An ode to a lady

Ingrid de Klerk, Tokai

This is an ode to Estelle Cohen, now living at Constantia Place in the frail care but who used to live in Chudleigh Road, in Plumstead.

Estelle Cohen is a fine, well-bred lady you cannot compare. I honour and acknowledge you for being 99 years old. I honour you for still being thankful that I pay you a visit.

I honour you for still being kind to your fellow man. I do not want to remember you one day, thinking of you and the memories, feeling guilty because I did not do more for you before!

I want to know you today and do for you what I can today. And I am so honoured to have known you for 24 years.

I remember you in the mornings when I went to work – you were always watering the garden. Always caring for trees and flowers.

I remember you when I came back from work at night and you were standing at the opened brown garage door and waiting for your husband to return from work, immaculately dressed, hair set for a huge occasion, make-up done and red lipstick on your lips.

Throughout the 24 years growing up in front of you, you were always the same. You never told me what to do but always tried to guide me in the right direction and were interested in who I am, always requesting to be updated on my family well-being and my daily life.

I never knew you that well, but the times I visited there was always tea, biscuits and chocolates; stories of your children afar; and proud moments when telling me about the grandchildren and, I suppose, the great-grandchildren.

And throughout your hard times with back aches and having to lie down more often, you always treated me with respect and dignity.