Joan & Mary
I first met Mary when my husband Don and myself moved to Sunbury from the small town of Balranald, South Western NSW in 2003.
Being new to the area, and wanting to meet people and be of some use in the community, I answered and advertisement for people to help writing stories for adults with disabilities at Distinctive Options.
The words “I’d bashem” were what first made me notice Mary. She had been asked what she would do in a certain situation, and that was her reply. Wow! I hoped that I’d never cross her!
Bruce Mitchell, Ronnie Jelbert and Mary lived in a community house at Underhill Court, and because of a shortage of taxis back then, I began running them home when each session finished. It was during this time that I got to know the three of them, and we would sing in the car and have one on the way home.
One evening, Mary invited me in to see what “Me and Ronnie are going to be in”. It was a deb ball for the disabled, so I offered to make Mary’s dress for her. It was shortly after this that I was approached to be Mary’s Advocate.
At first, I didn’t know just quite what to expect, but once I set my boundaries (being a retired school teacher helped I’m sure) we got along fine.
I have found that Mary is somewhat of a “rough Diamond” She can be very rough on the outside but her heart is in the right place.
The first time I went down town with her, I was surprised at the number of people who knew her . She loves shopping and takes her calculator with her, working out what she can and can’t afford. We regularly go to Sunbury Square where she has Hot Chocolate and I have coffee (Mary told me which shop was the cheapest) She likes to get a “treat” to “take home for the boys” whenever we are out.
A keen photographer, Mary likes to go and take photos of the Myer Christmas windows, and we follow this with Yum Cha as a special treat in the city.
Mary loves knitting and crochet and always has something in the bag. She loves cooking and has been promised that when her room is nice and tidy we will have a cooking day again. (that will be in a couple of weeks time as she is trying very hard).
We’ve been together for ten years now, and while I only took on the position as a trial, I can’t imagine what life would be without Mary in the background now.
I’m proud to call Mary my special friend and have a special place in my heart for her as she does for me.
To hear her say “Ya know I love ya” gives me a feeling of satisfaction for bringing a little happiness into the life of my “special friend”.