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Ach, dat kind...

Posted on 11 June, 2019 at 11:25

Haar broer en zussen vonden het geweldig, een nakomertje. Ze waren dol op dat grappige meisje: wat moesten ze lachen als ze vanuit haar kinderstoel het gezicht van hun moeder resoluut vastpakte en naar zich toedraaide zodat moeder haar aan kon kijken. Joke bleek ernstig gehoorgestoord.

Daardoor, en omdat ze de jongste was, werd ze behoorlijk verwend: Ach dat kind, was moeders vaste reactie als Joke iets deed wat de anderen nooit mochten. En Joke ging zitten lezen, altijd maar lezen.

Maar toen ze 16 was werd haar moeder ziek en ging dood. De oudste zus, net bevallen van haar tweede kind, nam haar in huis. En omdat er nu drie kinderen in de kleine flat waren, kwamen ze in aanmerking voor een eengezinswoning en kreeg Joke de hele zolderverdieping. De zus deed haar best om haar zusje ondanks haar handicap zelfstandig te maken - Joke vond haar streng. Maar ze maakte haar opleiding af, solliciteerde, werd meteen aangenomen en zat er 45 jaar later nog. Inmiddels al lang op zichzelf. Altijd op tijd, nooit ziek, altijd goede zin, iedereen mocht haar èn kwam bij haar als ze iets niet wisten: zíj was hun wandelende Wikipedia, internet werd pas in tweede instantie geraadpleegd.

Toen ze op een ochtend niet op haar werk verscheen, wist iedereen dan ook direct dat er iets ernstigs aan de hand moest zijn en ondernam de directeur actie: Joke bleek onderweg een hersenbloeding gehad te hebben. Ach dat kind, zei de oudste zus hardop, onderweg naar het ziekenhuis.

Revalidatie, verpleeghuis, het kwam niet goed. Wel 1000 boeken moesten er weg, want er was maar plek voor tachtig dozen in de kasten op haar kamer. Maar haar collega’s lieten haar niet vallen: het was altijd een feest om Joke op te zoeken. Maar net toen ze na anderhalf jaar triomfantelijk zelf weer een paar pasjes kon zetten, trof haar een tweede hersenbloeding. Die werd haar fataal.

Het verpleeghuis heeft nu een bibliotheek. En iedereen die op haar uitvaart was, mocht een boek uitzoeken.

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