Pictures from September 2006

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According to the photos we went by train to Parramatta on the 27th of September 2006. Herta was with us. And in Parramatta we met Gaby. I had completely forgotten that we had done this excursion with Herta to see Gaby and go with Gaby and Herta on a Ferry trip to Sydney Circular Quay.
The above picture shows the Parramatta River. The Parramatta Ferry stop is only a little bit further on.

First now here are a few pictures Peter took soon after we met Gaby in Parramatta.

Here we are with Herta, our Dutch friend from Melbourne.
Here we are with Herta, our Dutch friend from Melbourne.

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We are on the Ferry-Boat.
We are on the Ferry-Boat.
Peter took more and more pictures from the boat.
Peter took more and more pictures from the boat.

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Gadsville Bridge
Gladsville Bridge

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Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

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Gaby arrives in her wheelchair at Circular Quay.
Gaby arrives in her wheelchair at Circular Quay.
We have arrived at Circular Quay/
We have arrived at Circular Quay.

 

I am very grateful to Peter for finding these pictures and letting me publish them. Yesterday was our monthly meeting with the ladies from our complex. This time the meeting was at Irene’s place. I wore the same outfit to the meeting that can be seen here in the photos from 2006. This actually means, the outfit is maybe ten years old! But it really is still in good condition. Even daughter Caroline did not object when I did not want to discard it yet. I told her, I love wearing it. And so I wore it yesterday. I was thrilled today to find out from Peter’s photos for how long I have actually had this item in my wardrobe!

In Memory of David

This is in Memory of David. He died exactly one year ago.

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Here is David with Gaby and companion dog Bonnie. This picture was taken many years ago when David was still full of energy.
Here is David with Gaby and companion dog Bonnie. This picture was taken many years ago when David was still full of energy.

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David died on the 5th of August 2013. Tomorrow, 19th of August, is to be his funeral at the Catholic Chapel, Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney.

I just reblogged some pictures of David and Gaby. David survived Gaby only by one year and a bit. Gaby’s funeral was on the 24th of July 2012, also at Roodkwood Cemetery.

May they both rest in peace.

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Ilse came to visit us in 1999

18th of April 1999 in front of Sydney Opera House
18th of April 1999 in front of Sydney Opera House. David took this picture.

The 18th of April 1999 was the day when we travelled by Ferry Boat from Parramatta to Sydney (Circular Quay). Peter’s sister Ilse was with us She was still sad, because her husband, Klaus, had died the previous year. However, she liked to stay with us for a while. After a two months visit she went back to Berlin with the promise to visit us again.

The 18th of April 1998 happened to be the birthday of Klaus, his last one before he died. So on the Ferry on that day a year later Ilse could not help but thinking that it was the anniversary of the birthday of Klaus and how he would have loved this Ferry trip too.

Gaby and David were with us on that boat. David went straight away to the front deck after boarding and stayed outside for the whole trip. Ilse and I stayed inside with Gaby who was in her wheelchair, of course. Peter went backwards and forwards all the time taking pictures.

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The Opera House is already in sight, so Circular Quay is not far away any more.
The Opera House is already in sight, so Circular Quay is not far away any more.

In March 1999, soon after Ilse had arrived from Germany, we went with her to visit Gaby at her place in Merrylands West. This is where she met David too for the first time.

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This is probably a more recent photo when Gaby was about fifty years old.
This is probably a more recent photo when Gaby was about fifty years old.

A Piece that German Writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Peter chose this piece two years ago, on the 28th of August!, to remember Gaby by. Peter wrote then that he thinks this is how Gaby felt about her life. I tend to agree with him about this.

With Love from Gaby, Dave, Bonnie & Clyde

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Gaby came down with poliomyelitis on her fourth birthday. That was in 1961. When she was 32, in 1989, she left institutional care and moved into her own home in Merrylands West, a Western suburb of Sydney. David (Dave) became her full time carer. But as a quadriplegic with breathing difficulties who needed to sleep in an iron lung, she needed several people to come in on a daily basis to look after her diverse needs.

Anyhow, Gaby was happy to leave the home for disabled people and move into her own home. 40 year old David did for nearly twenty years a marvellous job in doing whatever he could for Gaby. But in the end his health deteriorated more and more. It became impossible for him to the the things for Gaby he would normally have to do as her carer. It was a rather sad situation. Gaby knew that David needed help but she did not know how to provide this for him.

Gaby and David both loved animals. Soon after moving in Gaby acquired a companion dog provided by the people who train dogs for blind people. Dave liked that dog too. They called her Bonnie. A cat named Clyde became Bonnie’s companion. Gaby just adored her animals. They were like her children. She always saw to it that they had everything they needed.

