By 1991, Mum was no longer living at home. Dad had been the faithful sole carer in a way that set a loving example for all of us kids, but now the consequences of Alzheimers meant that she needed full-time care. She moved into the CADE unit at Bateau Bay and it was clear to us that this was a good thing for both Dad and Mum.
Over the next ten years, in many ways, Mum gradually drifted away, but some spark of her always remained identifiably her.
Ann, to her eternal credit, saw much more of Mum and Dad during these last ten years than did Judith and I. Last year she wrote a poem for Mum on her 84th birthday that expresses just what all of us children would like to say:
You never lost your temper Mum
We knew just where we stood
You didn’t show affection much
You didn’t think you should
But we knew how much you loved us
We felt it every day
And I’ve discovered that’s one thing
Alzheimers can’t take away!