When The Snow Falls

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Chapter 4

" Billy, Jenny, hurry up or we’ll be late.” Suzan called as she set the table for breakfast. The two children came running down the hall and into the kitchen. ” Mummy, when are we going to see grandma?” Jenny asked. ” Just as soon as we’ve finished breakfast and cleaned up.”

" Mrs Cavanah, Mrs Cavanah,” a voice called to Estelle. Light slowly crept into the darkness of her eyes as she began to open them. ” Mrs Cavanah,” the voice echoed once again. ” Your daughter is here to see you.” The nurse assisted Estelle to be ready for her daughter. ” Would you like me to brush your hair?” the nurse asked while straightening the pillows. ” Thank you dear,” Estelle answered with a smile. As the nurse began to brush a knock was heard at the door and then Suzan and the children entered the room. ” I’ll leave you now Mrs Cavanah,” the nurse said then leaving the brush on the bedside table.

" Oh mum it’s so good to see you, and you look so much better than last week.” Suzan leaned in to kiss her mother’s cheek. ” Grandma, when are you coming home?” Billy asked. ” Not for some time yet dear, the doctor thinks I’m not well enough just yet,” she explained. ” Here’s some money you two go down to the canteen and see what you can find,” Suzan handed the two children equal amounts of money and sent them on their way. ” Suzan,” Estelle reached out to her daughters hand. ” Yes mum.” ” When I’m well enough to leave the hospital, I intend to go back to Summerfield, only for a few days or at least for when the snow falls.” Estelle remembering how beautiful it was. ” Are you sure you want to do this mum, it’s such a long way to travel and you might end up in hospital again,” Suzan said as she sat upon the bed holding her mother’s hand. ” Please Suzan, it’s all I want to do before my time is to come," she explained.

" Tell you what, I'll talk to the doctor and see what he recommends." " Thank you so much, you make me so happy," Estelle spoke with a soft calm voice. " I'll be back in a few minutes, I had better go and get the kids and see what Doctor Hardings has to say," Suzan said then kissing her mother's forehead.

As Estelle lay there awaiting her verdict, she began to think of her beautiful field of flowers and how she longed to see them, to smell and to touch them once again. A small tear rolled down her cheek as the image of her love one passed filled her head. " Oh John, how I miss you so," she gently whispered.

Suzan eventually found the doctor, she hesitated for a moment and then said. " Doctor I know it's probably impossible but mum was wondering, well she was actually hoping she could visit Summerfield." Summerfield, why?" he questioned. " She wants to see the places she once lived as a girl.... " " Are we going away mummy," Jenny interrupted. " No Jenny." " Well I can't really guarantee anything yet, but we'll see how she gets along."

Suzan and the children made their way back to Estelle's room, Billy and Jenny ran ahead to get their first. " Billy, Jenny, stop running you know there's sick people in here," Suzan quietly raising her voice. The two came running into the room yelling, " Grandma, grandma we're going on a holiday." " Hold it right there you two, I don't know if we are just yet," Suzan said cutting them off before they could say any more. " Mum I've spoken to the doctor and he said it will be a few more weeks before you can leave the hospital and even then you have to take it easy," Suzan trying to make out everything would be ok. " I don't know what I would do without you," Estelle said as she smiled. " We better go now mum we've been long enough and you need to rest if we are going to travel." Suzan leaned in and kissed her mother's cheek as did the children. " We'll try come in tomorrow, love you mum." Estelle drifted off to sleep with a small feeling of excitement of things to come.

" Happy Birthday!" everyone shouted. Estelle's face lit up with surprise, she had thought everyone had forgotten her birthday. " Oh mum this is wonderful thank you so much," she said as she gave her mother a big hug. " Is Charmaine coming ?" " I really don't know, I sent her a letter but I never heard back," her mother paused for a moment then continued, " well never mind that now if she turns up she turns up. Come on let's get back to the party."

Half an hour had passed and still no sign of her sister, their mother was starting to worry as Charmaine was close to giving birth. Then through the backdoor a familiar voice was heard. " Well, where's the birthday girl." Dropping everything she help Estelle ran out to the back door. " Charmaine !" Estelle shouted, " you came." Then throwing her arms around her sister. " I wouldn't dream of missing your birthday for anything," She said as they both walked back into the living room. " Oh mum this is the best birthday I think I've ever had, just to have all of you here is plenty enough." Estelle said trying her best to hold back tears of joy. " Did John come around ?" Charmaine questioned. " Ah no, he was unable to come, his family moved away," explained their mother. " Oh, where to ?" " Melbourne." " Oh Estelle, I'm so sorry, " Charmaine said reaching out for her sister's hand. " May I be excused, I'm going up to my room," Estelle said as she wiped a tear from her cheek.

