Monday, March 30, 2009

A Tribute to a Mentor, a Teacher and a Mother.

Jean Helen Power was laid to rest on the 26th of March, 2009, on a beautiful day with clear skies, a slight wind and sunshine.

She was lauded, remembered and missed in a memorial service that was befittingly held out on the lawns of the Inanda Club in Ilovo, Johannesburg. As the presiding priest said 'I now know why her family decided to have this memorial out here in the open, because Jean's spirit cannot be confined'.

That is very true, her spirit cannot be confined. It is so large that it is everywhere. Jean's sudden illness and death was extremely shocking to me particularly because I spoke to her a few weeks ago and was in fact supposed to have met with her to discuss my future career plans.

I learned a lot of things from Jean and Lesley as individuals and from the WoW programme in general. Jean made an impression on me from the onset due to her personality and character. She was a breath of fresh air to a foreign student that was battling to understand the complexities of the South African society.

To meet a person like Jean was wonderful, she was frank, genteel and warm. She genuinely cared about each individual participant of the WoW programme and did her best to be encouraging and supportive. Jean was not a saint, she was just exceptionally human.

It is said that you lead by example and Jean did that. She was constant, reliable and generous with her personal resources. I was not surprised to hear what was said about her at the memorial service, it was an affirmation of what we already knew.

I am certain she's already at work wherever she is now lending a helping hand.

1 comment:

Susan Arthur said...

beautiful tribute Ije. Thanks for sharing your memories of her.