This is my story about Simon.
Simon has given me permission to share this with you.
(He says hi.)
Simon saw me on TV about a year ago and thought ‘Oh, maybe I can learn English with her.’ He looked me up online, found my site, and signed up for my newsletter.
Then he started writing me back.
And I wrote him back every time.
Here are some of his mails to me:
Then we set a date in June, when I would come and see Simon at home and help him learn English from there. That day was last week.
I was a bit nervous, walking in with my Bossche Bollen. As I turned the corner to his flat, after a long drive, I saw a happy man waiting outside with a big smile. That was Simon. I knew then I was going to have a wonderful day.
I found some of my books on display in his home.
He ate a Bossche Bol like a pro (action shot).
He told me about his other passion, which is making videos – how he edits them and does the voiceover and music and then shows the final result to his video club. He filmed part of our story today, and so did I.
It was wonderful to spend a day learning from Simon, who talked about his life – his childhood during the war, how his formal education ended when he was 6 years old (he went to school for one year then lost his school in the war), how he taught himself everything and worked hard and raised a family and nursed his wife for 7 years when she was ill.
I left Simon with a richness in my heart.
I walked in as his teacher, but I left as his student.
I will be seeing him again.
You can see a video message from Simon to all his fans hier– swipe through to get the whole story..
Since sharing our story on social media, I have gotten hundreds of responses. Many people were moved to tears. I even got a message from his daughter.
Life is short.
I truly believe we all have something to offer the world.
And that you get so much when you give.
And to me, a stranger is mostly just a friend you haven’t met yet.
I am proud to call Simon my friend.