“The pain I carry with me forever, but from it I also draw strength”

Bien moved to Italy with her love Arjen and their children. She talks about their new life there.

I came back three days later from lying completely in our bedroom with the windows and curtains closed, a blanket over my head and bottles of water and paracetamol by my bed. I’m sick of three migraine attacks (with aura) in a row. I was very sick and hadn’t felt this pain in years. I’ve had migraines since I was a teenager, and later it got worse and I got migraines in the eye. Migraine with aura, in which you lose one or both eyes. Then I see flashes of light or black spots, followed by stabs of pain in my head. I realized once again that there is nothing in life more important than good health.


I believe my determination to make the most of life, to push boundaries and fight for happiness and justice came after the death of my sister, Fleur, who passed away when she was 28 years old. Loss and pain I will carry with me for the rest of my life, but from it I also gain strength. Twenty-eight, an age I’m already past and I sometimes have hard times. Why me and she does not? She had a great desire to have children, but she was never allowed to have children as I am a mother of three healthy children. It’s an unfair feeling.

Fleur was really fun. She lived in Mexico for her tourism studies and enjoyed working there, giving ski lessons to young children in Austria for a while. I worked hard and lived hard, I enjoyed life. She would go to every festival and dance like the best.

Life is short

Fleur developed skin cancer (melanoma) and died after a short but very severe illness. Flory is named after my sister, and we talk about my dear Aunt Fleur every day. Florey pasted a picture of Fleur in her diary and told stories from the past, about special moments with my sister. We are nine and a half years apart, which is why Fleur has always been a mother figure to me. So I am determined to chase all my dreams and enjoy them twice. I will always do as I say and not wait, because life is short and you live now. She protects us and travels with us, I’m convinced. We feel her energy in our family.

Marriage in the field

When we were walking to the supermarket with the kids at 8:30 last night, we passed a bridal shop with gorgeous dresses. It was dark and there was a dress in the window. Without hesitation, I said, “Wow, that’s my wedding dress…” The Sex and the City moment flashed through my mind when Sarah Jessica Parker and Mr. Page decided to marry on the board in classic attire, just by tweeting. I asked him, “Do we do it this way?” “Just get married next week, with our three kids, rent a nice convertible and celebrate our honeymoon in Capri or drive to Sicily?” Arjen laughed, grabbed me and said, “Well, honey, as long as we have each other.”

So I am going to this store with full enthusiasm to try this dress. We will probably get married next week here in the beautiful square where you see newlyweds walking out of town hall every day with a big smile. Once we have our own home here, we will celebrate it again with the people we love. But the connection, by saying yes to each other, as husband and wife and this here in Italy, seems so special to me.

Read also: “Give me one of your children,” he joked, “and you’ll have my butcher’s shop.”

The most beautiful places in Puglia

We will soon return to Monopoli, to our dear friend and lawyer Adalisa, to collect our permits with Code Fiscale (Netherlands Citizen Service Number, ed.), with which we are officially registered. Adalisa ordered it for us, because you need it in everything here. Do you want to settle here? Then first arrange a pass with your Code Fiscale.

Before I close, some tips for visiting Puglia:

  • Monopoly: A rather raw city where you can shop insanely and eat delicious food. Especially nice if you two are just to sit in town.
  • Polignano Al Mare: A very popular rocky beach in the center of Monopoli. You have to go down quite a bit of stairs to get there, but it’s worth it. It is better not to visit this place in July and August, because it is very crowded.
  • Ostuni: the most famous white city of Apulia. You can rent a tuk tuk to take a ride across town and around the wall. Very beautiful, this way you also learn something about the city.
  • Locorotondo: a quiet but incredibly beautiful city with the best restaurants with a view of the Valle d’Itria.
  • Martina Franca: a vibrant city where you can also eat delicious sushi, rest in the garden and eat the most delicious fish at La Rotonda.
  • Lecce: A must see, because if you like history and archaeological excavations from the Roman era, you will find the most beautiful places in Lecce.
  • Alberobello: There you walk the romantic streets with only trulli houses, the pointed white houses for which Apulia is famous.

Tip: it is better to travel to Bari. Are you vacationing near Lecce? Then he traveled to Brindisi. You can easily rent a car at the airport.

Whatever you focus on will grow, whatever you take care of will grow. If you exhaust your negativity and put your energy to envy the happiness of others, your resentment will also increase and you will end up in a negative spiral. When you nurture your goals, pursue your dreams, and invest in making your happiness a reality, you will see that beautiful things will happen and come your way.

See you next Saturday!

Paseo, Pino

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