Monday Morning Fika: In Celebration of Bas

As Bas and I came to be friends, the topic of each conversation inevitably returned to two things: his desire to see me succeed, and his love for his grandbaby. For nearly as long as I knew Bas, he either gave me a countdown of how long until the baby was expected (then the surprising news that the baby was a boy, after all) or a doting, completely irrational and so very Bas-like consuming love for this new little baby.

Everyone in blogland who has met Bas knows he had a variety of talents. His way of cutting to the center of the problem, dispelling with the murkiness, and using a touch of humor and wit to say hard truths. His various managerial and business/political life experience talents. His computer skills. But most of all, his capacity to love wholly and unselfishly.

The happiest I have ever known Bas was when he let me know about his grandson’s birth. He said he was telling me because he thought I’d like to know, and even if I didn’t want to know he would tell me anyway. As if I hadn’t been hoping and praying with him every single day that he would live long enough to see and hold his first grandchild! Baby “Pixel,” as Bas dubbed him, became the center of Bas’ world when he was put into his arms. In Bas’ announcement post, he said:

Our first grandson was born last Friday.

Yesterday, I have held him in my arms for more than an hour.
We’ve decided to remain friends for as long as we both shall live and then a bit more.

Bas and I discussed having him on Fika many times. Typical of Bas, he thought no one would be interested in what he had to say. Once he did become interested in visiting for Fika, his health no longer made that possible.

Instead of crying–I have done enough of that already, and I am sure everyone else has, too–today for Bas’ celebration Fika I want to remember Bas at his happiest. The moment he became an Opa (Dutch for grandfather).

I wrote this for Bas, and today for Fika I would like to share it with you. At the end is Bas’ response.


(Explaining it to Bas: It is what I felt when I saw you in the picture with Pixel. I hope he’ll forgive me for putting down what he might be thinking.)

To Opa, from Pixel


Dearest Opa in the entire world, you came to visit me. So much commotion and laughter and happiness! I didn’t know what to think when you pulled back my blankets and stared at me. Kept staring at me. Um, to be honest it made me a little uncomfortable. Do you know how big your face is? I tried to say hello to you, but you must not be very good at communication yet. You keep holding me and not saying anything. But I don’t understand why you seemed a little sad. How can you be sad when you come to see me? We are the best friends in the entire world, and we will be best friends for as long as we both shall live—and a little more. Remember, we promised each other that.


Maybe you feel a little sad because you’re not sure how long you’ll get to see me, or you’re not sure what will happen next. Maybe you wish that you were stronger and healthier so that you could run after me playing football and chasing butterflies.


But, Opa, I waited nine whole months to meet you! There was a while a month ago when I got really scared because I thought I might not get to meet you when I came out.


I might not be able to talk to you yet, but there are some things that a baby knows. We’re fresh from heaven, you see, so we have all the wisdom that older folks forget. I know, for example, from the touch of your big, strong finger in my fist that you are someone who loves much and hard and well. That you are someone who has been through difficult times, but that you try so hard to be brave and to help others.


I know, from the words that you whispered to me from your heart, that I am the most special and magical human being in the universe. That if someone wise and wonderful like you loves me, I must be worthy of that love. That I have an Opa who was so proud of me even before I was born that he shouted the news to the world in an online story on a blog, of a “granddaughter” named Pixel…with an inscription on a garbage can.


Um, Opa? I understand that you thought I was going to be a girl for a while, but why is my name on a garbage can in a girls’ college dormitory? And why do you have a garbage can named after you?


Opa, I might be just a few days old and so small that I can’t look at you properly or hold my head up, but I know these things.


Men are sissies. We hope to find women who like to get spanked, so we don’t have to get spanked ourselves.


That I have an Opa who has brought light and love to every life he has touched.


And that if I can grow up to be half as loving and compassionate as my Opa, I will consider myself blessed and lucky.


Much love to my favorite Opa,


From Pixel

(the cutest baby in the universe)


(Bas’s reply:)

The cutest baby in the universe.
Yes, yes, you recognized him.
Didn’t we agree that we should not make each other cry again?
This is one of my favorite memories of Bas. What is yours?

22 thoughts on “Monday Morning Fika: In Celebration of Bas

  1. PK says:

    I believe you’re hit it exactly. One of Bas’ greatest gifts to me was helping me truly understand what Nick is thinking and feeling. I’d be annoyed about something Nick had done or not done and he could make me see things through Nick’s eyes. That’s helped me a lot.


