I publish here at the top a link to Berlioz. He wrote about ‘the Fourteenth Day’, meaning the day when Peter or I or both of us went on our three hour trip to Merrylands to help our daughter Gaby with her shopping. Occasionally we would travel by car, which cut our traveling time by half.
Gaby moved to Merrylands West in 1989. Before this she had stayed for a number of years in Ferguson Lodge in Lidcombe where we would also visit her quite regularly. When Gaby contracted P0lio in 1961, she was admitted to Wollongong Hospital and soon after to Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, Sydney, where she stayed for six and a half years. In the beginning one of us or the whole family, which included two small children, would visit Gaby in PHH twice a week. When Gaby was ten and a half, we were able to take her home to our two bedroom cottage. To give us a break and for regular check-ups Gaby was admitted to PHH every so often without any cost to us. The Hospital Contribution Fund always paid for every hospital stay. There was also a school attached to the hospital for children who had to stay in hospital long term.
When Gaby had just turned seventeen, a very helpful social worker saw to it that we should get some relief from looking after Gaby. Actually Gaby stayed then in our area for another four and a half years until a place was found for her in Ferguson Lodge.
Looking back now over the years we really have been traveling to Sydney quite a lot in connection with Gaby. In the past we often traveled by car. But now that we are pensioners we can travel to Sydney and back on the train for $ 2,50. This is not comparable to what it costs to travel this distance by car! It just takes a lot longer to travel from the Illawarra to the Western Suburbs of Sydney by train because all trains go to the center of Sydney before it’s possible to travel out West. By car the route across is half the distance!
Occasionally Gaby had been able to travel by taxi to our place or her sister’s place. Gaby was always keen to stay in touch with family.
Last year Gaby had been at her sister’s for Christmas celebrations and before this for a 50th birthday party bash. This coming week is another birthday party bash at the same place, this time a 21st birthday party. Sadly Gaby won’t make to this one. Had she still been alive she wouldn’t have missed it for anything!