A few moment's later, we were both being engulfed in our Dad's arms while he blubbered.
If it had not been for mother always remembering something good about our daddy, I don't think I would have even made the effort to come back.
" Children have a relationship that is nothing like the relationship that husbands and wives have with each other regardless of their being parents. How children see their parents depends on how the other parents see's each other. No one should tarnish the memory of a parent to a child when life goes wrong for the parents. It's not the kids fault. Sometimes, it is no one's fault. But never, ever talk bad about a parent when their child is around. That is wrong. Parents should build up the relationship of their child with the other parents despite the situation." Mother more or less said to us on a few occasions.
She shared so many memories of her and our Daddy when she first came to Australia. And she shared as much as she could from the few years she was married to daddy and after she had us. Those memories I have shared with our children as well.
Now, it's time to make some more memories. To let the past stay where it should stay, in the past where it belongs. This visit s meant to start family life for us all afresh.
" Gran also said to give you this." Jen said to him after he wiped his tears after apologising over and over to us for the stupidity he caused all those years ago.
The rest of the family had come around and the ones who remembered us were also beginning to share memories they have of us as well. Those we will be saving to share with the kids.
" What is it?" Daddy asked as he took the large manilla folder from Jen's hand.
" The release paperwork for that loan you took. All the receipts are there which you repaid. The lien on the farm has been released to you and the farm is now free and clear of all debt." Jen said to him matter of factly.
" Your grandmother was the one who bought the loan?" He asked us with a hoarse voice sounding as if he was choked up with tears.
" Yes. Mother didn't know. She tried to buy the loan herself from that bank and was told someone had already bought a selected group of loans with the farm loan being one of them. The financier of the new loan wouldn't tell who took it over. So, mother never knew until you made that last payment." I told daddy who looked stunned.
Then he started crying again.
I can see why mother fell for him. He did really have a soft side to his nature. But he was still an idiot for doing what he did. But that was all in the past now.
Family life goes on. People come and go in and out of families. It is just life. We were introduced to all the family that were there and we also introduced our men to everyone else. Was it because of our looks and who we took after that had the family accept us, we have no idea and don't really care.
But I think if anyone was surprised at who were were, it was Joan. She didn't think she would ever get to meet the daughters that Daddy always talks to her about. It was Joan who introduced us tot he teenagers who were our brothers. We have three of them on Daddy's side that he has with Joan who turned out to be a really nice lady. Unless you tick her off. Then she comes after you with a wooden spoon.
That was what Andy said, our youngest brother.
Later that afternoon when they all met us for the first time, the men went back for the kids to bring them along to meet the family as well. Seeing Daddy's face when he found out that he was already a grandfather caused both me and Jen to giggle a lot. As did Joan until she realised that she was their grandmother as well. Even though she was their step grandmother, it didn't matter to her. She went into instant granny mode when the kids turned up.
As nervous as me and my sister were when we first came back, the problems of the past stayed there. What happened to this family thanks to Lois, made some big changes to it. It made them all realise what was really important. It also reminded them that family are who we make it and it did not matter where that family came from. Half of who were here were descended from the Joifield family, both here and from overseas.
It was those family members who remembered the stories of the ones who came before us. The ones who started the family that we are today. But i think the one thing that I remember and always will is what our father did back at the farm.
He showed us Lila.
The rose we saw back at the farm later that visit that Daddy said reminded him all these years of our mother. It was a beautiful soft pink rose that curled on the ends of it's petal but held it's scent and stayed the color it unfurled when opening not changing. It was a special rose, he said. It held fast to the frost and always blossomed.
" It is like it smiles at me every day when I pass it by reminding me of the gentle soul your mother is. She didn't have to stay with me. I was not her soulmate. But she made me smile. I'm glad that she found someone who could love her like I couldn't. She deserved that." Daddy said to us both as we sat on the front steps of his family home.
We listened to some of the stories that he remembered about us and the time he was married to our Mumma. I'm glad that he too is happy now. It seems that Joan was his soulmate. That is easy to see. It was the same with me and Jen when we saw the boys.
We sat there lost in our own thoughts for a few minutes with a gentle breeze blowing around us. It drew our attention to the garden bed that mother helped plant many years earlier. The bed that held that rose in the centre of it.
A Rose called Lila.
* * * *
I have some major changes coming up in real life that can not be avoided. It means more time in the real world and less, or no time on here. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey.
If this ending seems rushed, it is. I had to get it done so I can leave. Life does not wait for anyone. But again, thank you to all who have stuck with me.
I couldn't have done it without you all. It also means something else...
There will not be any more stories coming relating to the Joifield clan. Time has passed and too many of our favorite ones have now gone as they do in life.
But you never know. One of them might pop out to say something to me when I reread their stories again when I have time.
But until then, thank you to everyone who supported Lila through her journey. I do appreciate it, the votes and the comments. But I can not drag her life on any further.
So, goodnight fro me to you wherever you are around the globe.
Tomorrow is another day to smile and wake up to. Don't forget to tell the ones you have that you love them.
YOU ARE READING
A Rose Called LilaChickLit
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