Flourishing Father



With a message from our hearts and a deep love.

Whenever I think of you it makes me smile. I hear your laughter and your joy of life carries on the wind to the four corners of the earth. You chase the shadows away and keep me safe. Your positivity and determination to see the best in life is one of your strengths, one you taught us all daily.

Everyday you reminded us to be strong and made us repeat the words – ‘I love myself,’ a phrase we have passed on to our children. The home you created for us was always filled with music and your knowledge of the great composers is unparalleled. You cook with verve and joy making each mouthful a new experience, adding spice to every dish just as you do to life. You are totally unique and a man in a million.


You have always been there,

Holding me close in your arms and in your heart,

Pushing me gently out into the world,

And when I fearfully looked back,

You held me strongly in your gaze,

The message clear –

“You can do it!”

You gave me the greatest jewels on earth,

Love and loyalty,

Compassion and tolerance,

Strong values and a strong spirit,

You taught me to how to hold my head up high,

To recognize the goodness in everyone I met,

You taught me how to stand firm,

And be proud of my individuality,

My culture, my family, myself.

You are forever with me,

Held in my heart with love and pride.

©Helena Abrahams


cape town

“I grew up in District Six in Cape Town, a place where hopes and dreams were smashed, because of the apartheid regime. On the 11th February 1966, District Six was declared a whites only area under the Group Areas Act. The removals started in 1968. More than 60,000 people were relocated to the bleak Cape Flats.

This was a township which was about 25 kilometres away. People no longer had easy access to their workplace. They had to travel miles in rickety buses. Most of the old houses in District Six were bulldozed. A vibrant community was lost. So here I was ready to be born with the midwife calmly on standby holding the largest pair of forceps imaginable. Ma was just too exhausted to move. The next-door neighbour slipped in quietly to gawk at the new addition. And so, I was born.

‘It’s a healthy boy,’ said the midwife to my mother as she wrapped me in a clean fluffy towel. Ma was just too exhausted to move. The door creaked and a manly figure stood by the door half swaying trying to maintain his balance. The midwife plonked me in his arms and said:

‘Your son, Mr Abrahams.’ Dad was not sure whether it was a bundle of joy or a time bomb, afraid to let go in case it exploded.”

Thus, dear Dad, you exploded into life and continue to do so.


Your strength of spirit has sustained me from age to age,

Like the deep roots of the tree,

You too have grounded me,

Guarded and guided me.

You have led me gently at times into more shallow waters,

Other times, fiercely pulled me back from the edge,

Always ensuring my safety.

Your love for me is enduring,

And you have given all of yourself unerringly,

Knowing when I needed you most.

You have given me the best of who and what you are,

Thank you for being there,

Thank you for being you.

©Helena Abrahams



Your capacity to love and laugh and create a life of lyrics. Your capacity to love everyone you meet and create new bonds, new friendships. Your individuality and enthusiasm for life and ability to inject it with total positivity. Your stories and memories and anecdotes which you share with us all.

Your crazy sense of humour and the laughter that trails in the air long after you have gone. Your amazing ability to make friends across the globe and keep in touch with them. Your determination to help people in need, whether it’s through fundraising or coaching them.

You’re the only person I know who can stand in a queue at a bus stop and engage in conversation with a stranger, young or old, knowing instinctively what advice to give them, leaving them with a golden nugget of new knowledge and a smile on their faces. That’s what makes you so special.


What makes life so special?

You do.

What makes me smile all the time?

You do.

What makes my heart fill with love?

You do.

What makes me pout at times?

You do.

What makes me reach out to encompass all of you, my world?

You do.

©Helena Abrahams


You embrace all that is new, all that is positive. You never stop learning and sharing your newfound knowledge, amazing us at times with your ability to find new adventures, your ability to create new music in life and dance your way through it.

Love, laughter, joy, positivity, fill not only your life, but also the lives of anyone who meets you. As dawn breaks you sit quietly in meditation, creating an aura of calm and serenity, energizing yourself spiritually for the day ahead. You greet each new day with fervour and always find that pure nugget of gold, whether it’s inside another person, or one you can share with the world. 


You have devoted your time and energy in –

Raising me, guiding me, steering me,

In the right direction,

At times chiding me,

Always ensuring I stayed on track,

Enlightening me with your knowledge,

Sharing your experience in life,

Your values,

Your strength,

And yes, I do take you for granted,

But Dad, I never forget for one moment,

Just how great you are,

And I am proud

To walk in your footsteps.

©Helena Abrahams



A man of strength and character, whose story is etched gently on his face,

With soft fingers his grandchildren can trace the journey,

As they listen to his stories,

Or just sit quietly with him,

Occasionally sharing loving glances.

He teaches them the values of life as he has taught his own children,

Respect for other people, compassion and caring.

He teaches them how to sit quietly and contemplate the wonders of the world,

How to be strong, yet gentle.

He inspires them, motivates them, and encourages them,

He teaches them how to dream and reach beyond the stars.

His story is the basis of their story,

A continuing part of their lives, their memories,

He has lived a life that has seen many changes,

Knows the pathways that are safe and secure.

Talk to him, be with him, listen to him,

Build more memories to take with you on the rest of your life journey,

Always have him

In your heart and thoughts.


©Helena Abrahams














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