A Life Well-Lived

South African Country Life - - Your Letters - Dawn Woods, Fern Glen

I sobbed when I re­ceived my May is­sue of COUN­TRY LIFE, de­liv­ered to my door. My 42-year-old daugh­ter Robyn gave me the sub­scrip­tion as a sur­prise a few months ago. She trag­i­cally lost her fight against cancer on 7 April, so this was her last gift to me.

I couldn’t share my pub­lished let­ter No Flies on Obie with her; nor the mag­a­zine which I al­ways passed on; the poignant im­age of Eti­enne Stasssen’s Cape Re­cife light­house to which we walked on hol­i­days; or the Moun­tain Ze­bra Na­tional Park Fam­ily Cot­tages where she worked. She asked that I carry on ‘nor­mally’, so my bulging file of COUN­TRY LIFE ar­ti­cles on Ka­roo towns will ac­com­pany a friend and me as we cir­cle the Great Ka­roo in her mem­ory.

With a Con­ser­va­tion Di­ploma and more than ten years of ex­pe­ri­ence with Eastern Cape SANParks, her last wish was that we pass on the con­ser­va­tion mes­sage to her five-year-old daugh­ter Chloe, and plant a tree, light a can­dle and eat car­rot cake in her mem­ory. Are these, her last wishes, not a per­fect sum­mary of coun­try life – and her life well-lived? (edited)

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