When The Snow Falls

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Chapter 2

" Ok you two it's time to go home," Suzan announced. " Do we have to," Jenny asked as she held onto her grandmother's hand. " Yes we do, grandma needs her sleep or did you forget that grandma is sick. Suzan continued collection her childrens things.

Once again Estelle was left alone, not just from her family but from the one she loved as a youth. She began to weep and remember her life and how she wished it could all start again. Something was wrong, Estelle's vision grew blurred, her breathing light, she struggled for her next breath, a slight panic filled her mind she felt her time was near. She reached out for the pager that lay on the bedside table and with what little strength she had she tightly squeezed the pager and the everything went black.

Alarms sounded in her room echoing down the hospital hall. " Doctor hurry there's a code blue in room two eleven," a nurse responded. " Hurry it's Mrs Cavanah's room. Get me a heart and lung monitor and set up the oxygen tent," instructed Doctor Hardings, " Nurse Collins call Mrs Cavanah's daughter!" A medical team of doctors and nursed rushed to Estelle's room.

With children dragging behind her, Suzan came running into the hospital, making their way through the corridors that lead to her mother's room. " Doctor how is she? what's happened?" Suzan questioned her voice full of fear. " It seems she had a mild heart attack and one of her lungs had stopped working," he explained as he placed a hand on Suzan's shoulder, " Your mother is doing much better now but still has a lot of recovery. As you can see we have place her in an oxygen tent to help purify the air around her." " Is it ok for me to see her?" she asked trying to hold back tears from the children. " Of course it is, but it might be best if the children stay in the waiting room as all this can be too much all at once for them." " Yes of course." Suzan turned to the children and gave them huge hugs, " Billy, Jenny, I'm going to see grandma now so will you wait for here for me, please." " Why can't we see grandma mummy?" Jenny quietly asked. " Well honey, grandma is really really sick and the doctor thinks it's better that mummy should visit so we don't tire grandma out too much, ok." She carefully explained to the children.

Suzan gradually approached her mother's room stopping at the door to wipe away any tears that may have settled on her cheek. She took a deep breath and entered the room. " Oh mum," Suzan whispered as she took Estelle's hand. " I love you mum." A tear began to roll down her cheek as she gazed upon her mother, she studied the lines on her face that were softly lit by the dim hospital light above the bed and felt the gratitude of having such an amazing person for her mother.

Morning came and Suzan had fallen asleep, still holding onto her mother's hand. As the sunlight crept into the room Suzan's eyes opened, she looked to her mother and saw she was still sleeping, so she straightened herself at the same time rubbing the stiffness that settled in her neck. Lifting her weary body she walked over to the window to view the day that was ahead.

" You're blocking the sunlight." Suzan's eyes widened. " Mum!" She gasped turning to Estelle. " Would you please get out of the light," Estelle asked impatiently. " Can you get the doctor I want this blasted off." Suzan ran out the room and down the corridor to the nurses station. " Doctor Hardings, it's mum she's awake and I think she's ok, she's wanting the mask off." Suzan said laughing and crying all at the same time. The Doctor, two nurses came to Estelle's room to begin some tests and Suzan hurried down the hall to the waiting room where the two children slept. " Jenny, Billy," Suzan gently stroked their heads in order to wake them, " grandmas awake."

" Good Morning Estelle and how are you feeling." Asked Doctor hardings as he began to examine her. " Well it's about time," Estelle said as everyone came through the door. The doctor continued to examine her as she looked around at the nurses. " Well, did you find anything," she questioned raising an eyebrow. " It's amazing, everything is back to normal." Hardings said standing back rubbing his chin. Suzan came into the room but standing back to give the nurse's room to do their job. " Could I see you outside for a moment Suzan?" " Sure," she answered with a puzzled look. Suzan and Doctor hardings wandered down the corridor till they almost reached the waiting room.

