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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Meet beautiful Muriel, who everyone knows as Moo. She is my beautiful next-door neighbour and I consider her family, just like everyone else in our street does. When I decided to start this campaign the first person I had to interview was my beloved Moo.

Moo was born in 1928 and is still living a great quality of life everyday on the Sunshine Coast. In her 91 years she shared may stories with me, and it was hard to choose which ones to share.

She is the youngest of 5 girls, with only one sister who is still alive today. Growing up on a dairy farm. The kids would milk the cows in the morning and then happily walk 4 miles together to school and back every year. Life was simple, and there was alot of love. (I did giggle to myself about the walking to school as it seems to be so cliche of what we always hear from our grandparents, she didn’t mention if she had shoes on or not but I am presuming they did it barefoot.)

She smirked as she noted that she was dad’s boy, since he had no sons. She was asked my her own son years later, “where were you when Nanna was teaching those others girls how to cook because they are all good cooks” Moo’s response was always “Out on a horse with Dad. Give me a horse and I’ll beat anyone.”

“The 5 of us sisters got on so well together. If someone ever wanted something, even though we didn’t have much money but we would all put in together to be able to give that person what they wanted. I think that’s changed a lot these days and a lot of fights people have are over dam money.”

The one thing that made Muriels face light up was when she talked about John…..

My husband John had a huge impact on my life. We went together for 3 years before we got married. And then we were married for 64 and a half wonderful years. When he had dementia, it was difficult and I lost so much weight. He would go to bed early, and then he would wake up in the middle of the night and ask “will you marry me?” I‘d say we’ve been married for 64 years is that not long enough”: (Laughs)

After John died I said to my doctor how I felt guilty that him and the kids wanted to put John in that home. My Doctor turned to me and said, “I don’t want to hear you ever say that again, most people after they’ve looked after someone with dementia for 6 months they cant go on, but you had John for 10 years with the disease” I went from 68 kilos down to 50 kilos. But I keep well and I never get sick. I loved having John with me, it is where he belonged.

I met John at a dance. I always told him, it wasn’t him it was this beautiful red vest and coat that he was wearing. His mother had made it, and it was beautiful. I said that’s what took my eye not you. (Laugh)

The one thing I loved about john, if he had just $5 in his pocket he was a happy man. Money didn’t worry john. You’d never believe it but when he passed and I cleaned out his cupboard, and I found his wallet, what was in it, but $5. I said to my daughter “take this wallet and Dad’s last $5” because she idolised her father.

He was one of these people who would do anything for anyone and he didn’t expect anything in return. He worked hard in our family bakery and I made sure the bills were paid, he knew everything was going well and he was happy with that. If you are going to get married choose the right person, and you will be happy. I have enough money to live from week to week and I’m happy. Life was not always easy. I was pregnant with twins, but I lost one at birth. Greg survived and I am thankful for that every day. I didn’t even know I was having twins.

What I have lived by in my life is to simply “be nice” to people. I did 30 years of welfare at Saint Vincent’s. The moment I walked out those front doors I had to leave it all behind because if I didn’t I’d be around the bend. What you saw with families and young kids with no money and without much support was very hard.

Love one another like I have loved you is a verse I stand by, and don’t hold any grudges, forgive and forget.

I’m most proud of my 2 kids, (tearing up) they would do anything for me those kids.

As Moo wipes away a tear and sips her cuppa her Cat slips under her feet. We both laugh.

“You know that cat of mine. She wants to stay in of a night, but then she wants to get out again around 3am. So she will come up close and jump off, and keep doing it over and over. If I don’t follow her she comes back again. It makes me laugh.”

Moo goes on to say how she is looking forward to seeing her 14 great grandkids grow and how lucky she was to have her son and a daughter. She also talked about her son in law and daughter in law are wonderful too as they always check up on her. She talks about her neighbours as fondly as her family, talking about times they have made sure she was ok. We are one big family and we all play a part in making her feel supported.

I asked her about her nomination last year, she blushed and said she was amazed to be nominated for the senior Australian of the year last year for her 30 years at Vinnies. It is pretty clear that many people see how much of a treasure she really is.

“I don’t think I have done anything special. Like I said earlier just love one another like I have been loved.”

Love one another like I have loved you is a verse I stand by, and don’t hold any grudges, forgive and forget.

Comments (7)

Sheree, this is just so, so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story Muriel xx

Thankyou so much for commenting!! Im so glad she let me photograph her, was such an honour!

I just read this beautiful blog post to Moo and she said, “I thought it was beautiful”. 💞💞💞💞 Love Hayley-Brea (Moo’s old nextdoor neighbour).

You are so beautiful Hayley-Brea – I must photograph your stunning family soon!!!

Omg I don’t know Moo, but I cried. This is beautiful. What a woman!

She certainly is!! Thanks so much for commenting! It means so much to me that you took the time, especially since you dont know her, I am glad you could read her story xx

Awww thanks Kirsty, it means alot. Since this blog she has been through alot, and is no longer able live alone and looks like its time for her to go to a home. I am so devastated. I am so happy I took these photos now of her, at a time when she was just our moo. makes you realise how precious and short life is.

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