While I was dealing with my illness, I missed the card that notified me of the death of my Dutch friend Elbert. He’d fought cancer for three years, and succumbed to it on the 18th of January. I learned of his death just today in another friend’s Facebook page. I am staggered.
Elbert was a writer, a poet. He was married to Marianne, who always signed the letters Elbert wrote me, and was, as far as I am concerned, Elbert’s perfect match. I thought they were married when I first met them in the mid 1970s, so close they seemed to be to me. She survives him and is in my thoughts and heart.
He one time had a cat named William Cheerful. It seemed a natural name for some who wrote a book called Calling Lithuania Collect. Elbert was bright, amusing, a master of nuance and pun. His letters were a delight to read because he hid among the words. To read one was to do a brain exercise and enjoy it.
He loved life and he and Marianne traveled all over the world. I don’t know his final total, but he and Marianne were approaching having traveled to 60 countries at one point. Living in Amsterdam, he liked to go out into the country on his bike, pushing for the highest speed he could achieve. He liked sports, especially auto and bike sport, but especially football (soccer) and the World Cup every four years.
Elbert was an exceptional person. I will miss him. A lot.