The things I am grateful for beyond 60 25



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I am grateful the family doctor didn’t tell us I might have TB…

I was 19 had been nursing at a psychiatric hospital in the UK on a TB ward and was about to leave England my job and my family to go to New Zealand with my husband. We married six weeks before we went. I had small lumps on the front of my legs, had lost weight, and felt a bit tired and got breathless too, I think the doctor knew I was likely to develop problems. The symptoms added up yet he let me go. Yes I did develop TB, yes I was in hospital for eight weeks but if he hadn’t allowed me to go I might never have experienced such a beautiful place and had two children as soon as I could. I never took anything for granted after that, as it changed how I thought. You never know what might happen – grab life by the throat. A good lesson learned.

I am so grateful I had healthy children, when I look around I realise what a blessing that is, one we may not always appreciate at the time. I had three beautiful babies; all good weights at birth, all thrived and even now, they are in their 50s and still active, not overweight, and regularly run marathons. We are in contact, and they still seem to like us! Another bonus.

Family Odds & Ends 037

I am grateful for my parents; I was lucky they had a sense of humour, lots of compassion and gave me a very optimistic outlook on life. They taught me to love animals, respect nature and help anyone I could. It was a great start, not exactly a silver spoon, but something even more precious.

I am even grateful for the bad luck that saw us lose a lot of money and end up broke and travelling in a caravan at an age when most couples are retired and comfortable. We both gave up our jobs and thought that was the end; little did we know we would end up in a small town where the people welcomed us, we would find employment and a lifestyle we think is almost perfect. It was a whole new start. We worked until we were both about 70. I worked in a nursing home and cleaned a school my husband was a shire councillor for a few years then just continued cleaning the school and doing charity work. If we hadn’t had the bad luck we would not have found Yarram. So even bad luck can sometimes have a good outcome.

I am even grateful for my ‘butterfly’ mind. I throw myself into projects, I try hard to succeed at everything, make things work, and have been known to take on way too much. I do it all. Now and then I get the successes I desire. But sometimes I learn I am not going to make it however I have a darned good try! Lately have been involved with a small town branch of U3A (University of the Third Age). We try to run several classes and groups helping each other with art, theatre, mah-jong, and historical walks. It has not been easy as just a few of us carry the load and it will continue to challenge me, but I will still strive to keep it happening. I paint and write in any spare time I have. Life is never ever boring. There are not enough hours in a day.

I am grateful for my life companion, husband of 57 years, and although like any marriage there are rocky paths, I am grateful we travelled them together. Am happy we saw the cities like Paris and Panama, that we explored Fraser Island and Broken Hill, for all the sunsets we watched, the wine we enjoyed the fun we had along the way; now we are older and can’t go travelling much. We have the quiet roads, the simple life and beautiful Gippsland around us.

Tell us, what are you grateful for?

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Jacqui Lee

Jacqui Lee is 75 and now retired but the last ten years or so have been some of her busiest. She worked at a hospital, where she took several Certificated courses, she cleaned a school, helped to run two conventions, wrote short stories, started painting, and in fact is never bored even now, "I honestly feel we are lucky to still be upright and breathing, and my motto is, Remember yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today. I love fun, clothes, food and friends."

  1. Yes if you keep living life can be great thanks for sharing.

  2. My Grandma used to say to me that ‘out of the bad stuff, some good always comes out of it’ – or words to that effect. (Mind you, I’m still ‘waiting’ on the positive outcome of a couple of experiences). Well written article, Jacquie!

  3. Many things im greatful healthy babies, thir healthy babies (high on priority list) the roof over my head, my health with its ups and downs, my independence, my friends…I have been blessed

  4. Reading this lovely story brought back memories for me my Grandfather came out to Australia from England as he was not well, he had been in the war and had TB. My Mother was born out here and later on when I was born (one of five) my Mother had a shadow on the lung to do with TB. I remember we all had to have needles and Mum went into Princess Alexander Hospital for a long time, nearly 2 years. Some of us had to be boarded out to friends, as Dad had to work. We did visits to Mum but they were restricted, no hugs. My mother survived and lived till 90years, but the memory of what she went through still lingers.

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    • I just remembered on another note while my Mum was in the PA, the people with Hansens disease (Leprosy) were moved from Peel Island to Princess Alexander as they closed the colony down.

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      • Lois your story was sadder than mine, hard to deal with Mum being away that long. Must have been tough.. My biggest fear was that I might get sick and have to leave my kids later in life. You have had some interesting experiences too!

  5. Oh Jacqui,you have lifted my spirits with your grateful enthusiasm for life.Your positive energy pulses through the page! Thank you for a great start to the day!

  6. Ten things I’m grateful for. My daughter,my health, my fitness my job, a roof over my head,my difforce, my rough times, my eyesight, my hearing,my ability to keep positive no matter what happens

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