This next memory has two parts and involves a tissue, of all things.
The first part happened sometime in either 1986 or 1987. I don’t remember which year it was, but we were living on the station that became Kellynch in Persuade Me. At the time, Dad was the overseer because that station was under the management of the station next door. When the manager needed extra manpower, he’d call on Dad.
In this instance, he needed help with the muster, the Aussie version of a roundup, so Dad had gone next door. Mum and us kids stayed home and all was going okay until Mum got a phone call.
We still had a party line back then and I can remember the thrill of listening to count the number of rings. Were they a combination of long and short? Possibly, I don’t remember that part, but it seems likely from what I’ve read and what I remember.
However, the call this day wasn’t filled with fun news. Basically, it was to let Mum know that she needed to pack us kids in the car and head to town.
To meet the ambulance when it brought Dad in.
Because the horse he’d been given to ride had bucked him off. And in doing so, it tried to stomp him, leaving a horse shoe shaped imprint on his forehead.
So there were were, in the car flying into town. I don’t know how the distances compared, but I do know we definitely made it to town before the ambulance. I can still remember sitting outside that little country hospital waiting, and seeing the ambulance drive up.
From there, my memory blurs a bit and the next part that I remember clearly is standing by Dad’s bed as he waited (to go into surgery?) with blood all over his face.
Being one of the iron stomached, strong willed types (not!!) the next thing I remember is sitting on the verandah of the hospital with my head between my legs and a nice nurse sitting beside me. All I could see were stars and for some strange reason, even when things stopped spinning and the stars disappeared, they wouldn’t let me go back in to see Dad. I had to wait outside until he’d been cleaned up!
That night, when it came time to go home, I started crying because I didn’t want to leave Dad behind. He handed me a tissue to dry my eyes, and being the sentimental person I am, after I dabbed at my eyes, I folded it into a nice little square, and held onto it all the way home.
Then once we got home, I rolled it up, slid a fake ring from my jewelry box over the tissue like a napkin ring, and lay it in the middle slot in my jewelry box. A treasure to be kept forever.
Dad was okay and he came home soon after that. Every once in a while I’d open that jewelry box for some reason and would see the tissue, still held into a roll by that little old ring. Occasionally I’d pick it up, but most of the time it just lay there.
And here begins part two of this memory because we’re going to jump ahead quite a few years.
My Dad’s 60th birthday was coming up and my sister was trying to organize a scrapbook of memories for him. She asked each of us to contribute a memory about Dad. So I sent Mum that story by email, and out of curiosity, I also told her that if she still had it, she might be able to find that tissue in that little old jewelry box.
So Mum went looking and sure enough, in a box of things I left in Australia when we came to the US, she found that little blue jewelry box. Tucked in the slot in the middle of the box was an old tissue with a ring around it.
Mum either printed that email off, or wrote the story down. When she gave it to my sister to add to the scrapbook, she tucked that tissue in as well.
And that is how a simple old tissue became a treasured piece of family history. Well, maybe not treasured, but kept safe and passed from one person to another and back again.
More About the Book
One horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.
For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.
This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.
The sky is the limit.
Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.
Life is good.
Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?
Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?
Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.
Now for the Giveaway
For today’s chance to win an ebook copy of Persuade Me, leave a comment to let me know if you’re the sentimental type or not. As I mentioned yesterday, the giveaway each day closes at midnight (I had to set parameters to ease my anxiety), but if you miss out, stop by again tomorrow for one last memory, and one more chance to win a copy of the book.