I am lying here in this private hospital room (because someone with a special condition needed the other room) and I am sad and missing so many people in my life. I have been here for a week and I have created a routine for myself. For the weeks before I entered the hospital, I had created a routine that helped me cope with stress and pain. Every day I watched episodes of the best situation comedy ever: The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

I have watched this show since it premiered in 1970. In fact, I have watch this classic multiple times and I have never gotten bored with it. Even though it is a show from the seventies it still stands out as a brilliantly written sitcom with a very funny cast.

This show is not just about Mary Tyler Moore, it is not just a show about female friendships and it is really not a show about the workplace. This sitcom encompasses the world of the 70’s and somehow works in today’s world. When you step into Mary’s apartment you are blasted with yellow and orange. Mary’s closet could possibly be bigger than her kitchen. They talk about money and how much men make in their annual salaries. A man who makes 30,000 dollars a year is rolling in the dough and a man who makes 13,000 dollars a year is doing pretty well for himself and is quite a catch. They have just started to discuss how low Mary’s salary is (but I think that is coming up pretty soon).

All I can tell you is that Mary and company make me feel good and for that short time each day I forget why I am lying in bed with the heating pad and I am grateful that I can still see this show today. I have just started to watch the second season and I want to watch all of them. I have begun a television list of shows I want to see because they give me a bundle of joy and I am also going to make a list of movies a that I want to see one more time. I will try very hard to keep in contact with you through the blog and I think it will be easier when I get home.

This was Jane’s 208th post and I am sorry to tell you it was her last. She is in the hospital again after being home for just three days. Jane is very, very weak, has trouble speaking and cannot dictate me to write down her thoughts to share them with you.

When Jane started her blog in 2011 she couldn’t imagine she would write so much about such a small country. Jane was very happy in The Netherlands and felt at home. I have been very fortunate I was the reason why she moved here. She gave up her job, social life, friends, country and home. All for love. She is still a very strong woman but can’t win this battle she is fighting.

On behalf of Jane I want to thank you all very much for reading her stories and boekentips.

She will be deeply missed.

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  • clbahrami  On April 15, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I am happy and sad together, in reading this. I just ‘found’ your blog, and learned of all you have been up to these past couple of years. Jane, you represent so much to so many. I know my daughter sought out an MLS because of the wonderful experience she [and we] all had under your direction at the Gale Free library. I remember how you cared for each and every patron with love, consideration and respect. I often wondered where you found the bounless energy to run that library, and write/produce plays. I am glad you always followed your heart and your instincts. This is an example we should all live by. You will always be in our hearts.

    Carol Bahrami

  • Suzanne  On April 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. Jane’s blog was so well written and so entertaining, just wonderful. I appreciate her more than she’ll ever know. Thank you, Jane.

  • Heather (Williams) Weller  On April 16, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Oh, Jane… I don’t even know what to say, but who does, right? You probably don’t know the impact you had on me as a 12 year old teaching theater at the Girls Club, for reasons that probably make little sense to anyone other than me. I know you are surrounded by love every day now, and hope even the hardest moments are full of the knowledge you are loved and cared for from near and far.

  • Siobhan  On April 16, 2014 at 2:16 am

    I am very saddened to hear this news. I loved Jane’s book groups and always looked forward to her book recommendations.

  • Jean Langley  On April 16, 2014 at 3:38 am

    The physical voice may be going,but I can still hear “Jane” in my mind and heart. You’ve made it after all, and we can enjoy all your reruns. To everyone who knows you, your influence is long-lasting and your friendship a treasure.

  • krunn7  On April 16, 2014 at 3:39 am

    I am crying. I had already started composing an answer to her in my head when I read your addendum. My heart is heavy for you and for Jane too of course. I am in western Canada in a small ranching community village in British Columbia. Look me up if you are ever here as we live in and help with a Bed and Breakfast business. I am not even sure how we connected to each other but I loved reading Jane’s blogs about the culture over there. My Grandmother was a Schoonemacher. I am not sure of the spelling. This whole situation makes me even more aware that I need to be more grateful for every day things like dandelions even, as they are a sign of Spring. My prayers go to you, as you seem to be a perfect love for her, and for her peaceful passing. Merde….I am crying again.

