Our granddaughter was 8 months old when we met her for the first time. In normal times I would have been in Sydney for her birth, just a 2 hour flight away, but Covid-19 changed everything.

In November last year, when Australia’s internal borders finally opened, we visited our family and celebrated all the events we had missed – my 60th, our daughter’s 30th birthday, two other birthdays plus our grandson’s 3rd. And the birth of our gorgeous granddaughter. We had a big party, with all the banners. We enjoyed days out and the ordinary times at home.

Then I got “the call”. My Mum was seriously ill in the UK and I needed to get there. She’d been unwell with a short cancer diagnosis, she had support locally, with UK lockdown, no hospital visitors, it was a tough decision when to travel. I had already requested a “Travel Restriction Exemption” from the Australian Government which had been granted. Fortunately, I had taken my passports to Sydney so I booked a one way ticket online and was on a flight within ours. 

My daughter CM met me at Heathrow with a spare winter coat. Mum passed away peacefully. Despite the sadness there were many things to celebrate.

CM stayed with me at Mum’s house and helped with all the tasks required to wind up a person’s life. Even with UK lockdown we were able to have twenty five family and friends at her funeral to commemorate her 87 years, her independent and generous spirit. God Bless you Mum, thanks for all the memories.