" Mum, Mum, it's time to wake up. I'm pulling into a roadside cafe for a bite to eat." Suzan said as lightly tapping her mother's hand. " Have we arrived." Estelle asked as she looked around in a sleepy daze. " Nearly there mum, just over an hour to go. Billy, Jenny, come on guys let's get something to eat." Suzan reaching over to wake the children. The small weary family stumbled into the cafe and stared at the menu that was posted above the counter. With minds boggling at what they read, they finally came to a decision. " Billy, Jenny, what would you like?" Suzan still reading the menu. " Can I have a burger and some fries?" Billy asked. " Me too mummy." " Mum, what would you like to have?" " Oh, I'll just have some carrot cake and coffee." " Hi, my name is Tracey how can I help you?" Announced a young girl from behind the counter. " Yeah, ah, can I get two small burgers with fries, two carrot cakes and two flat whites please." Suzan ordered as she rummaged through her bag. " Will that be everything?" " Oh, and two small milkshakes, one chocolate and one strawberry please." " If you would like to find a table I'll bring everything out when it's ready." Tracey said as she handed a table number to Jenny.
The little family sat quietly at the table, the two children sipping on their milkshakes and Estelle and Suzan drinking their coffees while waiting for their food as it was placed on the table. " I am so hungry." Billy said as he looked at his burger. " Well, if you're hungry hurry up and eat and you won't be hungry anymore." Suzan said as she organised their plates. " Mum, are you ok?" " I'm fine dear. Just a little excited I'm finally going home, a place I never thought I'd see again."
Everyone quietly ate their meals with anticipation to complete the long tiresome journey. " Ok, who needs to go to the toilet before we start off again." Suzan asking the children while cleaning up their mess. " Mum, do you need to go?" After refreshing themselves they all piled into the car and began the final stretch of the journey.
" What's that smell mummy?" Jenny asked as she stuck her head out f the window. " It's the wild blossoms that grow in the fields." Estelle explained as she soaked in the freshness. " Will we get to see the flowers mum?" " All in good time Billy, all in good time." " It still looks the same. Just like I remember it." Estelle said as she looked over the scenery they passed. She could see visions of herself and John as they ran through the fields and the fun they had catching frogs in the creek.
" Mum, are you OK?" Suzan noticed a tear glisten in the sunlight as it settled on her mother's tired cheek. " Oh, I'm fine. I couldn't be happier." Estelle smiled as she continued to watch the endless fields pass by. As the day went on and night began to creep its way in Suzan pulled into a small motel as you entered Summerfield Valley. " Ok. everybody, it's not much I know but it's the only one they had left." Suzan prepared the tired travelers as she opened the door. " Well everyone we had better get some sleep, we have a big day tomorrow." " Goodnight mummy." The two children kissed their mother and jumped into their beds. " We love you."
With the freshness of the air and the singing of the birds, and the soothing warmth of the sun's rays, Estelle's eyes crept open to view the wondrous countryside that was once a memory for what seemed like a eternity. " Billy, Jenny, it's time to wake up," Suzan hollered as she walked into her mother's room, " Mum' it's time to wake up. Oh my god, mum! mother!" Suzan yelled as she ran to the front door. " What's wrong mum?" Billy asked as he rubbed his eyes. " Nothing honey I'll be back in a few minutes." Suzan ran into reception, " Excuse me, please, have you seen my mother this morning, she seems to have wandered off." " Well, I did see and elderly lady going down the street earlier on." " Thank you so much." Suzan then ran off in the same direction to find Estelle.
" Suzan where are you rushing off to?" Estelle questioned her panic stricken daughter. " Mum, where the hell have you been?" Suzan yelled out. " I'm sorry dear, I was just so excited to be home I went for a little walk down to the store, and don't curse at me. Now, come inside and have some breakfast." " Mum, next time you go somewhere, please let me know, you really had me worried."
Estelle and her family began their search for the places where she once roamed and played as a young girl. The air was crisp and clear and the chill of winter was beginning to fill the air, but that was not enough to stop Estelle from looking and searching for the memories she desperately held onto, especially the field of wild multicoloured flowers where she and John once spent their youth. " Suzan, may we go back to the motel now, I'm feeling a little tired." Estelle said try to keep her weary eyes from closing. " Yeah sure, are you ok mum?" " Yes I'm fine, it's probably all the excitement. At my age it's a lot to handle."
