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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

In memory of Jean

The Sepia Saturday prompt this week shows a cafeteria somewhere. I haven't found any sepia photos in my family history collection that could really fit in with this, but I'm prompted to show this photograph from October 2013.  It is of my mother Jean, having afternoon tea in the dining room of Cresthaven, the care home where she was a resident for a bit over a year before she passed away, one year ago today on 19 August 2014. On my iPad in front of her is a photograph she has been admiring, of her first great granddaughter Eloise, who at the time was newly born in Canada. Another great granddaughter Isabelle Jean was born in England in 2014, and two more great grandchildren are now on the way.  Young Eloise is soon to turn two. Jean could only look at the pictures I frequently took along of Eloise and Isabelle and was rapidly losing her ability to talk and express her feelings for them, but I'm sure they filled her with great pride. Sadly at least two of the other ladies in this photograph have also passed away. The lady happily drinking her cup of tea died quite suddenly a few months before Jean, and I think the little Irish lady nearest the window died subsequently. I can't really say that Mum was happy during her time there, but her declining health was more to blame for that than anything else. The staff were generally kind and caring in the homely old Edwardian style building that currently accommodates some forty-five residents. The oldest resident turned 108 last year and may well still be living there, aged 109. Cresthaven no doubt reminds some people of the style of homes they have previously lived in, but I believe the operators have plans to demolish it in the near future and replace it with a much larger purpose built facility. With the older members of the baby boomer generation rapidly approaching a certain age, demand will be high, and numerous similar institutions with state of the art facilities are being erected around Melbourne, but you couldn't call them homes. I rather hope I don't end up in one of those places!

I wrote a tribute to Jean last year that you can read here, but I'll finish today with two happier photographs of her sitting at tables. The first was taken on Jean's 80th birthday, at her own dining table in 2006, after she had enjoyed a lovely high tea celebration with family and friends, and the second was another celebration with family members in 2012 at a seaside restaurant near where she lived before moving into the home. 

RIP Jean Margaret Cruickshank, nee Morrison

You are sure to find more blogs featuring dining rooms, cafeterias, restaurants, tables, drink machines and the like here at Sepia Saturday #293.  Meanwhile we'll sit around the table and raise a glass in memory of Jean.

ps. Just out of interest, I've noticed that  English people, for example our co-convenor Alan, often say "I'm sat", whereas Australians would normally say "I'm sitting".  An interesting language difference.