On Friday, 8 March, Karen Heijman passed away suddenly. She has been a valuable part of Delft Mama and has touched the lives of many of our members. Read on as Delft Mama Julia Candy shares a sweet memorial in honor of her close friend Karen. Tarja Van Veldhoven also wrote a lovely Delft Mama of the Week blog post about Karen in 2016, which you can find here. Elizabeth Newcamp prepared a video for Karen’s funeral service, which you can view here.
Karen, you and your loved ones are in our thoughts and hearts.
A spoonful of sugar
Karen loved fall. The rich colours, the delicious food and Halloween. It was a tradition that Karen set out to share with her international DelftMama community. And she did so – brilliantly. And never more so than in the year when she came dressed as Mary Poppins.
For her friends, Karen was Mary Poppins incarnate. Like the film character, Karen possessed an incredible ability to make things happen – as if by magic. Whether she could actually get the toys to jump back in their box with a click of her fingers, I’m not sure, but it sure did seem that way.
Karen’s knack for organisation, was matched only by her creativity and her tenacity. She put these talents to generous use in her community, at work and – most importantly for Karen – at home. Karen adored looking after her beloved Michel and Izzie. She found joy in making her house a home and loved nothing more than nurturing her husband and daughter. Caring for them and cooking for them.
Food was a passion for Karen. Like Mary Poppins she understood the power of a spoonful of sugar. Armed with her trusty Kitchen Aid, Karen loved to conjure up culinary treats. She had a real talent for transforming morsels of something more mundane into the magical.
Karen would test out a recipe and then experiment to get it just the way she imagined it should look and taste. In a feat of alchemy, Karen would whisk sugar into marshmallows before taking them to a new level: adding an injection of salted caramel and covering her creations in chocolate. It’s a taste I will never forget.
The end of ‘Mary Poppins’ is bittersweet. Having brought joy and laughter to Jane and Michael, the two children, the wind changes and Mary Poppins must leave. As the wind takes her away, Bert calls out to her, “Goodbye, Mary Poppins. Don’t stay away too long.” It is my hope that the many magical memories that Karen created will one day replace the sadness we feel today.