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Happy birthday to my beloved dad, John van Raaphorst

My dad, Johan (John) Nicolaas van Raaphorst, born September 19, 1996, once told me a story about a visit he paid to a psychic years ago.  Among other things she told him was a prediction that he would have a daughter one day.

At the time he was the father of an only child, my half-brother, Bill. I believe it was soon after his first wife died, at the young age of 43, of cancer. So of course he was skeptical that the psychic’s prediction would come true.

I remember that Dad beamed as he related the story to me years later — he was clearly glad that the prediction HAD come true. And so, obviously, am I!

He was 44 years old when I was born, so in some ways he was more like a grandfather than father, but whatever the relationship, he was a wonderful person in my estimation: always gentle, caring, and supportive. I always knew he was on my side and appreciated me for who I was.

Willem, Hendrik and Johan van Raaphorst

I am especially grateful that he instilled in me a love of family, travel, and adventure; an appreciation of quality goods and services; a healthy dose of skepticism and  street-smarts; and a willingness to face adversity (when necessary) squarely and bravely.

Happy 122nd birthday, Dad!

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