I have known Mary since she was three years old, when she could not walk or talk, but soon made herself noticed when needing the toilet or was hungry. She has always loved music and had her own record player and lots of records.
One day we were looking at a book of farm animals and I pointed to a cow. You can imagine my surprise when Mary repeated ‘cow’. Since then there has been no stopping her, she has loved meeting people who have remembered all her funny sayings.
Mary’s parents were keen on ballroom dancing, and they took Mary with them. She learnt the ‘Boston Two Step’ and the ‘Veleta’, and was awarded several medals for her efforts. Her mother made special dresses for her. Mary’s Mum died in 1977 from lung cancer. She stayed with her father for two years and we kept a close eye on them until she came to live with us permanently at 16 years of age. At this time Mary went to Wrenford, the special Day Centre in Chichester, enjoying dancing, drama, yoga and other activities. She also attended Chichester College for pottery, needlework etc. which she enjoyed, especially the social side!
Later we wanted Mary to work in the community so we found her a place in a charity shop for one morning a week. Luckily the area manager was visiting so he gave us the ok.
We then applied to Littlewoods (Bognor) for one morning a week and were lucky again as the manageress had a severely deaf brother so she took Mary under her wing and made sure that she was paid! She was there for ten years and used to say that the customers were a nightmare because she was always tidying up after them!
We have taken Mary on lots of holidays. Her sister Lyn moved to Canada in 1970, so Mary and her Mum visited in New Brunswick, meeting her friends, and going sightseeing. We have been many times, joining friends who have a log cabin in the woods. We have taken Mary to France and Spain in a campervan; I taught her a few words of each language which pleased everybody! Our house is full of things that Mary has made at Pottery classes, with help, at the College. We are very proud of her.
While she worked at Littlewoods she won first prize in the Littlewoods National Competition with pottery that she had made, and she was featured and photographed, in her uniform, in?the local paper.
Mary loved joining everyone at Church, and all the village events, helping me with raffles.
She used to like watching ‘Songs of Praise’, but mostly if it was presented by Aled Jones!
Since last year (June 2014) Mary has deteriorated due to having four teeth extracted with a general anaesthetic, leading to her fits and jerks. Her mobility got worse, and her memory, then further deterioration since Christmas so we reluctantly decided that she should come to the Home. Our Social Worker has been very supportive and we think that you are all wonderful! Thank you very much.