" I don't know what it is but, it's like there's something pulling her through," the Doctor said with a puzzling voice, " from the turn she had last night your mother should not be awake today, it's like she's holding on for something. Suzan do you know of anything, or anyone that she could be wanting?" Suzan thought for a moment and then something came to her. " Mum used to talk of a place she used to go as a young girl and where she used to go with my father, maybe that's it. I know she is always talking about this field of flowers she played in." Suzan explained. " Is it far to these flowers?" " Well flying it's at least three hours, and driving maybe an overnight tip to Driftwood Valley and winter is only a few weeks away." " What happens in winter?" Hardings questioned. " Snow, Doctor. The valley gets covered in it and nothing grows back for months and I'm afraid it could be too late by then." Suzan said with a sound of despair in her voice. " We can only do our best to make her as comfortable as possible," said the doctor as he took Suzan by the hand.

" Mummy can we see grandma now?" Jenny asked as she took hold of her mother's other hand. " Soon my darlings, we'll go in after lunch." " Why can't we see her now?" Billy questioned. " Well, grandma got very sick last night and she needs a lot of sleep to get better," Suzan explained.

Suzan and the children arrived back at the hospital fresh and ready to see Estelle, Jenny holding tightly onto a bunch of flowers skipping towards her grandmother's room. She stopped at the door and peeked in. " Come in dear," Estells said as she looked towards the door. Jenny entered the room trying to hide the flowers behind her. " Where's your mother and Billy?" " Oh they should be here soon, I ran ahead of them so I could see you first." Jenny pulled out the flowers from behind her and presented then to Estelle and placed a kiss on her cheek. " Jenny, there you are," Suzan said entering the room, " I've told you before never to run in the hospital." " I didn't run mummy, I skipped." Jenny gave a grin. " How are you mum?" Suzan asked as she leaned to give estelle a kiss. " Much better thank you dear." " Grandma can you tell us another story from when you were a little girl?" Billy asked climbing onto the bed. " could you get me some water please?" Estelle looked to Suzan. She took the jug that was on the bedside table and began to pour.

" I was eighteen and it was soon to be my sister's wedding. My house was full of excitement and I was helping my sister with her dress." Estelle said as she began to weave her magic of storytelling.

" Estelle, would you like to come and help pick out a spot beside the lake for the wedding?" Estelle's sister Charmaine asked. " Oh I would love to." Charmaine, Estelle and their mother loaded into the car and began their journey to the lake. It was a beautiful spring day, the weather was clear and the air was sweets with the scent of Honeysuckle and the sounds of baby birds could be heard as they carried on the breeze. As the car pulled into the field beside the lake the vision of wild blossoms caught their eyes. " It's beautiful," Estelle whispered trying to not break the sounds of nature.

The three women walked through the flowers and made their way to the lake. They spent hours walking around the lake trying to find the perfect spot, but as the day began to slip away a small grove of trees caught Estelle's eye. " Look, over there," she yelled then running over to them. As Estelle and Charmaine entered the grove they felt as though they had walked into heaven. In the middle of the grove stood a weeping willow with a vine of pale pink and white flowers that hung most delicately. On the surrounding trees grew vines of wild roses and through the grass grew sprays of tiny white flowers that shon in the setting sunlight. " It's perfect," Charmaine said as she continued to gaze at the picturesque sight that lay before her. The returned to the car still taken by the sight of the grove.

An hour later the three women returned home to tell the rest of the family what they had seen, and it was settled, the wedding was to be held at the lake. With only two days left there was still a lot to do, like the dress to finish and the food to finish organising for the reception.

" Are you nervous?" Estelle asked her sister as they lay out the gown. " Well, a bit, but also excited." " You're going to look just beautiful," Estelle's mother said as she walked into the room, " Oh dear, I think I'm going to cry." " Mother don't you dare," Charmaine said. Then at that moment all three women were startled by a car horn outside of Charmaine's window. " Who is it?" Charmaine asked Estelle. Estelle ran to the window and stuck her head out to see. " Oh no, it's Keith." Turning with shock to her mother, " What'll I do, he can't see me yet." " No don't panic, Estelle go get your father to deal with Keith," instructed their mother. Estelle rushed downstairs slamming the door behind her, shot through the kitchen and the livingroom to the front door. " Hi Estelle is Char..." " What are you doing here," Estelle quickly cutting him off, " You can't see her till the wedding." " Don't worry I'm here to see your father," Keith explained. " Well you better wait here then," Estelle instructed as she pointed to a chair in the hallway and giving him a suspicious look. Estelle wondered around the corner of the living room so she could keep an eye on him. " Father!" she hollered, " Father, Keith is here."

