Wednesday, February 01, 2006


My father finally left for good, just after I was married. In fact, a friend came around on the morning of my wedding, all dressed up to give me away, if Dad failed to appear. But Dad was there for me. My mother was pretty upset at the time just after. Dad bought a house in Thornbury for her and Peter. He was married from there, and Mum had boarders, as a little extra money was handy, Also some company after Peter left. A while later, Dad bought her a home beside where I lived in a small country town, and it became my job to look after her. She never drove a car, and at that time I did, so took her wherever she wanted to go ~ shopping or visiting her sisters in a nearby town. By this time, Dad had moved to Queensland and spent the rest of his life there. Mum spent many years in Nathalia ~~ I remember our usual Christmas mornings. She would come to our house with a big bunch of Hydrangeas and a Trifle she had made, as well as presents for all. My eldest son John used to go to her house after tea of an evening and sleep there, so she was not alone. When he left for Queensland, my younger daughter Kathryn used to go to stay overnight with her.. Kathy said she watched Nan make the trifles and one time, Nan put the sherry (or whatever) over the cake at the bottom. Then she did something else, and back to the trifle put in more sherry. Later she picked up the bottle again until Kathy told her she had put it in. I bet that trifle tasted good. When Kathy and her family lived near here, I used to make the trifles for birthdays or Christmas, I also used to make lots of Pavlovas. Yummy!!! I still cook lots of meals etc and give John some and also a friend. His mother and I were best friends until she died of Lung Cancer, and as he lives alone, as does John, I make up quite a lot of meals for them and myself. But rarely make sweets now, as I am diabetic and they do not seem to want sweets. So only occasionally I make them. I make slices and biscuits etc, mostly for them and to have some here for visitors. My other son, Geoff says I could live for 3 months with the food in my little freezer. Always have some meals in it etc. So while my Dad and his wife lived in Queensland, as did Peter, I lived in Nathalia, Victoria with my husband and four children and did all I could for my mother. She looked after us when we were little, but as happens sometimes the tables are turned and I looked after her. She died of a stroke in 1977. My father and step-mother had many overseas trips and lived very happily for about 40 years. I had many trips to see them, mostly with two cousins. The last few years we visited them twice a year, and always had a lovely time. They retired to a lovely unit right on the Tweed River, which was a great place. We occasionally saw dolphins in the river, also boats of all descriptions. Always a changing view. Dad used to sit by the window in his last year and watch the people walking on the lawns in front of his unit, and the river always changing. The ocean was close-by so the tide would come and go. Really a wonderful place to live. We all loved Ada and they were so happy. Ada died a year after Dad did in 2001. They both lived in Nursing Homes for the last lap ~ first Dad, and then Ada. My nephew, Marcus did the funeral service for Dad and did a great job. Unfortunately, I was too ill to go to Ada’s funeral the next year as I had been put on VIOXX and it nearly killed me in a fortnight. Could hardly breathe, talk o r eat. So all I can take for my constant pain is Paracetamol. Doctors assure me that it safe to have 8 a day, so I hope they are right, though I try to only take 6 per day. Enough tonight.


bubba said...

I miss the water. If I had my druthers I'd live on the ocean. I say that now and have plans for traveling the states for the rest of my life. I just might not live on the ocean again. Never know what the LOrd has in store tho.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Thanks for sharing some wonderful memories of your parents Merle. What a lovely daughter you were to them. It also tells me what a beautiful mother you must be to your own children.

JunieRose2005 said...


Thanks for sharing your memories. Life takes strange turns as we go along, sometimes.

My dad died at age 58, leaving my mom with almost nothing of material things. She never owned a home, and for a few years had it really rough-just going from house to house among the 5 kids. (We were all raising our young families.) She married again, but to an alcoholic-no -good, and it didn't last long!

In her later years she was able to get some $$ with her Social Security-and assisted housing, which gave her a little independence. Mom's needs were modest. (having been poor all her life!)

..When she was 80, my husband and I, had been able to buy this place where we are-with a small house on the same for a couple years she had her own little house right next to us! That was a good time for her, as she had a place where folks could come to visit her-a pretty little house it was too!

After becoming ill she lived in our house, but kept the cottage because she wanted to keep all her "stuff!"

It was not always easy , being the one to take care of her but I'm happy I was able to do it!

Peter said...

That's what blogging is about Merle, good one.

kenju said...

Wonderful stories, Merle, and Peter is right - this is what we like to read!

I took Vioxx too, and if I hadn't come off it after 45 days, I am sure I would be one of the statistics - either heart attack or stroke - for sure!