I had not expected to return to Costa Rica so soon. I am grateful that for as impossible as it seemed to jump on a plane with my girls and be with our best friends, that we were able to. My only regret, one I share with my husband, is that it was, in fact, impossible for him to be with us. You see, our family has shared an incredible journey over the last seven years with James and Birgitte and their outstanding kids. Our friendship and experiences together are beyond words.
At the memorial service for Nikoline, we were overwhelmed by a sea of familiar, loving faces. The community came together to grieve, to heal, to support the family who needed it most. Unfortunately, Nikoline's mother, father, sisters and brothers were unable to shed their defenses and let their bodies drink love and healing from the friends and family who had gathered to hold them. Even in the most intimate of circumstances, the threat of continued harm was lurking in the shadows with the uninvited. The potential that the government officials could potentially issue another lawless order could not be ignored.
What I realize, from hundreds of miles away, is that the memorial is not over. The closure is not complete. I hope that everyone reading this will understand that our friends still need that strong, healing support. They still need all of us standing beside them, holding them up. This is no time for should or ought to. This is only the time for love and solidarity. If we all stay strong and recognize that law trumps opinion then our friends, the victims of this injustice, will have a more solid bridge to cross.
Here is a letter of appreciation from Nikoline's father
To the readers of this blog, I would like at this time to offer a word of appreciation to our friends and supporters during our most difficult times. We would like to thank the following people:
Connie and Dick for courageously witnessing, providing shelter and delivering documents in the times we needed those things most, as well as taking the great care to keep Nikoline's pictures fresh in everyone's minds.
Fred and Mary for witnessing and dealing with confrontations with government and PANI officials, as well as keeping our cats and dogs fed and an eye on our house.
Sorayda, Luis Diego and their family, Lise Schafer, Gloriela and Daniel for looking after our dogs, cats and house in our hastened absence.
Gustavo Rojas for his nexus with the courts.
Rick for his information connections and bridging of financial issues.
Witnesses and supporters; Tu Anh , Athena and Eduardo for their delivering of documents and witnessing.
Lise and Asger for their continuous offer of safe housing and Lise's special trip to CR to assist where she could.
Don Carlos for his discipline and care in music classes and choir. Our family loved the presentations and practice. I considered these music classes and Don Carlos' ideals as an intergal part of our home schooling. My girls adored Don Carlos and he encouraged my girls to prepare and be at their best.
Patricia and Roberto for opening their house for us during our worst time after Nikoline's death, that the family may congregate and grieve in security and privacy. I wish to offer Pat and Bob further thanks for establishing a safe house to make plans, preparations and not be worried about lesser matters as they provided food, shelter and unlimited transportation and support.
Uncle John for watching over the children and financial support. Next time we stay up till 5:00 am John, I do hope it is under better occasion. You will always be a hero to me and my family.
Auntie Laurie, for her no nonsense approach to getting things done at any cost. Laurie is one of the few people I know of in life who has seen it all and from her experiences is the least judgmental and most pragmatic individual in my camp. That clarity and unbiased nature is refreshing and productive and kept us rolling.
Lisbeth and Svend Erik for securing my affairs in trust for my daughters and providing them a nurturing environment when I must be allowed to focus on the security of my wife and boys. All of my girls are safe with them and that provides Birgitte and myself great relief and ability to concentrate on that which matters most.
Elizabeth, Steven, and Brenda, Abel and their families for their warm support and use of their vehicle while my family was in need. Elizabeth has offered ongoing assistance involving our horses and other matters. I wish to also make a special thank you to Steven for his fabulous work with our drama group. These presentations gave the children excellent public speaking skills and expressive abilities. One of my most valued memories of Nikoline is of the Scare Crow in their brilliant presentation , 'The Wizard of Oz." When I remember our Scarecrow, I will think of Steven.
My Mom and Dad (I know he is still with me,) for their unquestioning support , stable influence and as usual, financial assistance. They never questioned, they only gave, unconditionally. If I could only give back a fraction, but alas this is what Dad privately wished me to do. Never, ever cave in to bullies when so few could see them as clearly as I could. Giving in to lawless people for personal relief only makes life worse for the next generation.
Michael, Maiken, and Chris and Luisa for opening their doors to us and sheltering us in safety, privacy and security for the time needed to plan our next moves. They offered counsel, but mainly offered the chance for us to grieve our loss in privacy whilst renewing our ordnance in response to those who have so recklessly abandoned the Law.
Tulio and Amparo for their love and generosity over the years. They opened their house to us and to all our friends to meet and hold a funeral service for Nikoline. Nikoline was well honored and Tulio and Amparo's house was the perfect setting. They are the 'heart ' of Barbacoas.
Juan and Zeidy and Eliezer for their absolute support and help in dealing with authorities during the first few days after Nikoline's death. Eliezer spoke with people in Puriscal and their generosity was astounding. Juan and Zeidy were our first friends in Barbacoas and our children grew up together and we had many fiestas together. We will always have them with us.
To all of our friends and neighbors in Barbacoas and Puriscal. Our clients, taxis, pirates, street people and others who have given our life meaning and value for the past 11 years. Our children felt complete as part of the real people in society when we sold our cakes, cookies and bread, or simply riding through town in our micro family 'cavalgatta'. We will never forget you, the real people. The workers and producers, not those with letters of self importance after their names.
And I would like to extend a very special thank you. A level of appreciation rarely earned. I know that Alison will find it difficult to post this on her own blog, however she has always given me full final authority on the content and spirit of the messages. That being the case, I am exercising that privilege at this time, above her comfort. The reason is clear. For what I am about to say is true and factual just as everything else I have presented in this blog.
Let me tell you of two people who have earned the truest badges of my highest honor. Alison and Miguel's undying support has walked us through the thick and thin of our life here in CR. They serve as my closest counsel and most powerful aids d'camp. Alison's artistic genius blog puts thousands of my words into ironic clarity with her illustrations. Miguel's research , translations and ideas have proven effective ordnance in exposing that which the 'public servants' wish to remain unknown. Alison and Miguel are my right and left arms in the triumph of truth and justice. The courts may believe they have control through the repository of the collective's force. I submit that courage will outweigh the court's usurped power and with people like Alison and Miguel in our camp, we shall illustrate that the application of truth is superior and shall prevail over licentiousness, cowardice and naked force. Alison and Miguel shall always have a special seat in my inner chamber even when I am busy putting out other fires.
In closing, I wish to make an observation regarding the above mentioned people (which involves hundreds.) Not all, in fact few of these people share my geopolitical beliefs. That in itself is the great hope that keeps me believing that good wins over evil. These above mentioned people set their ideals aside to help a family in need. Thats means that they all recognize and are in favor of a great simple truth and most unalienable right. The right to one's own life. Everyone recognizes the simplicity of personal choice when those choices do not harm others. Everybody has the inalienable right to one's self and that which one creates. This action of creation includes that which we create with our own genes with our mutual partner to create another in our likeness (children.) I see in all of these people's unbiased generosity the simple recognition that we have the highest claim to that which we create, so long as our creation does not harm others or be involved in mischief. We do not force, or even suggest that others live as we do because that may nullify their choices. These above people recognize through the blur and haziness of what is construed as 'law,' the real truth and that gives me the most light to focus upon.
To those above mentioned people:
I remain in your service when and where any of you believe you are in need of my arcane and unusual work.