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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.

13 comments:

  1. You can see the resemblance between your profile pic and that of Jean. Understanding your loss. My mum passed away on 10 Aug 99 and I still miss her. I think but not sure that it is the people from the north of England that say sat instead of sitting.

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    1. Well my son-in-law is from Southampton way (Basingstoke) and he says it too.

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  2. It's nice that you know something of the ladies your mother spent her declining years with. I'm glad you posted early because I'm struggling with this theme, so I'm inspired to look in different directions.

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  3. Such happy photographs, thank you for sharing them. My husband and I are at the stage of discussing what to do when we get old – as if we aren’t already!! We have more or less made up our minds to sell up and move to an ‘old folks’ flat – but thinking it and doing it are two different things.

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  4. Your mother's residence looks exactly like MY mother's here in the USA...there's a universality to retirement communities...but this one looks quite nice!

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  5. Cresthaven does look quite nice & well kept. The picture of your Mum on her 80th birthday is beautiful. What a lovely lady looking very smart in her black & white. And what a handsome family in the last photo as well as what a gorgeous place to be having a meal.

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  6. It's interesting that Alan's choice of a photo of empty tables inspires us to think of tables filled with family and friends. Like the photos of your mother, those tables leave the best memories.

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  7. These days I'm inclined to think that the person who designed the old age process should be made to go back to the drawing board and improve on it. so that Cresthavens aren't needed, nice though they may be, :-) The Cruikshank name is famliar to me as in her later years my mother was friendly with a Florence and Maude Cruikshank (in Geelong) and shared many happu afternoon teas at each other's homes. I always enjoy reading about Jean.

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    1. No Cruickshanks from Geelong in my family tree as far as I know.

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  8. A lovely moving tribute to your mother, who loos so happy in her 80th birthday photo, and the seaside restaurant is in a stunning location. I think photographs can be very powerful tools. My aunt Edith was in a home and photographs of her family from her own childhood brought a spark to her face.

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  9. Lovely photos and great memories. There are wonderful assisted living facilities around here, along the coast but they're incredibly expensive. The not-so-expensive places are not-so-nice. At least, we have options as to how we spend our "golden years" and up to now, haven't been put on icebergs and floated out to sea. Who knows what the future will bring?

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  10. Ah Jo...what beautiful photos. You did well and paid a beautiful tribute to your mother. Cresthaven looks very nice - it's amazing the difference big windows make. 108 - goodness me - imagine getting to that age. What on earth would it be like???

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  11. Jo, my mother lived in her own home until she died, but even so there is a similarity in our posts this week. I think, I rather like the "brightness" of Cresthaven. That being said, living fully as we age is HARD WORK.

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