Recently I have been collating much of the memorabilia that I have collected over the last 70 years. I have much of my parents’ documents too, hoping that one of my descendants is prepared to look after it.
I find amazing things and relive many details of my life – as I did today. I found a little booklet which I used when I was working in Sydney in 1974. I was a registered nurse and a mother of two little children, but managed to work, on night duty in private homes and nursing homes. I kept this little booklet where I would complete the details of my night’s work and send it by post to Gordon Trained Nurses’ Club, the agency who found me work.
You can see I worked from 9 pm to 7 am for a whole $68.50. I remember the job well. The patient was a young woman, maybe in her 30’s that had some surgery. I didn’t get a lot of information about her and had little to do, but sit with her overnight. Sitting next to her all night in the half light – not enough light to read or do anything. I just had to sit there and help her if she needed it. She slept all night, and I confess that I fell asleep at one stage too – sitting bolt upright beside her.
When the day staff appeared I questioned them about the need for a “special nurse” as I felt that I was wasting their money. I then learned that on a couple of nights she had become very aggressive during the night and had tried to kill the night nurse. Mmm.. I wonder why they didn’t tell me before I sat with her!!!
Anyway I survived and so did she.
I found an old photo too – I think this was taken in my first year of training.
I wish I had kept a lot more of my photos and documents, but there is enough to piece together my 70 years. Again I hope that at least one family member keeps this. I am writing my own story – so these photos and document help with some detail and remind me of many events in my life.
The above photo is one I treasure. It was taken in 1969 – my mother had brought my grandmother to Warrnambool in Western Victoria to meet my daughter. I recall that when they arrive, I stood welcoming in the doorway with my little daughter in my arms, and Nanna walked straight past and took no interest in my little girl. I said something like “Don’t you want to say hello to my baby.” She replied rather sternly something like “seen one, seen them all!” I had about 20 or so cousins and they had children, so I guess it didn’t surprise me. But Janet sat on her knee, while my mother and I stood at the back.