  • inke  On April 16, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I am so, so very sorry for all this pain and sadness. For Jane of course and for you. Through her blog one could see a very warm, interested and interesting woman. There is a Dutch proverb : wie schrijft, die blijft. (she /he who writes, stays forever) And that is true, Jane’s thoughts , her happy amazement over everyday things in the Netherlands , the pleasure she finds in books, she wrote it down and it stays. I liked seeing my own country through the eyes of Jane. All the ordinary things we Dutchies take for granted , the bikes, no free plastic bags at the supermarket, she made it look like a much nicer country than I myself sometimes perceive. Thank you, Jane.

  • Shers Gallagher  On April 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Dear Jane,
    I too am so very sad to hear this news of yours. Like you I gave up so much more than those who’ve never taken the risk to immigrate to a country that is not their homeland. You have come later to the Netherlands than I have, and through your humorous and inspiring blogs you’ve caused me to open my eyes again to the wonder of being somewhere else, as I have gotten bogged down in Cloggyland. Also, last year when I spent days and months fighting an invasive virus, you have been an encouragement to the spirit of it all – soul food. You have been my soul food – and I am glad to hear that through your misery and struggles you have surrounded yourself with the soul food of others. I have so loved you and your blogs. You have brought yet another light to this world, and I am glad to have known your spark. HUGS to you and your dear friend!

  • Jacqueline  On April 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    This is so sad and it makes me lost for words. I’m thinking of you and Natascha! Thank you for making my life richer and for starting the book circle. You have touched so many lives. I am glad to have met you! My thoughts are with you in this difficult time. Lots of love for you and your family.

  • Wendy  On April 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Just this week, my son Jeff, and I were telling his wife how his love of reading stemmed from when Jane used to put aside books for Jeff to read! She would call to tell us that she had read a book that she knew Jeff would love and it was waiting for him in the children’s room at the library! Jane, you are in our thoughts with much love and gratitude.

  • Amanda Belk  On April 16, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so very sad for you all. All our love Amanda & family. God bless xx xx

  • Ute  On April 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Dear Jane,
    Thank you so much for all your posts, stories, book reviews and the actual books Natascha gave me on your behalf.
    I feel very sad to read this news, I wished things could be different for you, Natascha and the family. Once again, thank you for all,
    Ute (the German colleague)

  • Ien in the Kootenays  On April 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Jane will be missed. Looking at the comments this was a life well lived, with a Great Love worth moving a whole life for at the end. Wishing Natascha much strength. We can revisit her delightful blog, even as she in her last weeks revisited old TV shows. I am her counterpart, an originally Dutch woman who became Canadian. I loved seeing my country of origin through her eyes, and will return to find posts that were missed. Wishing Jane Godspeed on her next adventure in the Universe, or RIP, as the case may be,

  • A.B.  On April 18, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Jane was a positive force in many peoples’ lives. When I published my first short story in 2001, she was the first person to congratulate me. In fact she wrote me a letter saying my hometown was proud of me and that she was excited to follow my career. A decade later when my novel came out, she invited me to speak at my hometown library and announced that my book would be inducted into the permanent archives. She touched many lives simply by sharing encouragement and being sincere — simple things that few people take the time to do. Thank you Jane for your shining example of life well lived. Rest in peace.

  • Nola Branche  On April 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I’ve many fond memories of Jane at the Gale Free Library, where she led by example, a reader and a gentle but strong voice in the Holden community. Her happiness after moving to the Netherlands made us feel glad, and she continued to affect our lives with her stories and recommendations of good books to be shared. This is sad news indeed. She will be missed, but well remembered.

  • Mary  On May 1, 2014 at 2:45 am

    So sorry for the loss of Jane. I was at the Gale Free Library tonight and there was a picture “in memory” of her at the front door. Sorry to hear of her passing.

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