Gaby with Bonnie
Gaby with Bonnie
Gaby with Clyde
Gaby with Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde in front of the gas heater
Bonnie and Clyde in front of the gas heater

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Bonnie is being spoiled!
Bonnie is being spoiled!

I happen to have still a Christmas card from Gaby and Dave with a calendar for 1998 in it. The card came with a book: A Tolstoy biography by A.N. Wilson, first published in Great Britain in 1988. This is a great reference book and a great read. Gaby chose this book for me as a Christmas gift. She did choose very well. She always took great care to choose gifts for all the family for birthdays and for Christmas. Of course her funds were limited. So she always looked for bargains. Quite often her choices were astoundingly good.

This is the outside of the card.
This is the outside of the Christmas card.
And this is the inside of it.
And this is the inside of it.
Gaby moved her electric chair with her chin, she used her mouth stick for phone and computer.
Gaby moved her electric chair with her chin, she used her mouth stick for phone and computer.
Here she looks like having grown up a bit more.
Here she looks like having grown up a bit more.
Here she is in her bedroom getting ready for the day.
Here she is in her bedroom getting ready for the day.
After Gaby lost Clyde, she did get a new kitten.
After Gaby lost Clyde, she did get a new kitten.
Blackie, the kitten, grew into this.
Blackie, the kitten, grew into this.
Gaby is having fun seeing Father Christmas.
Gaby is having fun seeing Father Christmas.

Sadly Gaby lost Bonnie. She was lucky that after some time she was given a replacement dog which she called ‘Honey’.  Honey was quite skinny at first but soon filled out a bit.

Gaby can celebrate Christmas 2003 with companion dog Honey.
Gaby can celebrate Christmas 2003 with companion dog Honey.

 

Memories from 1974 (reblogged)

The ramp leads up to our kitchen door. Gaby in her wheelchair at age 16 1/2. From left to right: Her Papa, Brother, Mama and Sister.

The other day I came across some notes I made about some conversations in our family towards the end of summer of 1974 when Gaby was sixteen, Monika fifteen, Martin close to fourteen, Peter close to thirty-nine and I also thirty-nine.

ONE AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY 1974

Gaby, my daughter, sits in her wheelchair in the kitchen close to the open door. Peter, her father, helps her to sort out her record-club order.

I am outside close to the open door. I am stretched out on the lawn under a large umbrella, taking notes of the following conversation.

Gaby: I should’ve written on that form ‘please hurry’. Gee, I’m glad I’m going to get that record at last. Will you put all this away now, please?

Peter: Wie, das willste auch aufheben? Das ist doch nur Reklame, Menschenskind!
What, you’re going to keep that too? These are only adds, for heaven’s sake!

Gaby: I keep everything from the record-club.

Peter: So, wo kommt das hin? So, where does this go?

Gaby: Right at the back of the folder. It’s nice paper, isn’t it?

Peter: Nee.

Gaby: That’s the second record I’ve ordered. Are they going to send me a receipt?

Peter: No, das ist covered. The balance is going to show it. Kommt das hier rin?

Gaby: No, it goes into the blue folder.

Son Martin comes up the ramp. He carries his school-case., greets me with ‘Hi, Mum’, enters the house. A little later daughter Monika follows, also with school- case and saying ‘Hi, Mum!’ I say ‘Hi, Martin! Hi, Monika!’ As Martin enters the
house, Peter and Gaby are still deep in conversation.

Peter: Martin, was sagt man denn, wenn man hier hereinkommt? — Good-day!
What do you say when you come in here? — Good-day!

Martin: You were talking.

Monika says ‘Hi’ as she enters. And Peter says: ‘Hallo, Monika!’

A bit later Peter and Martin talk with Gaby about her school-certificate.

Martin: That bit of scrap-paper, is that all you’ve got?

Peter: Mehr braucht se doch nicht. Das ist das certificate.
She doesn’t need anything else. This is the certificate.

Martin: Actually you shouldn’t have passed since you didn’t work right through
the year.

Peter: Hat se gut gearbeitet, hat se auch bestanden.
Oh, she worked well, that’s how she passed.

Martin: But she didn’t arbeite gut. She didn’t work well.

Peter: Nun lass man gut sein. Sie hat schon gut gearbeitet.
Now leave her alone. She did work quite well.

A bit later

Monika: Gee, it’s hot! Pat and Donna are coming in a minute. They want a lift over to
Warilla Grove. Who’s going to take us to Warilla Grove? It’s late already, you
know?

