Interviews for Oral History

The back of our home where we had morning tea with Frances
The back of our home where we had morning tea with Frances

Our daughter Monika said the other day: ‘I knew, Mum, that you’d like Frances.’ She wasn’t surprised at all that I very much loved having her around. Peter and I were always very much looking forward seeing her here at our home. This was some weeks ago. Very soon now we should get the result of these recording sessions with Frances.

I think Frances saw our daughter Gaby just a few days before Gaby died. Sadly the planned interview with Gaby could not take place at the time. There was some difficulty with incoming calls Gaby was expecting that day. Apparently Gaby was reluctant to switch off her mobile phone!

Gaby’s passing must have been a shock to Frances as it was to all of us. Frances had already been looking with Gaby at some of her documents. She was aware how Gaby caught polio at age four, and that she had lived as a quadriplegic with breathing difficulties for over fifty years. After Gaby’s passing she was keen to interview someone of Gaby’s family.

Frances found out from daughter Monika that we, Gaby’s parents, had gone overseas soon after Gaby’s death and wouldn’t be back for quite some time. In the meantime Frances started interviewing Monika. This is how Monika did get to know Frances. Monika agreed to be interviewed about her life in connection with Gaby. So Frances recorded twice one hour with Monika. Some time later, after our return from our long overseas trip, Peter’s and my tale was recorded too. Peter’s took eight times one hour, mine seven times one hour.

13 thoughts on “Interviews for Oral History

    1. Yes, Cat, we think this is very special. To imagine that these recordings are going to be available at the National Library in Canberra. Some future historians might want to listen to our story! It shows that to find out something about Gaby’s life is to be possible for years to come. Some researchers may be interested to see how Gaby was able to cope despite being severely disabled.

    1. It’s interesting to see how modern recording techniques can be applied to this. I was impressed with the whole procedure. Thanks, Mary-Ann, for commenting.

  1. God bless Gaby, Aunty Uta.

    I feel so much for you. You know, I have not been tested with human loss. You would think so, given Mum jumping off the planet – but what I have not known is knowing someone for years upon years upon years, caring about them, loving them, then losing them.

    I truly wish you to be okay about now. You are so like me (funny, and yet just as well for the likes of us) in your will to record, keep in the visual what is lost in the now.

    1. Thanks very much for commenting, Noeleen. I think loss can be experienced in lots of different ways. We don’t really own anyone. If we are together for part of the way it’s a gift from God. We are given something and we lose something. It’s a never ending circle. We were very near losing Gaby when she was four. That she managed to live for more than fifty years after this crisis is a miracle!. Of course we cared for her all through her life. But the actual physical care for her we did for only six and a half years from when she was ten and a half to when she turned seventeen. The Oral History Interviews did become at times very emotional for me. But then they lasted only for an hour each time and then there was a much needed break! I am o. k.. now.

      1. I like the way you said that, Aunty Uta, that people are only in our lives a while & the cycle is never ending. That’s so true. I see it differently now – & especially how you value that you nearly lost Gaby at 4, but “had her” longer.

        I bet indeed it was saddening. You are pretty wise all-round, I feel. You would be enormous comfort to someone in grief.

        Have a wonderful weekend, Aunty Uta 🙂 N.

  2. Einen lieben Gruß liebe Freundin ein schöner Text ich fühle mit dir,hast du so schön beschrieben,aber mit diesen verlust muss man Leben in Herzen sind sie immer bei uns.Ich hoffe es geht dir sonst gut,ich hatte heute eine kleine O.P. an der Wanke,fängt auch jetzt an was weh zu tun lege mich gleich was hin.Ich wünsche dir noch einen schönen Tag,und ein gutes schönes weekend die Woche vergeht zu schnell.Lieber Gruß Gislinde

    1. Hallo, liebe Gislinde, ich hoffe du kannst dich nach der kleinen OP gut ausruhen und dass es dann nicht mehr weh tut. Nun kommt ja schon bald das Wochenende. Alles Gute! Uta

  3. A beautiful memory of Gaby recorded for prosperity, a wonderful idea, everyones life has a meaning and purpose and is worth a memory.
    Gaby was special to many I sense, and a sad loss to you Auntyuta

  4. Yes, definitely, Gaby was special to many, Ian. During her Memorial Service about sixty photos were shown on the overhead screen, photos which showed the various stages of her life. You could see what great care was taken of her appearance and that she met an enormous amount of different people. We have a CD of all these photos. The photos were shown with some of Gaby’s favorite music. It’s good to have all this on a CD.

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