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Darling Michael, darling Patience

The lost glove click here
Dr Patience click here
Run rabbit run click here
Darling Patience, Feb 1945, click here
Helen Patience Uprichard Dodgson
26 Aug 1915-8 Aug 1995

Dr Patience Dodgson died 2 weeks before her 80th birthday in Australia after 33 years of a debilitating and crippling disease that left her blind and bedridden the last 6 years of her life. But her spirit!

I always knew when my mother was feeling better because I could call from Philadelphia and have an argument about the Australian or American political situation. Dr Patience was thrilled to tell me that her refugee student had received a B in her English examination, due to my mother's tutelage from her bed.

Dr Patience graduated from Queen's University School of Medicine in Jan 1940, 4 months after Germany had attacked Poland by land, sea and air, and she was immediately swept up in the war effort in England. She worked hard through her own burst appendix and bombs dropping around the hospitals in Sheffield and London and before too long caught the eye of a young medical student at St Thomas' Hospital, London.

She married Michael Dodgson on January 25th, 1945, and waved him goodbye as he sailed off to Burma, India and West Africa for 18 months. Daily letters ensued, full of promises of a bright future. Michael returned, settled down to a career in pathology and finally children started arriving in London in 1949.

Since Dr Patience's career was effectively finished at this time, she decided to do child-bearing properly, giving birth to a 2nd child 12 months after that; a third child 14 months later and then a 4th 12 months after that. William John, the 2nd child died at 8 weeks.

Meanwhile Michael's career in Pathology was not progressing as fast as he liked, so one morning he woke up and announced to Patience that they were moving to New Zealand and he was flying out in a week. So in 1957 Patience packed up and climbed onto the Southern Cross with her three small children. Tight-rope walking on the ship's rails and a kidnapping attempt of the eldest in Fiji resulted in Michael putting Patience by herself in a hotel room for several days on arrival in Wellington.

Three years and another child later, the family moved on to Australia, where Michael had secured a position as a hospital pathologist in a University hospital in Sydney.

Two years after that, Patience became crippled with arthritis, from running rapidly everywhere she was scarcely able to hobble. Michael could not handle his strong companion suddenly becoming needy, so he left.

Patience worked as a rehabilitation physician in the Repatriation Department from 1967 until her retirement in 1980. I, her only daughter, left Australia in 1978 after finishing my Ph.D. and being offered a post-doctoral position in Philadelphia.

When my first son was born in 1981, Patience could not get onto a plane quick enough to visit her first grandchild. This was an arduous trip, the last plane trip she attempted.

My fourth child, my only daughter, was born in 1994. I named her Patience.