Tell a Story, Share a Smile   May 31st, 2012

from Linda

One of the counselors here suggested we write down some of the stories Jake’s visitors have been sharing. I smiled and showed her this blog, … told her bout BT, …and the crew on Facebook, … and not to be forgotten – the dozens of people that have contacted me privately. Add to that the notebook, Krystyana and I picked up the first day we arrived at the hospice which we ask each guest to sign and date, and words to share with us but only if they feel up to it. I can’t imagine there will be too few Jake stories :-)

My parents vistied again last night. My mom said “I  can’t believe how many have left messages on the blog – so many people.” My mom has always grinned at Jake and called him her favorite son-in-law (her only one). Jake would laugh back and hug his favorite mother-in-law.  Being smaller than me (and my dad not much taller than me) my mom saved all her “tall jobs” for Jake.

A  brief story from only a few days ago, I was sitting by Jake’s bed side, just holding his hand and looking out into the garden. A deer walked by, oh about 20 feet away. She paused, scampered around the corner and paused again where I could see her through another window, and then off she went. This morning I strolled through the garden with a hot mug of coffee in my hand. I stopped to lift a peony to my nose and inhaled deeply. This is a good place to find peace.


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 10:09 and is filed under Family, Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

62 Responses

June 1st, 2012 at 12:23
Steve Smith Says:

Dear Linda,

My condolences to you, your family and all your friends, everywhere. I know your grief is deep and hope you will find the peace you so deserve.

You and I have never met. We would have back in 2010 at one of your famous BBQs in Bonaire, but was little sick that night and missed it, to my great disappointment. I have chatted online with Jake about politics and other minor topics, but we never spoke.

My real connection to both of you is Bonaire Talk. My first post on BT was a simple question about luggage. By the end of that exchange, a pink “Hello Kitty” bow had been photo-shopped onto my profile pic. That was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.

They are such good people, Linda. Always ready to share whatever they have. A laugh, a tear, a rant, or a hug, whatever you need. They check on me when I’m sick. They support me in sorrow and share my joys. They are my giant extended family. I can’t imagine life without them.

How did that special group of people find each other? They found each other on a small, nondescript chat site about Bonaire. You and Jake gave me that gift. Thank you. Thank you so much.

If you ever need anything… from a light bulb to a full Calvary charge, I’ll be pissed if you don’t ask.



June 1st, 2012 at 14:02
Colleen Warshafsky Says:

This morning I arrived at work and turned my Richter art calendar from May to June. “Eagle in Flight” by Jake Richter. Not long after I got the very sad news of your passing. May you rest in peace Jake and soar to whatever lies ahead. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Linda, Krystyana and Bas.

June 1st, 2012 at 14:34
Trent & Cinde W Says:

Holding you all in our hearts and as we race toward Argentina, Lauren and the land of steak and roasted meat. You all will be constantly in our thoughts the next few weeks. Lots of Love and Hugs ~ Cinde, Trent & Ryan

June 1st, 2012 at 15:22
Donna Says:

Thinking of Linda, Krystyana and Bas….I never met Jake, but I his life..his legacy goes well beyond those who met him personally….thank you, Jake, for the unique and wonderful BT community..I hope to meet you in heaven one day to experience your famous hug first hand…. Much love and many hugs to all those hurting…the world has truly lost a special man today…♥

June 1st, 2012 at 15:25
Ed and Judy Bott Says:

Linda, our thoughts and prayers (and tears) are with you and Krystyana and Bas right now. We are so lucky to have called Jake our friend for so many years. Peace and hugs to you.

June 1st, 2012 at 17:41
Ann Says:

Much love to you Linda, Krystyana, and Bas,

We are here for you to do whatever we can. We wish you, and Jake, peace. I hope you can find some solace with family and friends and a reprieve from this journey through some quiet strolls with nature around you.

Love and many hugs,

Ann and Bill

June 1st, 2012 at 19:19
Greta Anthony Says:

Jake’s a very busy angel right now…fulfilling the backlog of technology requests in heaven. He’s no longer in pain and he’s happy to be doing what he loves.

It’s difficult for those of us left behind. We grieve and seek comfort in the memories shared (which are many).

Linda, Krystyana & Bas – My heart is with you all.

Much love and many hugs,

June 1st, 2012 at 19:22
Tara Smith Says:

I have no doubt that there will be many, many times in my life when I will feel the gentle hand of Jake encouraging me to venture forth… and see what is just outside of the box.

As Steve said, if there is ever anything that you or the kids need or you find yourself in the Santa Barbara area please let Guy & me know.

In the days to come, I hope that you can find peace and comfort in your family and friends.
Tara and Guy

June 1st, 2012 at 19:36
Laura van Ham Says:

We haven’t been in touch in years and I was happy to reconnect on facebook. I have so many wonderful memories of our get togethers when we lived on Bonaire. Those times are part of what made my life special on the island. Thank you Jake and Linda! In reading all the comments on facebook and the blog, Jake touched so many lives.

Linda, Yana and Bas, wishing you peace and strength from the van Ham clan.

June 1st, 2012 at 22:47
Don Eva Says:

I still have memories of the dive trip I took with Phil, Jean & Mike. We stayed with you in what I believe was your first house on Bonaire.
Bas was just barely walking, & Yana was a young handful. We kept our dive equipment in plastic bins, and it was inevitable that if you opened the bin and turned your back for just a moment, one of the kids or the dog was certain to start grabbing gear & wandering away with it.
Of course Jake took the opportunity of our departure to hold a barbecue, so we were able to meet many of the interesting multinational neighbors.
On an earlier trip to Cozumel, I sat next to Jake’s mother on the plane, and was treated to the amazing stories of the family’s moves from Czechoslovakia to the US.
Of course, on these trips, we always counted on Jake to find us the best restaurants.

June 2nd, 2012 at 02:53
April Kirk Says:

I stumbled across Jake’s blog several months ago and have been quietly following his story. I am so very sorry. I have greatly enjoyed reading about your adventures. Jake is such a talented writer. Take comfort in the fact that he has touched so many lives. Wishing you peace in strength in this time of need .

June 2nd, 2012 at 11:15
Patty Says:

Jake, I hope you took a copy of the Bonaire Rporter with you for your next adventure…..peace to your family, friends and fellow divers.