The next morning the sun crept its way through an opening in the curtains that hung in Estelle's room, she could hear the sweet song of the morning birds as they echoed in her mind. A smile touched her lips as she heard the sound of her John's voice. " Good morning my angel." His voice still sounded like it did the day they married and she could still smell the cologne he wore and remembered how it made her dizzy. A light gentle breeze touched her cheek and she knew John was there with her.
" Morning mum. I thought we we would go for a picnic at the park today, do you think you would feel up to it?" Suzan asked as she knocked on the bedroom door. " Oh yes, I'm feeling much better thank you and that's a lovely idea." " Mum, I have a small surprise planned for you, I'm sure you will enjoy." Suzan said as she helped her mother into the car.
The two children were busy playing in the playground and Suzan and Estelle gathered together the leftover food. " So, where's this surprise I'm supposed to get?" Estelle questioned. " Hello Estelle." A voice came from behind some trees. " Charmaine? Is it really you?" Estelle tearing up as she turned. The two sisters stood for a moment looking at each other, then embraced, both with tears streaming down their faces they held the other tight not wanting to ever let go. " Hello Estelle." " Keith! it's so good to see you again. Thank you Suzan this has indeed been the most wonderful day, thank you, thank you." Estelle then turned and held her daughter.
" Have you been to the field yet?" Charmaine asked as everyone sat back at the picnic table. " No, not as yet. I'm going to try and get mum there tomorrow." Suzan explained. " It feels so good to be back in Summerfield." Charmaine said as she looked around the landscape. " We better get back to the motel, the air is changing and it's getting on." Suzan advised. " Suzan, can I speak with you for a moment." Charmaine took Suzan aside, " How long does your mother have?" " Well, it's a little hard to tell, mum's hanging on a fine thread, she could pass at any given time, the doctor didn't think she would even get this far." " Is it that bad?" Charmaine asked as she held back tears. " Mum wants to go see the flowers tomorrow. Will you and kieth come with us? I'm sure mum would love you both to be there." " We would love to. Well we had better get going it's starting to get a little chilly." Charmaine said as she pulled her shawl around her shoulders.
" Here we are mum. Okay guys both of you carry the picnic gear in and I'll help grandma." Suzan instructed. Suzan unbuckled and turned to Estelle. " Mum, we're back at the motel." She lightly tapped her mother's hand. " Mum, we're back, oh god no. MUM! wake up dammit!" Suzan began to scream. " Billy, Jenny, hurry get in the car we've got to go to the hospital." With smoke billowing from the tyres Suzan raced to the hospital as fast as she could without stopping for anything. She pulled up outside of emergency and ran inside. " Please I need help." She yelled but there was no response. " Will someone bloody well help me my mother is dying, she's in the car!" Suzan viciously screamed.
Some moments later Charmaine and Keith arrived at the hospital. " How is she?" Keith asked. " I don't know, they haven't told me anything yet. Aunt Charmaine why are they taking so long?" " Suzan honey, I'm sure they are doing the best they can." " Look, here comes a doctor now." Keith said raising to his feet. " Suzan, I'm very sorry but its not good. The cancer cells have now spread to your mother's brain, and unfortunately there isn't much more that we can do except to give her pain killers to make her as comfortable as possible." " So, how much time do you think she has left?" Suzan asked with the swelling of tears in her eyes. " Well, twenty four hours at the most, maybe two days. Well I have to go on rounds now but please do not hesitate to page me if there are any problems." " Thank you doctor, can we see her?" " Sure, but try not to be too long, she really needs to rest." " Where are the children?" Keith asked looking around the waiting room. " They're up in the nursery, I didn't want them to see mum this way."
