02 Mar Deirdre Avalon
Music means a lot to me. My favourite song is “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, it’s glorious. I used to be a singer, a mezzo-soprano. I did eight years of opera, mainly operettas in small groups. And then I went into dancing, just for my own enjoyment.
I worked as an RN, and I had seven children. I was eighteen when I had my first. If I could give advice to my younger self, it would be: ‘Don’t get married or have kids so early.’ I might have travelled overseas, had I waited.
I did a lot of volunteer work, including driving for patients in rehab hospitals, and with the Aboriginal Foundation. I think I’ve done my duty by helping people as much as I can. If I could still be doing it, I would. A really worthy cause that I support is Doctors Without Borders, for their great work, particularly in Africa.
I’m quite happy in this Nursing Home. The staff here are beautiful, most are Nepalese girls, they are so obliging. They sit down to talk to me, about something other than what’s happening here. Prakiti, she’s gorgeous, I call her ‘Pretty Kriti.’ She’s always got a smile on her face, and every time she walks in, I say, ‘You make me smile, as soon as I see you.’ I just feel restricted because I’ve always been so independent in my life. But I’m here, still alive and breathing, and I wake up every morning – ‘wonderful world’.
The Manager of this home encouraged me to write my life story. I’m on the seventh page, and I’m only seventeen at that stage- I hadn’t even started living yet! I’ve got it all up here in my head, I’ve got to sort out the years. I have eighty-one of them to think about!
**Not her real name