Sitting in his parlor room, he looked off to the side. Almost a stare but yet there was an intensity and a glimpse of loneliness that made up his stare. His right hand mindlessly scratched his left one. The fluidity with which he did that assured it was not a reaction but instead a habit. He stared and scratched and muttered softly to himself - "Tanto - Asina tanto" "So much - So very much". Hardly had his lips stopped moving than there was a slight knock on the door, He inhaled and stood for a second, then sat back down and said "Please come in my children" "Drenta muchanan"
His children sat scattered but all eyes and ears were on him. He leaned over and touched one of them on the face, something he enjoyed doing. Then he let them know that he loved them so much. "I see parts and pieces of me in all of you. I am so proud and thinking of you gives me peace and tranquility during some difficult times. As he said this, his hand aimlessly scratched the other. Lifting his head so that he could look at each one in the eyes - he said
"I am your father and I am so very proud of that. I live for you and you are the fiber of my soul, yet something has happened, and I must share it with you." He looked down and then up again and stared much like he had before. Then continued. "I am the father of many other children and of their parents and many other people that live here. I will always be their father. I think that this will be the case even after I am no longer alive. I have adopted a small country. Not on purpose but it just happened. I believed in something and it has just grown and grown. I am stunned at the people that call me their father. And my children, this is affecting me because I feel that this will grow and shortly I will be the father of even more children. They have listed to me and now they are calling me to be there for them. If I do not do this, I will have let down a country. If I do listen to their cries, it will mean less time at my home and I will have let you down. Understand for me please that I never knew, I never anticipated, that it would be so much. So very much of a sacrifice. I have given my soul to people I do not know and in the process have taken precious time away from those I love so dearly."
The children let him know that they understood and that is was OK - PA"
He scratched his hand once again and he smiled his school teacher smile then cried. Not an outward cry but the cry that is from within - the one that shatters glass and rips the soul and the heart.
He said "Thank you for understanding" - knowing in his essence that no child understands the loss of a father that is still very much alive. He turned to them again and said " It is simply so much more that Papa ever imagined it would be - So much more." They kissed him and hugged and lingered just long enough to smell his neck. Then they left. A bit sadder I suppose yet better for having heard those words from his lips.
He continued to sit in his parlor room and look off to the side as his right hand mindlessly scratched his left one - the fluidity with which he did that assured it was not a reaction but instead a habit. He stared and scratched and muttered softly to himself - "Tanto - Asina tanto".
It was not an easy thing to be Betico Croes. No it wasn't.
Most of the above has come to me in bits and pieces from members of the family. Throw in about 15% of my own conclusions and .....
Andrea - I have searched for so many words to properly express my view on this fine man and, for me , I had to start with some truths. He wasn't perfect nor was he flawless, however his persona and ideals overshadowed the "Nicks In His Armor". the flaws were not of importance at all and became small events in passing. My only way to describe him (as it relates to me) is that he was penetrating. He had a quality that allowed him to be invasive (and welcomed at the same time) to the ideals that we as people have. He was able to teach masterfully to a classroom of about 100,000. Amazingly, the majority of his students passed the exam at the voting gates.
I am not related to that particular branch of the "CROES" family, that said - I took great care to write that he was my father and besides that, he knew my father as well. Strangely, most of his sons refer to others (while in conversation) as RUMAN which means "Brother".
If it was the intention of these "Punks" as you call them, to disturb his mortal resting place, they have missed the target completely. They would have to dig into the hearts of all Aruban people of all colors and of all political agendas. For that is where he resides. And they would have to do this on an ongoing basis since unborn children have already reserved a place in their hearts for him.
The Punks? I honestly don't know and stopped cluttering my mind with that kind of thing. If you like, I can dig into it for you.