Dear Diary, Since Dad died in 1962, my life has changed in many ways. I don’t know how much alimony he paid, but just about everything is different now.
I guess we were lucky as we have lived on Mum’s salary and have now moved into a War Widows apartment. I have had to change my plans for the future now that I can’t count on Dad’s promise to pay my university fees at Adelaide Uni if I was accepted for Medicine. I changed courses at school and am in the Nurse/Teacher stream as nursing is now my career choice. I have applied for a Nursing Bursary from the SA Nurses Board (there are 20 of them!) to help cover my expenses such as duty shoes, a nurses watch etc. when I start my training as Mum says she can't pay for them.
Our Legatee, Mr Rymill, appointed to us by Legacy to act as an advisor when Dad died, suggested that as I am now a Legacy ward, I should apply to train at the Repatriation General Hospital as opposed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has offered to be one of my referees and my school headmistress will be the other.
If I am accepted, I’ll have to leave school before my Leaving Honours/Matric exams as the intake is in mid September. No more sitting with thousands of other kids all sitting for the same exam in the Motor Pavilion at the Showgrounds in 100F degree heat sounds pretty good to me. Last year my damp, sweaty uniform stuck to the metal mesh of the chair and the backs of my legs were imprinted with mesh marks for ages.
I’m still amazed at how Dad’s death in Brisbane, 18 months ago, has affected our family in Adelaide so much, even to the extent of changing my lifetime career choice. Mum refuses to talk about Dad at all and still calls hin 'your father', as if he didn't have his own name. I wonder if his new family in Brisbane has been as affected like we are? Did he leave anything to Janet and me in his will? This is another question Mum won't answer. What has happened to the things he had when he was our Dad? I wish I could talk to Nan about this but Mum just refuses to let me use the phone to ring her in Queensland....... I hate being 15.
WOW! Now this is an amazing introspective. What a great idea and an awesome way to recount your life. Those who kept diaries have a distinct advantage in recalling life's moments. Thanks for sharing this with us. Very interesting to read into such a young mind.
Tom, I thought that I'd approach the topic of my teen years from the perspective of my diary, a technique I have often used with clients. As you can see from this entry, not all of my diary jottings were about 'good times'. Dad's death affected me greatly on all levels, not just the financial ones mentioned. I felt very isolated from Dad's family in Queensland and went through some tough times with Mum, who refused to talk about him at all!