Former dairyfarmer blows out 103 birthday candles
ON THE days she can't visit, she makes a phone call.
Carol Harch, 72, makes sure not a day goes by where she doesn't see or at least talk to her mum, Vera.
Hard of hearing but happy, Vera Scheiwe from Laidley, celebrated her 103rd birthday last month, surrounded by family members, including her daughter Carol.
Carol, who lives in Plainland on the farm she grew up on, said she bought her mother's farm when Vera lost mobility and moved to a retirement village.
She said she owed it to her mother to be in her life as much as possible after an illness had her in a dire state of health as a child in 1960.
"When I was 12, I had rheumatic fever and my mother visited me every night for 12 weeks at the Laidley Hospital,” Carol said.
"That's why I feel I need to care for her now... It makes me cry every time I think about it.”
Growing up on the farm was hard work and the children would rise early.
"Some days, we would do 12 or 14 hour days - we were always busy on the farm,” Carol said.
"It was a dry farm... mum went through droughts and that but they had a dairy farm and grew watermelons and seed onions.”
Carol said Vera had always loved farm life and would have stayed on the property if she had been able to and if she hadn't lost her mobility.
"She loved her life on the farm,” Carol said.
After her husband died 31 years ago, Vera lived independently on the farm for 12 years before buying a unit at Tabeel Aged Care Facility in 1999.
After a fall three years ago, Vera lost the ability to walk and moved to Carinity Karinya Place, where she could receive the support she needed.
When Carol visits Vera, the pair go outside, sit in the sun and spend time together.