Honouring your parents is the secret to a long life, says 101-year-old Cape resident
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A CAPE Town grandmother who celebrated her 101st birthday said her secret to living a long, fulfilling life was following the Bible teaching of honouring her parents.
Doris Brink, fondly known as Ma Brink, from Leonsdale in Elsies River was inundated with well-wishes from all over as she celebrated her birthday on Sunday with friends and family.
Ma Brink was born in 1921, lived in the Bo-Kaap and years later, when she met her second husband, moved to Elsies River.
Granddaughter Lauren Swartz, 33, said she basically grew up with her grandparents, and said her grandmother had no children with her second husband.
“My grandmother was married to her first husband and had six children with him. He sadly passed on. She then met her second husband, Richard Brink, 74, and they had no children together, but my grandfather took all the children as his own.
“My grandmother only has four children now as two already passed on,” Swartz told IOL.
When asked how big the family was she laughed and said there was no way she could say, all she knew was that, “we’re a lot”.
Ma Brink is still fit as a fiddle and suffers from no chronic illnesses.
“She can walk, talk and dance. When she was 99 years old she fell and had a hip replacement at Tygerberg Hospital.
“The doctors stated she needed to lie in bed for about a month. A few weeks later, before the month was over, she stood up. She said she was fine.
“Doctors gave her a wheelchair but she doesn’t use it,” Swartz explained.
The advice Ma Brink gives everyone who asks what her secret is she recites from Exodus 20:12: “Honour your mother and your father.”
Swartz said her grandmother always worked for her family, even after she got married.
“There was a time my great grandmother told her to stop giving her salary to them. She had her own family now to provide for,” she said.
Ma Brink and her husband Richard were fruit, vegetable and fish vendors and are well known by everyone in the community.
“I cannot go anywhere without people wanting to stop and speak to her. In the community everyone knows Ma and Pa Brink.
“She is one of those aunties who is everyone’s mother.
“People were streaming in at the house, all wanting to give her their well wishes for her birthday.
“She and my grandfather are always together. So affectionate and loving, even after 46 years of marriage. We always joke about how affectionate and close-knitted they are,” Swartz added.
Ward councillor in the area Franchesca Walker visited Ma Brink on her birthday and said she has known her since she took office.
“It’s such a blessing to know such an old senior, 101 is really something. I have known Ma Brink since being elected in 2016 and celebrated her birthday ever since.
“As ward councillor I am privileged to be part of her life. She is such an amazing woman that can tell you many life lessons,” Walker said.