My dear mother, ever further removed from me by the relentless passing of time.

She never bossed me around but was there to guide me through life. She lived a simple life and didn't care about possessions. She always put others first.

She was my biggest fan and best friend.


Bea and I on Bali



Early life

She was born on the 12th of July, 1943 in wartime the Hague. March 3, 1945, she lost her cuddly toy "knorretje" when the family's house was bombed. They narrowly escaped. Bea's father Frans Schreuder was in the local resistance and wasn't home at the time. Upon returning he spent days searching through the rubble until he found out they had made it out. Even though she was young, the war and its aftermath left a deep impression on her.

She went to a catholic school where many beatings with a bamboo rod gave her discipline and a beautiful handwriting. Her family would be expanded to seven kids, and as the oldest of the bunch, she had to quit school and become a co-parent with her mother.



In the 1960s she met my father, Gerrit Arie Willem Dekker. A rascal who had grown up among the rubble of Rotterdam, a city whose center was largely destroyed by German bombings. He grew up partly in an orphanage and when finally reunited with his mother, he got regularly beaten by his step-father. At age 15, he had enough of it, walked to the port, and became a sailor. A period he would never stop bragging about.

They married and produced two kids, myself and my sister Suzanne.


Mom and dad

Mom and dad. 1960s.


Honeymoon Ibiza

Honeymoon Ibiza, 1970.


The Dekker family, early 80s

The Dekker family, early 1980s.
The dim-witted-looking one on the right is me.



In 1984 we moved from The Hague to Diever, a small village in the North of Holland. Their marriage was not a happy one, my father was very dominant yet emotionally closed off. He and landed into a deep depression when he lost his job and was unemployed for years. There were affairs, too. But Bea was not the type to give up on a promise she once made; "for better and worse." She took her oath very seriously. In 2000, my father got into a car accident, leading to severe brain damage that reduced him to a confused person with the mental abilities of a 10 year old, in my fathers body. Most of their shared memories were now gone but his face reminded her of their shared past on a daily basis. Despite all, Bea took care of him for 15 years until he died.

At the funeral, she said she had no regrets: She kept all her promises once made when still in love. Now it was finally her time. These last years were the best of her life. She was an active member of almost all the clubs the village had to offer. Known as a cheerful, colorful, wise and strong person. She never had much but was very active in charity and, among others, worked in the Wereldwinkel as a volunteer.


Daily video calls during covid

Daily video calls during covid.


Bad news

Around Christmas 2021 she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It left her at a crossroads of two bad choices: Do nothing and face certain death in 1-2 years or undergo a risky surgery. She wanted to live and chose the latter. She got unlucky; after a month-long struggle, she succumbed to complications to the surgery on the evening of  June 15. She was almost 79 years old.

I have seen her suffer in the worst way, she chose to be fully conscious through it all so she had the best chance to make it. Even when almost too weak to communicate, she kept asking how others were doing. In Spotify history, I saw she listened to stand-up comedians right to the bitter end. 

She never broke character.



Christmas 2021, right after the bad news.

Mom, do you still drink wine?

-Why not. I already have the cancer.



She taught us to be kind and generous. To stand up for injustice. To never feel sorry for ourselves, tempting as it often may be. There is nothing to be found in self-pity. And always be honest, for if you lie, you prevent people from truly knowing you.

Her final lesson came after her passing. She always liked the quote:

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." 

I thought it was something cute that mothers liked. She had in on a little plaque in her house, and on her Facebook page. When she passed, I realized how true it was. All of who she was, none of it had anything to do with major milestones. It were the years of careful nurturing and little kind gestures that made her great.

Bea showed me what is truly valuable. What loyalty, strength, and virtue mean when applied in practice. I try to be a little bit like her.

Our lives are nothing more than a large collection of little, seemingly insignificant moments. Make them count.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

Russet iron, one-piece construction with decorative grooves.


Ryutaro was the son of Fukutake Ichirō (1928-2002).


With a very fine Nepalese blade, but kard-like hilt and scabbard.


Early type with very shallow notch in the blade and little flare in the pommel.


20th century military khukurī with many different tools in its back pocket.


Simple piece with a beautiful blade profile.