9 years ago next May, Robert and I packed up our house, 3 cats and all our wordly goods and travelled half way round the world to live in Golden Bay in Western Australia. We stayed for 3 years and had a fabulous time enjoying the Australian life style and meeting lots of new friends. As they say ‘ all good things must come to end’ and it was with much regret and soul searching that we made the decision to return to the UK when my Mum was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. I came back to see her three times during the early stages of her disease. I must confess that I knew very little about LBD at the time and had no idea of the time scale or the physical and mental consequences she has subsequently had to face. I will say now, that although it was a difficult decision to make at the time I know it was the correct one for me and I have not regretted one moment of the time I have spent with my Mum since our return. We have however now decided that it is time for another visit back out here, to catch up with all our friends whilst they still remember who we are and also to reaquaint ourselves with the ‘Aussie lifestyle.’
We had initially planned a 2 day stopover in Singapore but changed our minds at the last minute due to that nasty little virus and transitted through the airport instead. It is a long flight but the time went quickly as I absorbed myself in 5 films. One of the films was called The notebook and starred Ray Gosling and James Garner – it is a lovely film but particularly sad as it is told by the husband at the end of his life as he comes to terms with his wife’s dementia. I must confess to shedding a few tears at the end.
We are now staying in a rather gorgeous 4 bedroom house on the canals in Mandurah which will be our home for the next 3 1/2 weeks. I feel very sad at having to leave Mum but take solace in the fact that she doesn’t really know who I am any longer and has little if no memory of my visits. My elder sister does not live far away so she will still have a regular visitor. I heard yesterday, that her doctor has prescribed her another course of antibiotics for a chest infection. I have left her a number of cards which I have asked the staff at the home to open at regular intervals to read to her to remind her where we are and that we are thinking about her.
Sadly, my brother in law, who lives in Tasmania is also over here at the moment having flown over to spend the last few days with his mother who was in a nursing home. She passed away last night peacefully. May she rest in peace. I am sure he will take comfort that he was with her at the end.
And so, I look forward to 3 weeks of warm sunshine, catching up with old friends and visiting old stamping grounds. My friend Alison and her husband Alan arrive on Monday – they have been staying with my sister in Tasmania who joins us for the final week.