I came for her birthday and decided we finally have to get this biography done. After 90 years you certainly could have something to say. Mum says she has lived so long she can talk about anything you mention. In fact as soon as you say something, she will tell you the stories she knows.
We had prepared a birthday book to be printed at K-Mart and delivered to the home address. We heard it arrive while we were sitting at the dining room table on the day before her birthday. It was only twenty pages, and it was mostly our family and the activities of 2017. I made a similar book for 2016.
This time I wanted to make a book for Babi’s birthday focusing on her life and using the photos I had scanned of her. Mum keeps saying that nobody is interested in her photos. My heart pangs every time she says that and tells us how she rips the photos out of the albums to give away to anybody who might want them. I tried a few years ago to scan as many as I could, fearing that they would be lost forever, but time ran out and I returned home to Austria. Now to do the birthday book, so many of those photos were not of a good enough quality to print. I was still working till the last day, so was very grateful that Josef invested himself in the design and layout of the book that we did print.
But back to the biography. That’s what we’re working on now. I was surprised to discover that there were actually other albums and in fact, lots more photos of my mother! I know that my father had organized scores of albums and I did not get through those, but that my mother also had her own albums? No, I never knew!
So what a surprise when she showed me the “My Memories” book she received from The Club, sponsored by Alzheimers Australia. Yes! Thank you Alzheimers Australia! That’s exactly what I am thinking about! Mum had already pasted a number of photos into the book. But she had two copies and was using both at once! And no, she does not have Alzheimers! My mother is, thankfully, not dement, despite her 90 years. Some of my colleagues ask me whether she reads a lot, as that is supposed to prevent dementia. Yes she does. She is alive and well and interested in everything. And I thank God that I could come Down Under to celebrate her 90th birthday with her. Just as she did with her mother. Twenty-three years ago, my mother came from Australia to Germany, to celebrate HER mother’s 90th birthday. She told me that she would rather celebrate with the living than mourn the dead. I have taken that as an example. I came Down Under to celebrate her life. Now I want you to know about my Mum too. And her four sons, twelve grandsons and two great-grandsons. And of course there is me, her only daughter and also her only granddaughter.