Celebrating Myra ~ Our centenarian!

A beautiful tribute written by devoted daughter Jenny

My mum, Myra Slade, was born on the 23rd of January 1921 in Prahran, Victoria, where she started her young life under very difficult circumstances. She along with her 3 younger brothers were raised in different orphanages due to their mother’s illness, tuberculosis. Mum had to learn to be very independent and resilient from the time she was 6 years old. As a young teenager she had to hold several jobs to support herself. During that time, she developed a love for anything to do with dance and music. In fact, she learned ballroom, ballet and tap dancing as a young person. She also had a love for swimming at the beach and flowers.

Mum married at the age of 20. Not long after she married, her young husband went to fight in the 2nd World War. He was taken in Singapore in 1942 and spent the duration of that war as a prisoner in Changi. He witnessed and endured much atrocity during this time. Mum was alone and had to raise an intellectually disabled son without the help of family and a social security network. Her husband survived Changi’s trauma and eventually returned home.

As time passed, mum had five more children but suffered a major stroke at the age of 35, impacting her speech and mobility. It took her approximately 3 years for her to recover to the point where she could function somewhat normally. Apart from the usual ups and downs throughout her life, mum has maintained a love of life, a spirit of generosity and a realisation that life is precious no matter what befalls you. As a result of her early experiences, she has always been a fighter and determined not to let anything get her down.

Mum has always been modest in her habits (everything in moderation). If you were to ask mum “what’s your secret to longevity?”, she’d probably shrug her shoulders and respond, “I can’t believe I am 100”. Her ability to stay positive and not let life’s adversities crush her spirit, the love and support of her family, a belief in Christian values, finding joy in the simple things and finally having the right care given at the right time, including the good care given by the staff at Blakehurst Aged Care. All these things have played a part in helping my mum grow old with grace and dignity.

I wrote a short poem to my mum on her 100th birthday.

Only mother of mine
A gift from God divine
Blessed to have one so loving and kind
Memories to always treasure in both heart and mind.