Love has many faces. Love can be joyous, and then as quickly it can become very painful. Sometimes it’s heartless and controlling. Other times it makes one want to soar to the moon and stars beyond. Love can bring out sides in us we didn’t know we had. Love is many-faceted. A first love can be both beautiful and tortuous. It can break one’s heart momentarily in some cases or endlessly in others. In some cases, the hurt remains until the next candidate steps within one’s circle or aura, breaking down the flimsy, fragile barriers erected. Some will ask you to walk beside them throughout life, while others will only want you for a short stroll. I took quite a few short strolls. We all have the right to be wrong now and then. Sometimes I was more wrong than I was right, but no harm was ever done or caused and it was a lot of fun!
The most precious and lasting love is that of a child, I believe.
It was a week-night. I can’t remember the reason why, but I was sleeping over at John and Shirley’s home. Andrew, their younger son was around two and half years old at the time, I guess. He no longer slept in a cot, having progressed to a bed. The night of my stay-over he was to return to sleeping in his cot while I stole his bed for the night. Both the cot and his new bed were in the same room. Sitting on the sofa in the family room, enjoying a scotch, while chatting to Shirley, who was in the kitchen preparing dinner (both rooms flowed into one, without a separating wall), the two boys, Gavin and Andrew were playing on the floor in front of me. Shirley, in her usual, calm, modulated way told Andrew it was time for him to go to bed. Without any ado, Andrew heeded his mother’s gentle words. Next moment, I felt tugging on my left arm.
“ ‘ee…’ee! Come on, ‘ee!” A little voice pleaded to me. Andrew, in all solemnity, continued pulling at my sleeve. His still babyish face upturned, his eyes wide, innocently begging me. “Come on, ‘ee…’ee!”
Mop-topped Andrew decided if he had to go to bed, so did I, seeing I was sharing his room and sleeping in his bed!
Placing my glass on the coffee table in front of me, I followed Andrew into his bedroom. Eagerly, he climbed into his cot. After tucking him in, I climbed into his bed. It was . Not wanting to disturb the equilibrium, I feigned sleep until I was certain he’d fallen into slumber. Fearing if I stood up, I would wake him, I slithered off the bed like a snake, creeping along the floor on my stomach until I reached the hallway, where I stood up, shook myself off and re-entered the family room. Shirley handed me a refilled glass of scotch and we laughed. The innocence of a child is a wondrous thing.
After my mother passed away, I was heartbroken. I went through a difficult time, personally, but I kept my pain and sorrow to myself, only succumbing to my tears and grief when I was alone. No one else could understand my innermost feelings. My boss, John, understood what I was going through to a degree, probably more than anyone else did, but I didn’t want to burden him with my pain. He had his own life and family. My grief was my own. I had to work through it myself, my way. Without my asking, John had been there for me when my mother died and the days leading up to and after her death. It wouldn’t have been fair of me to expect more from him or his family, a family to whom I was very close. Once back to my daily life in
I’d lain down on my bed around one in the afternoon to have a nap. In a very vivid dream, which I remember verbatim to this day, my mother came to me. She stood at the end of my bed as clear as if she was, in fact, standing there. Smiling at me, she said, “I’m okay. I’m fine.” Upon waking, I continued to lie on my bed, digesting what I had just “seen”. The vision of my mother, in my dream, had been crystal clear. I questioned whether it had been a dream or had she really “come” to me. It mattered not either way. The “dream” calmed me and I found inner peace. I began to look at life more clearly. Everything began to fall into place. I found my way back up out of the deep hollow into which I’d been falling with the help of that dream. The dream was not a subject of discussion and I told no one about it.
With the year rapidly drawing to a close, Christmas was only a couple of months away. Randall was due back in
Robert took me to dinner one night about a week before Randall’s return home. This time we didn’t go to our regular haunt, the “Matthew Flinders’ Restaurant”, but instead, we went to the Breakfast Creek Hotel, instead, for one of their legendary thick, juicy steaks. Over dinner Robert told me he was in line for a diplomatic posting if he was so inclined. He continued by saying, “You would make an excellent diplomat’s wife, Lee.”
Being caught off-guard, I didn’t know what to say in reply. I was taken aback. I smiled and gave a soft chuckle of embarrassment, tossing aside what he had said more or less as a joke. However, I realized at that very moment, as he looked directly into my eyes, Robert wasn’t being flippant. He wasn't joking, far from it. He was serious. His feelings for me were deeper than I had imagined. Continuing, he told me he was there for me if things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to after Randall’s return. Dear Robert...he was such a gentle man. He had been a confirmed bachelor all his life other than his brief engagement to June Dally-Watkins many years before and there he was, in not so many words, offering his hand to me. We never did dine together again. I did see him later on, but not in the social manner that had become our regular dinner outings. He was a good person.
I didn’t meet Randall at the airport the day he flew into
Randall telephoned me from the States a couple of weeks before his departure with instructions to book a holiday rental for us at Noosa or its surrounding area. John kindly drove me up to Noosa where I visited various real estate agents in search of suitable accommodation. I found a perfect little cottage high on densely-vegetated sand dune at
Arriving at Randall’s parent’s home in Geebung that Thursday afternoon, I was filled with mixed emotions. So many “what-ifs” did battle with each other in my mind.