Wintringham Specialist Aged Care
Meeting Jules, it’s hard to believe that she was once a resident of Wintringham’s high care facility at Eunice Seddon. Hard to believe she was once a woman who lost the power to manage her own finances and her own life.
Talking to Jules today in her beautiful corner unit in Avondale Heights, known to us at Wintringham as Jack Gash, you’ll be shocked, enlightened and inspired to learn of the changes Jules has experienced in life. Jules had a troubled youth. She is the eldest of three children; her father battled with alcoholism and her mother a chronic illness. Both died young, leaving Jules an orphan at only 14 years of age.
It’s hard to hear about the abuse she endured in her childhood, hard to learn of the grief she faced and the separation from her siblings because there just wasn’t the room for everyone at her grandparents. Jules got married and started her family very young. She had seven children, six that are with her, and one in her heart. Little Joshua only survived three weeks.
The family moved interstate for work and for change. Things were tough, financially and emotionally and her marriage took a toll. Jules found solace in alcohol. She can recall the peaceful feeling that would wash over her when she had a glass of wine; her need to find that peace became destructive and eventually became a problem. She describes the next 10 years of her life as the black years. Her marriage broke, the family was split and quite literally Jules blacked out from her life.
She tried her best to keep things together, moving interstate again in a new relationship, holding down jobs in the mines and in aged care. The glue didn’t stick and things just kept unravelling. She’d checked herself into rehab seven times. She was lost. She was homeless.
In early 2014, Jules finally arrived at the beginning of her redemption. Detox worked, AA worked, housing worked and the supports she had all worked. Surrender, Jules says. The word she calls on when she is overcome with a painful memory or experience. Don’t fight it, or try to run, just surrender.
Today, there is something so humbling and nourishing when in Jules’ presence. There’s a feeling of peace and serenity. Maybe it’s her smile that seems to radiate wisdom from deep within. She knows exactly what it means to lose everything. She has stared grief, loneliness and fear right in the face. She is now armed with self belief, reconnected to her loved ones and feeling grateful every day for what she has regained.
The darkness she has dwelled in and the light that drew her back is truly a remarkable story. In fact, Jules is busily writing her autobiography, hoping that she can now be a channel for helping others through change.
‘Life is there for the living; the key for me is being grateful and having faith. And singing. I love singing…’