This is the true story my daughter penned for a school assignment. Enjoy.
In 1949, schools in Holland would put candles on the desks to decorate for Christmas. Although this was a fire hazard, it was still a common practice for all ages.
My Oma, Jannie, was in kindergarten and it was Christmas time. Even in kindergarten, there were candles on top of each desk. She had leaned back into the candle on the desk behind her. Jannie’s hair caught on fire and it was frightening for everyone present. Luckily, they got the fire out in time and her hair was only slightly singed. My Opa, Rinus, was in the same kindergarten class and felt bad for the girl whose hair caught on fire.
When Rinus was 12 years old, he immigrated to Canada with his parents, four sisters and three brothers. Some family members occasionally returned to Holland for visits.
About 20 years later, Rinus’ sister, Ann, was spending a year in Holland. Ann and Rinus were close in age and close in their relationship as well. While Ann was in Holland, she met up with Jannie. They spent much of their free time together. The more Ann got to know Jannie, the more she thought her brother, Rinus, should meet her.
Ann came back to Canada and when Rinus was going to visit Holland a few months later, she purchased a present for Jannie and asked Rinus to deliver it. Ann was hoping that the two of them would get along well.
Rinus went to Holland and then he realized that he should deliver the present as his sister had asked. So he went to visit Jannie and she invited him in for tea, joining her friends and relatives who were also at the house. As their gathering came to a close, Rinus asked Jannie if she wanted to go sightseeing with him the next Saturday. She accepted and they got together on the Saturday. Rinus noticed her kindness and realized how she was much different than other girls who he considered to be “arrogant”. After their sightseeing date was over, Rinus proposed to Jannie since he was leaving to visit another province of Holland. That gave her some time to think about it while he was away for a bit. When Rinus came back from the other province, Jannie accepted his proposal; they got married in Canada on December 19, 1969.