This book

Man ist dazu da dass man’s ertragt — und in dem wie,
da liegt der ganze Unterschied.

(We are here to endure — and how we do it,
makes all the difference.)

–Hugo von Hofmannsthal,
Der Rosenkavalier

• This book is

FOR MY SON WHO HAD TO LIVE WITH MY PAST
AND MADE A REMARKABLE JOB OF IT

IN MEMORY OF MY FRIEND VINCENT
WHO DEPARTED FROM LIFE TOO SUDDEN AND TOO SOON

With many thanks to Roley, my daughter-in-law, who opened up a new world to me: India. And who, I believe, is the only person on earth who manages to turn a hospital-bed into a post-office.

To Hans Ruesch, for many years my teacher and my guide.

To Geoffrey and Adrie whose patience, long hours of hard work and delicious vegetarian meals I can hardly appreciate enough. And please, Adrie, never stop being a child underneath the Christmas-tree!

To Karin Theilen, Dr. Monika Gödecke, Nick and Rhea who encouraged me when I needed it most!

And last but not least my very special thanks to Dr. P.J. van Aken who saved my life July 20, 2000 and thus gave me the chance to tell my story.

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