Suzan entered her mother's room first followed by Charmaine and then by Keith. Suzan sat in the chair that was placed by the bed. " Oh mum, you can't go yet. you're so close to where you want to be." She touched her mother's hand followed by a cry of pain and then a flow of tears. Charmaine could not hold her tears any longer. She held Suzan tight, even that was not enough to ease the pain they both felt. " Suzan." " Mum?" Suzan said turning to the pale body that lay before her. " Suzan, listen to me. I know I don't have much time left, but promise me one thing, please. Before i die take me to the field." " But, mum it's said to snow any day now." " Please, promise me. it's the only thing I want before it's too late." Estelle begged with what breath she could manage. " Okay, I'll see what I can do." Suzan then kissed her mother and went to find the doctor. A tired smile crept upon Estelle's face. " Estelle what are you smiling about?" Charmaine asked as she sat in Suzan's place. " After all these years, I'm finally going to be with John again. How I have waited for the moment to be reunited with him." Suzan came back into the room. " Mum, I've spoken with the doctor and he said it would be okay for you to go in the morning. He is arranging and ambulance and a wheelchair." With the wonderful news Suzan brought Estelle felt a calming relief touch her heart. " It's getting quite late, so we'll all be back and see you in the morning." Suzan, Charmaine and Keith kissed Estelle goodnight and left the hospital.
That night Estelle could feel the calmness of death flow through her and fill her dreams of wondrous things, but the one thing the she would remember is the sight of her husband. Estelle could feel the love and warmth of her loved one and the place where she walked.
" Estelle." A voice floated among the mist that surrounded her. " Estelle." The voice echoed, this time much clearer. " John, is it you?" Estelle called and reaching out. As she did she noticed something different, for her hands were the hands of a young woman, a warm breeze gently touched the white gown she wore. " Hello Estelle, I've been waiting a long time for this moment." " John?" Estelle looked up, " Oh John my love." The two beings embraced and then gazed into each others eyes. John took Estelle by the hand. " Come with me, I have something to show you." And then both walked down a stone path. A few moments past, then like the flick of a switch a light of brilliance filled the darkness and all was revealed, for they stood in a field of flowers that shone with such a brilliance of colours. " Estelle, my angel, this is where I will greet you tomorrow." He explained. " John, this seems so real." " My angel this is real, you can touch them too. This may not be earth, but everything is as real here as it is there." " If this isn't earth, where are we?" Estelle questioned. " This place is known as Paradise. It's a place where there is no pain, no suffering or illness, it's where the spirit comes to rest before its journey home. It's time for you to go now, our daughter is coming for you."
Estelle opened her eyes to the sound of her daughter's voice. " Well mum, today is the day you will see the field." The nurses helped Estelle into the ambulance and loaded the wheelchair into the back. " Aunt Charmaine, can you take the children I would like to go with mum." " Of course, Keith and I will follow behind."
The two vehicles made their way to the edge of the field, where the flowers grew wild and in a rainbow of magnificent colours. Estelle's heart filled with joy as she knew it would not be long before she was to be reunited with the ones she loved and longed for. The gently lifted Estelle from he ambulance and into the wheelchair. The wind was cold and bitter, but scented with the aroma of the flowers that lay before her. " Here mum, have this." Suzan then tucked a woolen rug around her mother's legs. " Thank you dear, thank you so much for everything." Estelle said looking up to her daughter. " Oh mum. I love you so, so much and I know I could have told you more often.." " I know my darling, it's alright. Is Charmaine here?" " Yeah, I'll get her." Suzan then kissed her mother. " Charmaine, I'm so happy you came, I could not have asked for a better big sister, give me a hug." Charmaine bent down to the chair and gave Estelle a hug she could never forget. " I love you Estelle, I'm going to miss you." Charmaine then began to cry. " Okay, I'm ready. Take me to the field." Estelle gently spoke. Suzan, Charmaine, Keith, Billy and Jenny walked with the ambulance driver as he pushed the wheelchair into the middle of the field of flowers. As the breeze blew Estelle could feel her freedom come closer. The frail bodied woman sat in the field surrounded by the beauty she loved. Some of the petals were picked up by the winter breeze and danced around her showering her with their beautiful aromas, dark clouds of snow began to fill the sky. Estelle opened her withered hand to catch the first snow flake as she did many times as a child, but for this was to be the last time. As the snowflake fell and came to rest upon her hand, so to would she breath her last breath that would give her life.
A hush had fallen around them as a brilliant ray of light cut through the cloud lit up the field where the family stood filling them with the warmth it gave. Suzan looked through the brightness at a figure standing before her, she wiped the tears from her eyes to focus and standing there was her father. No words were spoken he simply smiled and took Estelle by the hand as she stood up from the wheelchair. Both spirits looked to Suzan and blew her a kiss then turned and walked off in the field, and as quick as it came the golden ray of light was gone and Estelle and John were once again united for all time and eternity.
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