The Lithgows

Siblings Grace and John Lithgow, 91 and 89 respectively, have resided in Windmill Gardens Retirement Village for the past five years, but have lived in Chinchilla their entire lives. Knocking on their screen door I hear a faint female voice ask “Is our visitor here?” as John’s face emerges from behind the wooden door. The mood is warm, gentle and calm.


In an attempt to tell me about her micro sculptures, Graces pours an enormous bag of nuts and seed pods onto the floor, and just as she realises her fault John takes a knee to help her sort through them. The air swirls around as we stand on the porch of their quaint home, and the birds chatter just as we do. The two know each other’s stories so well that they can finish one another’s sentences as if they were scripted. 

As I suggest they sit in front Grace’s art cabinet for a photograph, Grace notices John’s hair is unmade and points this out with no hesitation, to which John quickly complies and slowly shuffles off to comb it.