(calling from outside)
Uta: Papa’s going to take you!

Monika: Better hurry up!

Gaby: Papa, don’t forget to mail my record-order! The letter-box gets emptied soon!

Peter: Wann musst Du auf der Arbeit sein, Monika?
When do you have to be at work, Monika?

Monika: We have to leave within the next five or ten minutes.

Peter: Ich fahre erst tanken. I go to get some petrol first.

Peter leaves in a hurry.

Pat and Donna come up the ramp. Monika greets them and goes inside with them.

I hear a terrible noise from the neighbours’ backyard: One of their sons goes on his mini-bike round and round in the backyard.

A bit later Wayne comes up the ramp. He carries a beach-towel.

Uta: Hi, Wayne! Do you want to go to the pool with Martin?

Waine: Yeah.

Uta: Best thing you can do in this weather!

Waine: Yeah.

Wayne enters the house. Peter returns from getting petrol. Soon after he leaves with Monika, Pat and Donna in the car. (At Warilla Grove Monika is going to get some training at the Woolworths cash register.)

Martin and Wayne leave for the pool. The mini-bike has stopped making
noise. I enter the house.

Gaby: Heh, Mama, you have to buy some food today, don’t you?

Uta: That’s right.

Gaby: When are you going?

Uta: Later.

Gaby: Better go before five thirty.

Uta: Yes, I’ll do that.

Gaby: How much money have you got?

Uta: I don’t know.

(A bit later.)

Gaby: Mama, can you move my left foot? (I do it.)
Can I go on the Pfanne when Papa gets back?

Uta: Yes, sure.

(She means when Peter gets back, she wants him to lie her on her bed, so that I can put her on her bed-pan.)

Gaby: Can I have a Vitamin C tablet?

I give her one. There’s some more noise from the mini-bike. Peter
returns.

Peter: I just remembered, I forgot to post your letter.

Gaby: God, how could you forget! — Can you post the letter, Mama? You have to go now because the letter-box gets emptied soon.

Peter: Mensch, ist mir warm! My goodness, I feel so hot and sweaty!

Uta: Willst Du nicht zum Pool gehen? Martin ist mit Wayne zum Pool
gegangen. Wouldn’t you like to go to the swimming pool? Martin did go
to the pool with Waine.

Peter: Ich bin schon ewig nicht am Pool gewesen. It’s been ages since I went
to the pool.

Uta: Ein bisschen Schwimmen würde Dir gut tun. A bit of swimming would be
good for you!

Apparently Gaby wants her letter posted before she goes to the toilet.
I get ready to post the letter and do some shopping. The mini-bike makes
an awful lot of noise again.

Memories from 1974 (reblogged)

The ramp leads up to our kitchen door. Gaby in her wheelchair at age 16 1/2. From left to right: Her Papa, Brother, Mama and Sister.

The other day I came across some notes I made about some conversations in our family towards the end of summer of 1974 when Gaby was sixteen, Monika fifteen, Martin close to fourteen, Peter close to thirty-nine and I also thirty-nine.

ONE AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY 1974

Gaby, my daughter, sits in her wheelchair in the kitchen close to the open door. Peter, her father, helps her to sort out her record-club order.

I am outside close to the open door. I am stretched out on the lawn under a large umbrella, taking notes of the following conversation.

 

Gaby: I should’ve written on that form ‘please hurry’. Gee, I’m glad I’m going to get that record at last. Will you put all this away now, please?

Peter: Wie, das willste auch aufheben? Das ist doch nur Reklame, Menschenskind!
What, you’re going to keep that too? These are only adds, for heaven’s sake!

Gaby: I keep everything from the record-club.

Peter: So, wo kommt das hin? So, where does this go?

Gaby: Right at the back of the folder. It’s nice paper, isn’t it?

Peter: Nee.

Gaby: That’s the second record I’ve ordered. Are they going to send me a receipt?

Peter: No, das ist covered. The balance is going to show it. Kommt das hier rin?

Gaby: No, it goes into the blue folder.

Son Martin comes up the ramp. He carries his school-case., greets me with ‘Hi, Mum’, enters the house. A little later daughter Monika follows, also with school- case and saying ‘Hi, Mum!’ I say ‘Hi, Martin! Hi, Monika!’ As Martin enters the
house, Peter and Gaby are still deep in conversation.

Peter: Martin, was sagt man denn, wenn man hier hereinkommt? — Good-day!
What do you say when you come in here? — Good-day!

Martin: You were talking.

Monika says ‘Hi’ as she enters. And Peter says: ‘Hallo, Monika!’

