Dementia advocates marry after 34 years together

advocates-marry

Ballarat couple, Edie Mayhew and Anne Tudor, were one of the first same-sex couples in Australia to get married, when the new marriage equality law came into effect. Speaking of their marriage, Edie said that after 34 years together they were finally able to get married.

“Being able to marry brings us deep joy, satisfaction and happiness, not being able to marry was the only piece missing from the tapestry of our wonderful life together,” she said.


Edie was diagnosed with younger onset of dementia in 2010. The diagnosis led the couple to Dementia Australia, where they have been active in advocating and raising awareness of dementia in Ballarat and beyond. 


They are both past members of the Dementia Australia Victorian Reference Group while Edie was an inaugural member of the Dementia Australia’s National Dementia Advisory Council. They have made presentations at dementia conferences both nationally and internationally.


“It was the right time for us to have a small wedding in the presence of family and friends. We had a huge commitment ceremony in September 2017, when we celebrated our 33 years of love with 200 family, friends and dignitaries. Many of those who attended both celebrations were from the dementia world,” said Anne.


 
“Being married was something we only considered after Edie was diagnosed and when what seemed an impossibility actually became a possibility. I wanted Edie to feel safe, secure and loved”.

“Marriage is a statement of our deep and enduring love and it also offers legal recognition and protection for both of us. It provides me with more legal authority in Edie’s dementia journey as I want to mirror what she wants not what others want for her. 

“When we began our walk through Redwood Forest to “Loves Silent Song” by Aine Minogue, with family and friends around us, I wept uncontrollably while Edie, as relaxed ever, bolstered me with her touch and her words. 

“It is late in the day for us, but it’s not night-time yet. Our lives from now will be focused more on ourselves and enjoying whatever time we have left together.”

 

Edie and Anne are planning to take their honeymoon at Lord Howe Island in the near future.