A family tale

Dianne Dempsey | Bendigo Weekly | 26-Jan-2017

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Everyone has a book in them so they say and in some instances, it’s best to leave that book right where it belongs.

But in John Jeffrey’s case his book was well worth the writing.

Starting with his background as a typical working class Aussie who was into “football, friendships and fun” his memoirs extoll the peripatetic life he led with his much loved wife Paula.

Jeffery was a banker and Paula a hairdresser when they first escaped suburban life by taking  a three-year bank posting in Papua New Guinea.

After their experience of New Guinea they moved into the hospitality industry where the opportunities for travel to exotic and remote places in Australia were numerous.

The most moving part of the couple’s journey however was when Paula developed Muscular Neuron Disease (MND)and they fought to battle the insidious symptoms.

In order to care for Paula the couple decided to move to Bendigo where Jeffery had previously worked and where they still had many friends.

As Jeffery describes their attempts to get help and support, his story gathers in strength and pathos.

Paula’s suffering increases and so does Jeffery’s as he maintains the vigil of care and love he promised his wife.

When Paula dies in the Stella Anderson Unit of Bendigo Health Care, she is grieved by her husband, her children, the caring staff, and many friends.

Written in a plain and straightforward manner this memoir illuminates the pleasure of a nomadic existence and at the same time it shows how everyday individual can display great bravery.
Deb Cadzow commented on 01-Feb-2017 08:06 AM5 out of 5 stars
Absolutely fabulous read that stirs every emotion in the reader. Well done JJ. A remarkable tribute to Paula.

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