Thelma Henderson died this morning of kidney failure in Grahamstown, South Africa. I cannot begin to express how this amazing woman touched my life. On a South African summer's day in January 1998, I landed in Derek and Thelma's Grahamstown home. During that initial year in South Africa, Thelma organized excursions, afternoon teas, and dinners to help me relax from studying or to meet some of her friends and colleagues. Over the past 10 years, Derek and Thelma continued to welcome me into their home on my visits, and Thelma always had ideas about how I could volunteer and give to the local Grahamstown community.
It saddens me to know that she will be absent on my next South African visit. She was a force of nature, and everyone who knew her felt enriched. This photo is one of the last I have of Thelma. She shared her love and friendship over that table on so many occasions.
Rest, Thelma, and feel the love of all those who miss you.