Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pat and Lyle

'We are away, off on an extended trip Down Under, to watch some cricket and miss the winter.' I explained to Marlene with an inward sigh of relief when she rang to ask it I would come to a school reunion. 'Oh. Will you be going to Sydney?' she replied. 'Oh. Yes.' I answered. 'Then you must look up Pat, I'll give you her address.' 'Pat?' I queried. 'Pat. Patsy Kitcher, you remember' prompted Marlene patiently. And of course I did.

I hadn't seen my friend Pat since we were at school, more years ago than I care to remember, we're talking 40 + years here. I hadn't thought about school once since I left. But as soon as Marlene mentioned her up popped a picture in my mind of a happy, tall, gangly girl with short dark blonde hair and grey eyes.

I sent her a Christmas Card and we arranged to meet in the New Year. Lyle picked us up and took us to their home in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney. We had a b-b-q and nattered. She had been a nanny on leaving school and travelled with the family, then she joined the yacht set and landed up in Australia with a beautiful daughter and a man who traded her in for a younger model while she was only in her early 30s. She decided to stay on in Oz. A good decision as she met her husband Lyle and married nine years ago.

Time dropped away, it was a strange sensation, forgotten school mates were evoked, it was like opening a door just a smidgen and peeping through to a past era. I told her she hadn't changed a bit but on reflection I would say yes that young girl is still there, cheekily peeping out, but from behind a much more poised and elegant woman, although she still tells it like it is. Pat was diagnosed with breast cancer and the last eighteen months has been a struggle. Last week she had some timely good news, her radiologist doesn't need to see her anymore. The trauma has made their marriage much stronger; which brings me to yesterday.

Yesterday was one of the most poignant, romantic days ever. Lyle had arranged for them to renew their wedding vows with the original Celebrant, at the same lakeside setting as nine years ago, but he had omitted to tell the bride. It was to be a surprise. Jeez he's a brave man!

We watched as it slowly dawned on her what was happening as she walked from the car, across the grass to the lakeside. The light cuff to his midriff, the tears that sent many of us reaching for our hankies. She didn't turn him down and they did it all over again.

So here's to you both, Pat and Lyle - and Lucy too. Congratulations. A million Congratulations. You have done well gal. We were so thrilled and privileged to be able to share your very special day. We wont lose touch again.


PMM&L said...

Crikey that brought a tear to my eye! What a lovely romantic story. Love conquers all! x

axx said...

It was a gorgeous day. Lyle says he has set the benchmark for romantic gestures in this neck of the woods - his mates are moaning that they are now expected to come up with something!