My dad, Johan (John) Nicolaas van Raaphorst, born September 19, 1896, 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.
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!