It was now mid-1985, it had been almost 12 months since my declaration of honesty had rocked our marriage. I don’t know what was going on in the depths of your mind during that time. I do know, that for my part, I was happy we had formed some sort of an accommodation based on a deep friendship and our fledgling family.
I think there was recognition and a determination from both of us that we had something worth saving and we would not throw it away.
It is sort of funny that you and I have never discussed this time. Looking back now, it seems we had settled into some sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” stalemate.
Whatever the situation, I remember our last 12 months in Wagga as a time of happiness and contentment.
The kids were growing into strong, independent, little people, we had settled into the big old house and business was good.
The Saturday mornings at the office, when the boys were out and I was holding the fort, became a sort of a magnet for friends to drop in for a chat, often you would be there with the kids.
Who can ever forget the dreadfully sad but warm, tragi comedy of the morning when Di and Pete had returned to Wagga after the death of their new born baby.
We were sitting around in the reception area, chatting and trying hard to help them deal with the infinite sadness of their loss.
The lovable and irrepressible Kimmy dropped in. The last time these people had seen each other, Di had been heavily pregnant. Kimmy knew nothing of the tragedy so it was entirely logical, the topic turned to the baby.
We were watching a train wreck unfold before our eyes but there was little we could do.
“Hi Di, the last time, I saw I saw you were this big” Kimmy put her hands out in front of her stomach for emphasis.
“What did you have?”
“We had a little boy” there was deep sadness in Di’s voice but Kimmy did not pick up on this and ploughed forward relentlessly.
“Wonderful, a little brother for Luke, how is everything?”
“He died six days after birth”
The words hung in the air, the look of shock and horror on Kimmy’s face was something I never want to see again.
She did not know what to do and turned towards the door, but not before uttering.
“Oh shit, well better luck next time”
With that she was gone. We were left in this void of horrid, hovering nothingness.
Fortunately, we all knew Kimmy and we knew that causing harm would have been so totally foreign to this wonderfully, vibrant personality.
There were no mobile phones then, but later in the day Kimmy called me, distraught at what she had said.
I calmed her down, told her that Pete and Di understood and told her that in some ways it had been an emotional icebreaker because none of us really knew how to deal with the situation.
It was this type of community, warmth and closeness I was asking you to leave as we discussed the move to Sydney. It meant leaving behind good friends and moving farther way from my family.
Your closeness to my Dad had healed many old wounds and there were many happy memories from our Sundays at the farm and Mum and Dad’s impromptu visits when they were in town.
We were still a family, albeit a family with a haunting demon but the boil of dishonesty had at least been lanced. Your support for our move was infinitely important to me.
As I write this now, I become more and more impressed with the bond that tied us and ever more grateful for your presence in my life.
You are a very special person.