On Sunday, September 27, Edith Brighton will turn 106 and although it is a wonderful milestone, there will be no family to help celebrate the event, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Daughter Frances Brighton said who would have thought that her family could not be by her side to celebrate such a milestone?
Edith has three children, three grandchildren and one treasured great-grandson all of whom live either abroad or interstate.
Edith and Graham Brighton retired to Victor Harbor in the 1970's where they were immediately welcomed by many families in the neighbourhood.
The Cakebreads, Marvels, Shannons, Pritchards, (and more recently the Popes), formed a tight-knit community who shared celebrations, home-grown produce and lent assistance when required.
"Mum still reflects on those very happy times," Frances said.
"Mum outlived most of those neighbours and even after her husband died in 1994, she could not be persuaded to leave her beloved home in Victor Harbor."
A fiercely determined woman, Edith continued to live independently: doing her own shopping, cooking and driving, until she was 96-years-old!
Eventually some wonderful people came in to assist - under Edith's supervision, of course. Her determination was evident in the lead up to her 100th birthday.
"Mum started training (doing daily laps around the house) in the hope that she would not require the aid of her walking stick at the party," Frances said.
"The joyous celebration was held in a Whalers Inn apartment. The guest of honour walked in unassisted, circulated among family and friends and gave a speech, all without her trusty stick."
Edith now resides at Ross Robertson where she enjoys reading, doing Sudoku puzzles, visits from her niece (Helene Kennedy) and a dear friend in Di Webster, who keeps her in a constant supply of love, fruit and chocolate.
As a proud recipient of two letters from the Queen, Edith's secret for longevity is simple - "just keep breathing".
Given the current state border restrictions, the family is unable to come together to celebrate this momentous birthday.
"However, I'm sure Mum knows that we will be there in spirit for every minute of her day," Fran said.