MPW.72 / 2020 60 Years and Counting… by Justin Gilligan
Justin Gilligan
Team Eppridge

Story Summary

The love between Judy and Ray Shick has withstood the test of time on Lord Howe Island.

During 60 years of marriage, the two raised their three children, marking five generations on the small island 600 kilometers off the east coast of Australia.

A year ago, when the couple learned that Ray, 92, had dementia, Judy, 80, had to choose between leaving the island or taking on the responsibility of Ray’s care. She did not hesitate to keep him home.

“It’s just what many families do on an island with limited health care available for the aging population,” Judy said.

She does the best she can to make life enjoyable for her husband, a former guide on Mount Gower, which rises from the foothills behind their home. Today, Judy provides a daily regimented routine and structure for Ray.

“We made this commitment in sickness and in health,” Judy said. “And now is the time for the sickness, after such a fulfilling life”.