A congratulatory postcard, on this occasion, means more than dollars and cents to Lloyd Henry.
He collected the card at Bog Walk Post Office a few days ago for his mother, Dorris Cooke, better known as Miss Dorris, who turned 106 years old on August 27.
Queen Elizabeth II sent the centenarian the postcard, congratulating her for attaining such age and wishing her well.
“It gives me great pleasure to send you my sincere congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of your one hundred and sixth birthday,” said the postcard, which bears The Queen’s signature and a photo of her beaming a broad smile.
Lloyd stated that, although his mother is bedridden and is at times slow to comprehend, he took the postcard to her and explained that it was sent by The Queen.
“Sometimes putting words together is better than money,” he told The Beacon. “I feel very proud getting it (the postcard) from the post office the other day. Maybe my mother doesn’t comprehend all of it, but it was a blessing hearing The Queen bigging her up.”
Lloyd added that, earlier this year, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen sent his mother a letter commemorating her milestone.
Miss Dorris, a member of the baptist church, is the oldest person in her family and at Magazine Lane in Bog Walk, St. Catherine.
She originally is from Bonnett district in Guy’s Hill, St. Mary, where she also attended elementary school.
Miss Dorris grew up with a foster family as well as her biological relatives, Lloyd said. He added that his mother recounted her childhood years having to tie out animals to graze and pick up rat cut coffee that eventually was sold in the market.
Miss Dorris migrated to Bog Walk decades ago, following in the footsteps of her only sibling Ruby Lynch, who was 96 years old when she died in 2014.
Miss Dorris’ husband, Isaac Henry, who was from Bog Walk, passed away just over two decades ago.
The centenarian did domestic work in the Bog Walk area to eke out a living for herself and her children. She has 11 children, eight of whom are still alive. They include Pauline Henry, whose twin sister died in childhood.
“God has been good to my mother; she is a loving and kind lady,” Pauline told The Beacon. “When you do anything for her, she is always telling you thanks. If you put food in her mouth, you have to tell her chew it out before saying thanks… She doesn’t talk a lot; she doesn’t smile a lot, but she is very pleasant although she gets miserable when the pain is on her.”
Pauline further stated that her mother ensured that her children were schooled, notwithstanding financial difficulties she faced.
She also made sure that her children could help themselves especially in the kitchen, Lloyd said.
“Our mother was strict; she didn’t take nonsense. She grew us in the right way. She grew us with no riches. But, as poor as we were in those days, it was good living with each other and I bless the Lord for how our mother grew us up. Those are quality moments that we will never forget,” Lloyd further commented.
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