10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 13:25:48 +1000
To: Robert Marks 
Subject: In memory of Hazel

For Bob, Joshua and Zoë - from the heart I cried When I heard that Hazel had died A sort of inadequacy That made me sad And angry that she should go When I liked her so much And there was nothing I could do To help and keep her for me, friends - and - her family - the children Bob wrote, to remember to note those special things that made Hazel who she was so the years would not fade - dim to a tugging memory who she was Hard, I thought as images flashed Her large hands Soft With long fingers Dexterous and controlled Wrinkles around her eyes and the wide smile over - were they slightly stained teeth? She smiled a lot and always made me feel - special She had a knack of making everything I did sound important and somehow incredible as if there was no way she would be able to achieve that thing Of course she could She was clever and talented She had only to speak a few words and you knew that She had an empathetic intelligence One that sought to understand your meaning I’d see her now and then over the years Not as often as I would have liked We didn’t live close by And life got in the way We walked in the Royal National Park. once She’d just turned forty year of age With that large smile of hers she noted I’m in crisis - middle age and what to show She said it so it made us all laugh but I knew that she meant it I talked to her about that bushwalk years later She didn’t remember "Oh - yes. I’d forgotten." It had been a superb day. The sun shone warm and she and Bob kept up a banter witty They did that Bounced ideas of each other each one sillier and cleverer than the next "I used to be normal once," she remarked "Until I met him." I laughed, I remember. It was her type of humour - the type that makes you giggle as the remarks are remembered many many years after the event is forgotten Then a few months later Bob said "Hazel is pregnant." Oh! So this was what she decided to overcome her crisis I thought Joshua came motherhood Then a second, Zoë I hardly saw her A few visits, mostly with others there not enough time to talk really Once we made an effort Away for a weekend together Our property Riverun. Four children and four adults. It was hectic Hazel and Bob feeding the children coaxing food into unwilling mouths tumbling in chuckling, squealing, giggling, laughing rumbles on the lounge persuading legs on unwilling walks admiring waterfalls and putting four children (our two and their two) into a tiny bath One girl and three boys. Beautiful children Hazel and Bob have beautiful children Once the family came to Bundeena Just for the day Our housewarming My friends, those who had not met her before warmed to her Of the hundred people present they remembered this tall thin woman with her wispy, greying, straight hair and the high-toned voice She and my sister wanted to help You know, in the kitchen I remember how they laughed like two young girls making shows of covering up mistakes puzzling with ill-disguised amusement over the microwave display which somehow they’d caused to blink ERROR ERROR We visited the family in their Blue Mountains retreat Admired the home its cosiness I admired her with the children hers and ours She treated them as adults - friends She made pancakes in the morning from a Margaret Fulton cookbook "I don’t worry too much about the lumps" I seem to remember her saying The pancakes were great She had none, only a cup of coffee?...tea? We talked of a bushwalk one day to the blue-gum forest nearby It never happened A beach holiday She thought it’d be nice When we went away We offered her the house and she came A couple of weeks I think it was The children found friends I think she did too She complained in a note she left behind I think I have caffeine poisoning Endless cups of tea with endless visitors People have been wonderful to us But we wanted to be nice to Hazel We’re sorry she’s gone. God speed Hazel Good luck Bob Good luck Joshua Good luck Zoë Your loss is great. So is ours - Miriam 16/9/98

Miriam was a friend of Hazel’s.

Last Updated 2 June 1999