Estelle lay upon her bed reading a letter she had received a few days earlier, her heart was aching at the loneliness she felt from John's absence. The feelings of spring love filled her mind of what she and John had shared the season before. " Estelle honey," her mother called " could you please come down here, I need some help to clean up."

Not answering she carefully folded the letter and placed it in her dresser draw then making her way down to the living room. She collected a few dishes that lay around the room. As she was leaving the room she sang out over her shoulder, " Hi John." In that instance sounds of dishes came crashing to the floor, Estelle's head popped out from around the corner of the kitchen door, her eyes lit up with so much excitement they looked like they were about to pop. " JOHN !" She screamed then throwing herself into his arms. A small crystal like tear fell from her eye and slipped to the corner or her mouth. " You didn't think I'd miss your twenty second birthday did you," John said as he stroked her hair. " Well you live so far away I didn't think you would be able to make it." " When it comes to you, my Estelle, no distance is too far." " Come on you two let's get a photograph, Estelle you move to the right and John place both arms around her so both Estelle's hands are inside yours," her mother instructed, " now smile." Jack came running into the room trying to be as gentlemanly as possible for a twelve year old can be saying " Well, when are you two to be married ?". " Wait till I get my hands on you Jack Banks," Estelle hollered. Jack then ran flat tack out of the room laughing.

" Estelle," John said as he turned her to face him. " Yes John." John then knelt before her gently taking her hands into his. " John, what are you doing ?" Estelle questioned with a strange look on her face. " Estelle, we have been the best of friends our entire life, and I could not have been happier to have a friend such as you, we have had so many adventures together and I have now reached the time where I want to start a new adventure with not only my best friend, my one true soul mate, my one true love. So with all to witness I come to you on bended knee, Estelle Banks would you do me the greatest honor of giving me your hand in marriage and becoming my wife ?" John spoke in a soothing voice.

Estelle stood there motionless, eyes wide open and mouth gaping. " Please say yes, my knee is killing me," John pleaded. Estelle let out a big scream and yelled as loud as she could, " YES! yes John Cavanah I will marry you." John jumped to his feet then picking up Estelle as he hugged her, both laughing like fools as he spun her around. " What is it ?" Estelle's mother said as she ran into the room. " Mum. John and I are..." Estelle paused. " Yes yes, what is it ?" questioned her mother. " John and I are getting married," Estelle announced trying to hold back her excitement. Instantly her mother let out a scream, and threw her arms around John and then Estelle. Charmaine slowly entered the room with both hands resting on the hollow of her back. " Hey what's all the excitement ?" " Oh Charmaine isn't it wonderful." Her mother said turning to her. " Isn't what wonderful." Charmaine said as she struggled to sit in the chair. " I'm so sorry, I'm just so happy John just proposed to your sister and she said yes," explained her mother. " Well it's about time." " What do you mean it's about time," Estelle said. " I've seen this coming for some time now, especially the night of my wedding, I saw you two sitting under the tree out back." Charmaine said as she raised and eyebrow. " Ahh mum." Charmaine's breathing grew deeper. " What is it dear." " My water just broke, I think it's time," she said placing both hands around her belly. " Estelle run out to the barn and get your father, John could you go find Jack for me, and I'll go collect some things for the hospital," instructed their mother who was always good in an emergency or any other crisis.

Everybody loaded into two cars and made their way to the hospital breaking every speed limit. " Are we nearly there yet," Charmaine screamed for the back seat. Reaching the hospital everyone poured out of the cars and spilled into the hospital. " Jack," said their mother, " you come with me." " Where are we going ?" " To find a doctor." Jack and his mother ran down the corridor look for the doctor but instead finding a nurse. " Oh Sister excuse me," called Mrs Banks in a calm voice. The nurse not hearing kept on walking. " NURSE ! " Mrs Banks yelled with the deepest roughest voice. The nurse stopped dead in her tracks and turned to face Mrs Banks and Jack. " How can I help you," the spoke in a superior tone. " My daughter is about to give birth in your waiting room, could you please locate me a doctor." " It won't be easy as all the doctors are out on call," the nurse explained, " I'm sorry but you'll just have to wait until one is available." Jack grabbed the nurse's watch that was pinned to her uniform and pulled her down to his level. " Listen lady, if you don't get a doctor here in five seconds I'm gonna make you wish you weren't a nurse," Jack said as he looked her in the eye and started to show his teeth with a rather wide grin. " Jack !" his mother's voice filled with a surprised tone. " Well that goes double for me," Jack's mother said. " I'll see if I can page one," replied the nurse a she straightened herself and her uniform. " Mrs banks, we found a doctor," John yelled as he approached. " You're lucky lady," Jack said to the nurse looking up through his eyebrows. Jack, his mother and John ran back to the waiting room to be with Mrs Banks while Charmaine was in the delivery room.

