Ray was away and I was busy on the computer – and when I am concentrating on this contraption, my husband says I’m living in another world!
This office in our small cottage has three doors between it and the front door. Unfortunately we still haven’t been able to have an awning over that door for any visitors and the weather has cleverly caused three wireless operated door-bells to stop connecting with the remote chimes plugged into a power socket inside.
So, once again I’m concentrating on my writing, but a loud knock did penetrate a couple of days ago. A little surprised, I went out to the front door. No one. A car was parked out on the street so I called out, “Hello, anyone there?”
I walked out and peered down the side just as a tall lady walked around from the back door. “Hello,” I said brightly and apologised I thought she had been at the front door. She smiled. I thought she did look familiar and started racking my brains to try and remember who she was.
She kept on smiling as she said, “You don’t know who I am do you?”
“I’m sorry, you do look familiar, but. . .” I started feebly, feeling the usual embarrassment of a bad memory.
“Remember Daphne, Bernice, Janet, Dell. . .”
As she spoke my heart nearly stopped. Absolute delight swept through me.
Close to tears I took a step forward at the same time she did and then we were hugging each other.
The memories started to flow back. We had started our four years hospital nursing training the same day way back in the fifties. With my friend, Dell, the three of us for some reason had been allocated the only room in the then nurses’ quarters that was not a single room. We had laughed together, cried together, ranted about some of the “things” nurses were expected to know, to do, and those horrible superiors we sometimes had to endure. Only nine months later when we started being rostered on night duty and another trainee group commenced were we given individual rooms.
The last time we met had been about thirty years before when our old group of nursing friends arranged to share a precious last time with our dear friend, Dell, who was dying of cancer. While they all still lived not that far away from each other, I had been the one to move away to another state and had to travel back to my home town, Toowoomba in Queensland. After Corrie had married while I was doing my midwifery training in Sydney, our lives had taken different directions and over the years of moving around we had different directions and over the years of moving around we had gradually lost contact.
And now, here she was. . .a tourist with her husband, Geoff, in Tasmania, thousands of kilometres away from their home in Queensland! We were only able to share far too brief a time trying to catch up. A few years ago she had rung me and we had exchanged addresses. I had sent her a couple of my books and when I hadn’t heard, wrote to see if she had received them but still had not heard from her. On the phone she had told me a few years ago she’d had a heart transplant. When I didn’t hear from her again I didn’t know what to think or do. Now I know she simply never received any mail from me! They gave me their address again and it is the same except for one word. Neither of us know what could have happened. I’ve read in novels about such things happening and now I know only too well it does happen in “real” life!
Old friendships of so many years, of so many things shared, especially in a hospital environment with all it’s tears, laughter and sheer hard work should never be neglected. I feel now as though we did just that and have missed out so much on not only Corrie’s life but other friends from my young woman’s days.
After the postal service somehow failed us, at least now we have each other’s email addresses and another method to keep in touch!
Oh, and of course I did give her a couple more of my books – especially one of my Harlequin Mills & Boon medical novels as well as that first Christian romance set near our old home town!
And that doorbell? It will be sorted out! I am so glad Corrie didn't give up and sure hate to think anyone else may do so! So, until we get a door knocker that works, if you do turn up at our cottage make sure you try the back door, and if that fails do give us a yell - a loud one!