Norma has a long history with Mayflower, and feels that she’s living in a pretty special place, with her best friend next door and wonderful support from her home care team.
Not many of our residents know Mayflower like Norma does. 30 years ago, she worked for Mayflower, providing care for 20 residents, in what was known as the ‘round house’ at the time.
“I loved it,” says Norma, “I helped with showering, meals, medications and making beds. I liked helping the ladies get dressed for the day, with a little spray of perfume to make them feel nice.”
The experience was so positive that Norma’s mum moved to Mayflower, where she lived for 24 years. Norma visited her mum so often, that she became part of the community too. So, nobody was surprised when she moved to Mayflower as well, along with her beloved, late husband Peter.
Norma first noticed Peter walking down the street in 1955, but it wasn’t until the next time she saw him at the station that he really got her attention.
“My stomach did a flip,” she says. “He used to come to Flinders Street on his way to work. One night he sat next to me, and I thought ‘oh my gosh, he’s going to ask me out!’”
“He did, and of course I said yes! And later that night he asked if I would be his girl.”
Norma and Peter were married in 1957.
Their first home was in Nunawading, but they didn’t stay there for long, moving to Sandringham a few years later. Norma and Peter moved many times, and always found a comfortable place to call home, where they raised a beautiful, happy family.
“We had a wonderful marriage spanning 63 years, with three wonderful children, Debra, Melinda and Peter junior,” says Norma.
“We both got on so well, and Peter took care of everything,” she says. “We loved each other until the end.”
It was around 2015 when Peter started to become forgetful and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He knew it was time to make a move.
“Peter put the house on the market and said, ‘we are going to Mayflower to live!’” says Norma.
Peter passed away in late July 2020, and while Norma misses him dearly, she feels she is fortunate to have the support of the Mayflower community, and is very much focussed on continuing to make the most of her life – with the company of her best friend, Ellie.
Norma met Ellie 56 years ago when they both lived in the same street in Sandringham.
“We had our last babies at the same time,” says Norma. Actually, it was Norma who encouraged Ellie to move to Mayflower ten years ago.
Norma says that there’s nothing better than living next door to your best friend. Lately, they have been busy social distance exercising together and they can’t wait for the Mayflower swimming pool to reopen.
“We used to do water aerobics at Sandringham pool,” says Norma “and when moved to Mayflower, we continued our exercises here.”
“We giggle every day,” she says, “you will probably hear me giggling if you walk by.”
Norma also loves the support the home care team provides.
“I don’t know where I’d be without them,” she says. “The girls are beautiful, helpful, and will do anything for me. I am just so happy here.
“Dami does my housework. She is beautiful. I always want to give her a cuddle, but I can’t at the moment.”
Norma is glad she made the decision to move to Mayflower. “I just feel so lucky to be here!” she says.