My move back to Wagga in early 1973 and a change of career, meant we were separated for a big part of the time leading up to our wedding in September of this year.
I would so look forward to the weekends when you could come down on a Friday night and we could plan our lives together.
The Friday nights I would be with friends at the old Romanos Hotel waiting for you to arrive, are etched in my mind, the night when you did not arrive as planned, is embedded with fear.
There were no mobile phones and when Narn walked into the pub with a look of concern on her face to tell me you had been in an accident, was a moment in time never to be forgotten.
It soon became clear you were OK and the practicalities involved in getting you into town safely and getting the car picked up, soon took over.
Ossie in his ever practical way, organized a trailer in Canberra and he and Esme drove down on the Saturday to collect you and your car from the yard in Wagga.
We would spend the time we had on these weekends with friends, drinking too much and partying, as well as taking the Moke to places it perhaps should not have gone.
“Moke on Sunday, Garage on Monday” became a habit as we explored the forests and lanes around Wagga and further afield, forgetting for the day, that the Moke was not really a 4WD.
“Wind blowing through the hair, hair blowing through the wind” we were free and in love.
We scrounged our pretty meagre savings together and together with help from the builders I was working for; we dared to look at and put a deposit on a block of land and select a plan we wanted to build.
Within a few months you had secured a transfer to be with me and finally we started our life together, initially in the flat with Gary and then, not long after our wedding; moving into our new home.
We were close then Sas and I think we were happy. Occasionally, the shadow would come back to haunt me when I was alone, but you would arrive and we would fill in the day or two in a flurry of busyness.
Wedding plans, house plans, future plans this was our time for mapping our future and we were deeply in love.
Work was going well and I was succeeding, I think I developed a way of dealing with people that was neither threatening nor subservient and a lot of the people I dealt with at this time, became friends we would share for years to come.
The weekends I would spend in Canberra, were filled with your family and the organisation for the wedding, I will never forget our visits to Saint Andrews and the Right Reverend Hector Harrison OBE. He asked whether I was a believer and I answered honestly.
“I am not sure, but I love your church and I want to get married here”
You glared at me, but I think the lovely old man appreciated the honesty, anyway; he agreed to marry us
As I write this and recall these times, I am angry at myself for what was to happen between us in later years, but in the end, I think that maybe it was precisely this honesty and love we shared, which would cause what was to happen years down the track.
We were close Sas, and; we were friends. not much of that has changed.