  2. minellesbreath says:

    This is so heartwarming Ana. I love that you let Pixel speak.
    It brought tears to my eyes because meeting his grand- baby was the pinnacle for him when he found out he was to be an Opa!
    We all know how hard it was for him and yet the spirit of Bas would not quit until he saw certain things in his life.
    I have so many fond memories of him. We shared some common concerns and some happy moments since we became friends. However what brings a smile to me whenever I think about it, is his horrified comment regarding one of my stories. I am honest that I share some real life experiences in my stories, some are a bit scary. Bas once commented in concern, ‘please, please tell me you did not do that.” I made sure he knew that I used a bit of artistic licence!
    Thanks Ana!


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I tossed this off on a whim, but Bas liked it more than I expected. Joy like that was infectious–Bas was joyful, so we were joyful, too.

      I think Bas was far too lenient with you. Did you tell him just how close to truth some of your story exploits had been? 🙂


  3. Viola says:

    you have such a beautiful soul. You two are lucky you found one another.
    I have prayed and prayed for him to meet his grandson 🙂


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      The power of all of our prayers must have helped, I think.

      Sometimes we meet friends and feel as if we have known them all of our lives. Bas was like that, but I think he was like that to many people. He had a way of loving, and loving hard. I’ve often wondered what he was like earlier in his life, before he knew time was limited.


  4. Sunny Girl says:

    Lovely Ana. He would so enjoy this FIKA. I always felt he held on to meet his grandchild. The picture of him holding the baby and the look of love on his face as he gazes into the miracle in his arms is indeed a miracle. What a lovely man, may his “pixel” grow up to be just like his Opa.


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      When he made it past Pixel’s birth, a part of me hoped he might live for another year…or two, or three. Wishful thinking, I guess. I hope Pixel will grow up knowing how much he was wanted and loved.

      Thank you, Sunny.


  5. Irishey says:

    This is very sweet, Ana. I think Bas would threaten to spank you for making him cry over this.

    I, too, worried something would happen to prevent Bas meeting his grandbaby. The day he posted about that first meeting was incredible, especially knowing he was holding onto hope against hope to be able to see him grow and get to know his personality.

    I don’t know that I have a favorite memory of Bas. I do know Bas is one of my favorite memories.

    I loved to read his posts, replies to comments, and his comments and exchanges on others’ blogs. I enjoyed simply absorbing the workings of his mind, and witnessing him continually professing his love for Lisa and his family, his caring and concern for those he met here in blogland. Bas wasn’t trying to do this, but he earned my liking, respect, trust and friendship.

    Hugs, Ana.



    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Bas would threaten to have me spanked for sneezing or dropping a pin on the floor. He never needed a rational reason. I often counted myself lucky that I said early on M/F didn’t do it for me. 🙂

      How true that Bas himself is one of our favorite memories. He was who he was, and in being himself he found a freedom. His body may have been ill, but here in blogland he reigned supreme.

      Hugs back.


  6. catrouble says:

    Darn it Ana…you definitely deserve a spanking for making me cry. I was so happy Bas got to meet his little Pixel.

    One of my favorite memories was when I posted a joke about a 4 year old and a tea party with the punch line: “Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?” Most of the comments were laughing at the father and ewwww and then…Bas posted the following comment: “All you Ladies don’t understand the joys of being a father to a 4 year old girl. Off course he knew where she got the water! So what? His daughter was enjoying herself. That’s enough reason for him to enjoy his tea.” His answer brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart so much…what a wonderful father!

    Hugs and Blessings,

    PS…how is your little cousin? Still sending prayers and healing energy his way.


  7. Roz says:

    Ana, I’m with Cat. I remember his announcement post and I remember tears reading it. Tears of joy for Bas that he achieved his dream of being a Opa. Again I find myself crying reading this post. Crying, yet smiling.

    I am so very thankful that Bas got to meet little pixel. How wonderful and sweet of you to write this for him. It is truly lovely and heartfelt. You have such a kind, loving heart. I am so glad he read this, and so glad you decided to share it with us. Thank you.

    Sending prayers to you, your cousin and little one.



    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      The greatest gift Bas gave us was the gift of bringing us together. When we did Spankful for Bas day, ostensibly to show him our love, we made so many connections and affirmed who we were as a community. We have been so lucky, haven’t we? Sometimes I wish I’d remembered to tell him this or that, and then I have to remember–he knew. Somehow, he always knew.

      Love and hugs back to you. And little cousin’s baby is taking tiny steps toward getting better.


Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s