A bit later Peter and Martin talk with Gaby about her school-certificate.

Martin: That bit of scrap-paper, is that all you’ve got?

Peter: Mehr braucht se doch nicht. Das ist das certificate.
She doesn’t need anything else. This is the certificate.

Martin: Actually you shouldn’t have passed since you didn’t work right through
the year.

Peter: Hat se gut gearbeitet, hat se auch bestanden.
Oh, she worked well, that’s how she passed.

Martin: But she didn’t arbeite gut. She didn’t work well.

Peter: Nun lass man gut sein. Sie hat schon gut gearbeitet.
Now leave her alone. She did work quite well.

A bit later

Monika: Gee, it’s hot! Pat and Donna are coming in a minute. They want a lift over to
Warilla Grove. Who’s going to take us to Warilla Grove? It’s late already, you
know?

(calling from outside)
Uta: Papa’s going to take you!

Monika: Better hurry up!

Gaby: Papa, don’t forget to mail my record-order! The letter-box gets emptied soon!

Peter: Wann musst Du auf der Arbeit sein, Monika?
When do you have to be at work, Monika?

Monika: We have to leave within the next five or ten minutes.

Peter: Ich fahre erst tanken. I go to get some petrol first.

Peter leaves in a hurry.

Pat and Donna come up the ramp. Monika greets them and goes inside with them.

I hear a terrible noise from the neighbours’ backyard: One of their sons goes on his mini-bike round and round in the backyard.

A bit later Wayne comes up the ramp. He carries a beach-towel.

Uta: Hi, Wayne! Do you want to go to the pool with Martin?

Waine: Yeah.

Uta: Best thing you can do in this weather!

Waine: Yeah.

Wayne enters the house. Peter returns from getting petrol. Soon after he leaves with Monika, Pat and Donna in the car. (At Warilla Grove Monika is going to get some training at the Woolworths cash register.)

Martin and Wayne leave for the pool. The mini-bike has stopped making
noise. I enter the house.

Gaby: Heh, Mama, you have to buy some food today, don’t you?

Uta: That’s right.

Gaby: When are you going?

Uta: Later.

Gaby: Better go before five thirty.

Uta: Yes, I’ll do that.

Gaby: How much money have you got?

Uta: I don’t know.

(A bit later.)

Gaby: Mama, can you move my left foot? (I do it.)
Can I go on the Pfanne when Papa gets back?

Uta: Yes, sure.

(She means when Peter gets back, she wants him to lie her on her bed, so that I can put her on her bed-pan.)

Gaby: Can I have a Vitamin C tablet?

I give her one. There’s some more noise from the mini-bike. Peter
returns.

Peter: I just remembered, I forgot to post your letter.

Gaby: God, how could you forget! — Can you post the letter, Mama? You have to go now because the letter-box gets emptied soon.

Peter: Mensch, ist mir warm! My goodness, I feel so hot and sweaty!

Uta: Willst Du nicht zum Pool gehen? Martin ist mit Wayne zum Pool
gegangen. Wouldn’t you like to go to the swimming pool? Martin did go
to the pool with Waine.

Peter: Ich bin schon ewig nicht am Pool gewesen. It’s been ages since I went
to the pool.

Uta: Ein bisschen Schwimmen würde Dir gut tun. A bit of swimming would be
good for you!

Apparently Gaby wants her letter posted before she goes to the toilet.
I get ready to post the letter and do some shopping. The mini-bike makes
an awful lot of noise again.

Photos for David

Today I selected a few photos to give to David when we next see him. Before I inserted the photos in a little photo album, I scanned them all. I want now to share these photos with my blogger friends. David did get to know Gaby while she lived in Ferguson Lodge which is a place for disabled people in a wheelchair. In this place people were well looked after. However it was institutionalized care. Gaby was very happy when in 1989 David made it possible for her to move into her own home. She was 32 at the time and Davidwas 40.

The picture of Peter holding baby Caroline was taken ca. March 1979, visiting Gaby at Ferguson Lodge with friend Ron Bates.

Next to Gaby is David’s father, on the left David’s mother, on the right friend Coral

Gaby has a birthday cake in front of her, David is on the right, David’s mother left

David and Gaby

ca. 1973 when Gaby still lived with us: Mum, Dad, brother Martin, sister Monika

David and Gaby came to visit for Christmas celebrations. David is Father Christmas and Caroline, who just turned 6, and the twins (5 1/2) have fun. Behind Gaby is Monika, the twins’ Mum.

Caroline and friend visit Gaby at Ferguson Lodge