a friend living in Boston whom I met in Hungary (Budapest).
While in Quebec I really enjoyed working for the family and soon I got promoted to an office job at their family business.
But I gotta say; "Gosh it's cold over there in Quebec!...burrrrr"
Also my friend from Boston came to visit me.
He told me jokingly once; "why don't you hide in the trunk of my car, and I'll smuggle you into The USA that way, and if Immigration finds you I'll say That's my blow up Dummy, doesn't she look real?!" hahahahaha I did consider it for maybe 1 quick second.
I got a cute flat on my own and a little kitten but I didn't last long in this cold climate.
One day I was waiting for the bus to work and my tears almost turned like icicles. I went ....back home to Holland.
Back in Holland I worked as a Flight Attendant/ground stewardess and I kept going to The American Embassy begging for a visa back to the USA.
Finally after 3 years they gave me a visa for 6 months.
This time I flew to Florida first where I started my American journey.
I stayed with a girlfriend of mine in Fort Lauderdale.
We had stayed in touch while I was deported and while I was living back in Europe.
But now when we where together in person it wasn't the same like the good old times.
To this day I really can't put my finger on what it was but we couldn't get along as we did before.
I guess we both changed, we both grew and maybe we out grew each other.
She had had some plastic surgery done and she cared more about vanity and material things than she did before, but that was just my perception. Maybe it was me who had different views than before.
Again I really don't know what it was, but what I did know was,  that we just did not get along anymore, so off I went to Boston where I was going to visit my friend whom I met in Hungary (Budapest).
While I was visiting him he helped me get a job with a friend of his who was a dentist.
I worked as a dental assistant before in Holland so here I was living and working in Boston.
Problem was that Boston felt very European to me, they call it New England after all and yes it reminded me of England, meaning the cold climate and the people. (loved the people).
So again I bought a newspaper called "The LA Times" and off I went to LA.
.......To Be Continued......