The wonderful life of Cynthia Evelyn Mary.
This month, March 2021, marks one year since the Como aged care home became part of the Bethanie community. Over the year, we have spent our time getting to know our residents and the wonderful lives they lived before coming to Bethanie Como.
One of which, is Cynthia Evelyn Mary. From the age of three, after spending a long time in hospital, Cynthia knew she wanted to be a nurse.
“It was during this time that I made up my mind that I was going to be a nurse. I was so spoiled by all the doctors, and I kept telling everyone that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up,” Cynthia said.
And since then, Cynthia dedicated her life to nursing and caring for others.
Upon leaving high school, Cynthia started a pre-nursing course, but soon discovered she could be learning while working within a small hospital as a live-in student nurse.
“Even though we were untrained, we did everything from administering injections to giving out medications,” Cynthia said.
“When I went to train to be a registered nurse, we had to ask permission to get engaged or married. It was thought that we wouldn’t be able to concentrate on our studies and be married at the same time.”
Cynthia said the hospital community was like a family.
“It was truly one of the happiest times of my life.”
Soon, Cynthia was married and moved to Bristol where she found work in a hospital on a baby ward. The babies she cared for were always less than 6-months old and always very sick.
“We trained mothers and taught them how to feed and care for their children,” Cynthia said.
When Cynthia fell pregnant, she had spent so much time around babies who were unwell, that she became anxious that her first child would also be sickly.
“But then I got a got a big bouncing and healthy baby boy which made me very happy,” she said.
Cynthia’s husband then moved the family to Yorkshire where they had their second child, a baby girl.
When the children were both at school, Cynthia decided to return to work, but did not want her children to find out.
“I would give the children their evening bath, read them a bed time story, kiss them goodnight and then run as fast as I could for the bus,” Cynthia said.
“One dark night I was standing there, looking down the road, and put my hand out to flag down the hospital bus and soon found I had flagged down an ice-ream van!”
It was in Yorkshire that Cynthia’s husband decided to move the family to Australia.
“I didn’t decide to come to Australia, my husband did. I was quite happy where I was,” Cynthia said.
“My husband, when I first met him, he was always talking about how he wanted to move abroad, and now we were a family he wanted to move.”
Cynthia agreed to move on the provision that if they weren’t happy, they could come straight back.
Shortly after arriving, Cynthia was offered a nursing job.
“I didn’t really want the job, I wanted to settle in and find us a nice home to live in,” Cynthia explained.
“But a job was offered to me. It came with good pay and an offer of a home for my family to live in while we got on our feet. This was great as it bought us some time to find something more permanent.”
Cynthia and her husband lived a happy life working hard and raising their children, who quickly adopted Australian accents whilst at school.
Eventually my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Not long after, Cynthia was diagnosed with cancer herself.
“So, then there was two of us with cancer and me trying to stay mostly on my feet. It was a struggle,” she said.
“While it was a dark period, it was a beautiful period. You think you can’t possibly love someone any more than you already love them, then suddenly you know you are about to be apart so you love them even more and keep hanging on. So it was a sad time, but we knew it was a very special time.”
Cynthia came to Bethanie Como because she was living on my own and had a history of medical conditions.
“One day I had a fall in the garden and had to lie there for a long time before someone came and found me. In the end, I needed to find somewhere safer and more secure to live,” she said.
At Bethanie Como, Cynthia stays busy all the time.
“At the moment, I am working on a snow scene the next Christmas to display in our common rooms,” Cynthia said.
“It will have a slide, sledges, cars on the roads, a post office, church and an ice rink.”
For more information about Bethanie Como, please call 131 151 or visit: https://www.bethanie.com.au/care-homes/locations/bethanie-como