Mr Banks came marching up the back path and through the kitchen. " Where is he?" he asked. " I left him be the front door," Estelle said pointing. " Run along and help your mother and Charmaine," he instructed. Estelle rolled her eyes and ran up the staircase to charmaine's room and knocked on door. " Who is it?" a voice from behind asked. " It's me Estelle." She entered the room shutting the door behind her. " Where's Keith?" Charmaine questioned. " I left him downstairs with father." " Let's get started we've only a few hours before the wedding," their mother said as she hurried the two girls along.

" Charmaine, it's time," said her mother as she finished pinning the lace veil. " Mother, dad's waiting in the car," Estelle said as she opened the door to her sister's room and then froze when seeing her sister. " Oh Charmaine, you're beautiful," she said as she found herself overcome with the vision of her sister. " You really think so?" Charmaine asked with a tone of uncertainty in her voice. " Oh yes." " Quickly now, or we'll be late," said their mother as the car horn sounded. All three ladies made their way to the car that was waiting to take them to the lake, where Keith and the rest of the family and friends awaited the bride.

They finally arrived at the lake, with satin ribbons floating and waving in the air. The car pulled up a few yards from the small grove of trees where everyone patiently waited. As Charmaine stepped out of the car it was like watching an angel descend from heaven, her long brown hair spiraled down to her waist with a crown of tiny white blossoms that sat around her head. She wore an ivory lace gown that gently flowed around her body with a soft satin sash that tied in a bow around her hip. As Keith turned to see his bride his heart filled with joy at the sight of the heavenly figure that stood before him, they both gave a gentle smile then turned to face the priest. Time stood still as the vows and promises were made and all the could be heard was the whisper of a breeze through the trees and the gently humming of bees in the distance.

" I now pronounce you husband and wife," announced the priest then placing Charmaine's hand in Keith's. Charmaine and Keith gently kissed and the turned to face their family and friends that gathered for this special occasion. Everyone clapped and cheered and began to toss rice, Eselle ran up and kissed her sister on the cheek and then Keith, Estelle was followed by her father and mother and then Keith's family followed. " Come on girls," Charmaine called as she ran out of the grove. All the single young women gathered outside of the trees ready to catch the bouquet. Estelle took her place at the front of the group and stood at the ready. Carmaine turned, closed her eyes and then tossed the bouquet. It flew into the air, everyone ran towards open ground ready to catch the bouquet as it fell, Estelle picked her skirt and ran with all her might then jumping into the air and catching it as it began to descend. " I've got!" she yelled as took hold of it with both hands. " Yo know they say the one who catches the bouquet is the next to marry," Charmaine yelled from the otherside of the group. " We'll see," Estelle said with a light chuckle. Estelle walked back to the car ready to go home for the reception, as she opened the car door she looked up and saw that John Cavanah her best friend was watching her, he smiled and dipped his hat so she smiled back and hollered, " Don't you be gettin any ideas either." John's grin widened with a small glimpse of teeth showing, as she climbed into the car she noticed something in John's eyes a look she had never seen before, a look that meant more than friendship. Estelle closed the door and waved to John smelling the bouquet of flowers as the car moved on.

The reception was almost at an end and Estelle began to think back to the ceremony and the look in John's eyes, it sent a warm sensation down her back that made her smile. She walked to the back gate that sat at the end of the garden leaving the party behind she began to study the surrounding trees that lay at the border of her father's property, and in the corner of her eye she noticed John standy beside a large tree that she and he once played in as children. She pushed open the old gate and walked over to him. " Why don't you come over to the party?" she asked. " Well; I'd rather just sit here with you and watch the sunset," he replied as he looked up at the golden rays that lit up the sky. " John." " Yes Estelle." " We've been friends for a long time now," Estelle said being the forward type of girl she is, " I was wondering, if you had started having feelings for me." " What sort of feelings," John said knowing exactly what she meant.

" Well I started having feelings for you that tell me I want to be more than friends," she explained, " and I was wondering if you maybe felt the same way about me." With his eyes full of love John leaned forward and whispered in her ear, " Estelle, I love you," and the gently kissed her on the cheek. John and Estelle both settled at the bottom of the tree hand in hand and watched the sun slowly sink beneath the horizon.

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