Introducing Lois Daley
To all like me who have care for loved ones over many years, I put pen to paper to bring you a little of my story. I trained as a nurse in 1966, after the birth of my children and worked in the field of aged care for twenty-two years.
At fifty-two (Age is no barrier), I decided to return to study and enrolled in a university course called Gerontology/Diversional Therapy. First, a year studying all aspects of the aging process, followed in the second year with how to meet the psychological needs of older persons; I call it "adding life to years not years to life."
I work in therapeutic recreation.
The Lemon Tree
photographs of Lemon Tree
In response to Walt Whitmans's "Isaw in Louisiana a Live Oak Growing"(1997)
I sit at my kitchen table and look through double glass doors to a tree that grows to the right of my back garden only a few metres from where I am. It is not an oak but a lemon tree, not tall but wide with worn limbs, green lucious leaves heavy with fruit and sweet smelling blossom after the rain we have just had. It is a joyous tree with a history known to all the family.
It was planted at my birth some sixty years ago and there it has stood, born fruit, been sat under by many, cherished, nourished with fertiliser, trimmed and held in the highest esteem never to be cut down under any circumstances.
Around the earth are my Mother's ashes, sprinked there some four years ago to nourish it further. One never left the home without a bag of lemons. O ne did not ask for them just the same one could not refuse. They are the finest lemons so sweet so very sweet. It does not stand alone for it has many who visit it and love it. It could never be described as a lonely tree.
Does it remind me of myself? Yes in many ways, for over the weeks during our "Writing for Well-being " I have blossomed, become joyous, felt older, felt younger at times but feel I am getting to know more about myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, my lust for life, standing alone -no not quite yet but time will tell if I am strong enough, not in days, nor weeeks nor months but years.
Yes I will be strong, lusty, unbending in a way that will make me wary of trusting another again. As strong as my lemon tree I will be, and I will last the distance and not be moved in all I believe and desire and deserve .
Lois Daley 1997.
Work by Lois Daley at Soul Food