What seemed like hours was only minutes. Everyone was pacing anxiously to know what was happening. After half an hour a nurse came out holding a baby girl. " Mrs Banks," the nurse called as she stepped forward. Charmaine's mother took the baby in her arms and held it like it was her own, then a few moments later another nurse came out holding another baby this time a boy. " Oh Mrs Banks," the nurse said as she walked into the room, " You're daught charmaine has had twins." Then in unison like a choir the entire family said " TWINS !" and then there was a loud thump on the floor, everyone turned to see and when they did there lay Mr Banks flat on his back and out like a light, everybody burst into laughter.

Two orderlies helped Mr Banks to a nearby chair. " Estelle fan your father " instructed her mother. Estelle sat next to her father fanning rapidly trying to bring him round. Mr Banks eyes began to creep open. " What happened ?" Mr Banks asked as he looked around the room. " You fainted daddy," Estelle said as she kept on fanning. " That's impossible, I'm a man and men don't faint," Mr Banks said as he strengthened his voice. " Well now that you've decided to join us from not fainting, would you like to hold one of your grandchildren." Mrs Banks said walking up with a baby in each arm.

The small family huddled around the two babies, adoring and pinching their little bodies. " Mrs Banks you may see your daughter now," the doctor announced. " Who ?" Mrs Banks replied. " Your daughter, Charmaine." " Oh, yes, of course," Mrs Banks forgetting for a moment having a daughter. " Hi mum," Charmaine said as her mother entered the room. "How are you feeling dear ?" Her mother pulled a chair closer to the bed and took Charmaine's hand. " Just a little tired, but quite happy." " Well you get rested and I'll come see you tomorrow." Her mother rose from the chair and kissed Charmaine on the cheek, her face lit up with so much joy and happiness she began to cry. The nurse handed charmaine's daughter to her and the sat upon the bed holding her son. " They are beautiful children Mrs Maddison," the nurse commented. " They are indeed." Charmaine said gazing at both babies. " I'll leave you to it as I better get back to work," the nurse said placing the baby she held into a crib next to the bed. By the end of the week Charmaine had gained her strength and returned home with two healthy babies.

Six months had passed and plans were under way for Estelle's wedding. Excitement had filled the hair as the wedding was set for spring . " Mum, were you nervous ?" Estelle questioned. " Well, not at first but as time grew closer yes very much so. It's quite natural to feel this way dear you'll even start to doubt your decision.

John and Estelle came across a small white chapel with a bell tower out front. " You know with a little work on the gardens and a bit of paint, this place could be perfect for the wedding," John said walking closer to the little building. " John it's perfect. we could even place more stepping stones in the path. It's going to look beautiful." The next few months the entire family worked on the little chapel, painting, planting and repairing, ready for mid spring. Three weeks before the wedding the chapel was complete and was certainly a sight to be seen. Roses growing strong on either side of the entrance, small hedges were taking shape along side the footpath, the white exterior of the little building shone in the sunlight and the bell sparkled as it reflected the light. So the family celebrate with a big picnic on the chapel grounds.

A hush fell upon the valley of Summerfield, all that could be herd was the sound of wild finches and the light rustling of the trees as they danced in the spring breeze. The music played, Estelle and her father entered the little chapel, a pin drop could be heard from the silence of the guests. John slowly turned to see his beloved glide down the flower lined aisle toward him, it was though a spell had been cast upon the chapel. Estelle's gown flowed upon the light breeze that came through the tiny chapel and the scent of wild jasmine teased the senses of everyone it touched John grew breathless at the beauty of Estelle.

Mr Back and Estelle reached the altar and placed his daughter's hands into John's hands and gave Estelle a kiss on her forehead. The two young lovers then took the last few steps and approached the priest and the ceremony began. Both Mrs. Banks and Mrs. Maddison began to cry even charmaine shed a tear. The love from Estelle and John could be felt in everyone.

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