This week’s challenge: expect and/or unexpected.
We were waiting at the arrivals gate the air of expectation was building by the second.
How will we know her?
Is she tall?
Did she say what she’d be wearing?
What colour hair does she have?
The questions went on and on.
Yes she was arriving.
Yes were expecting her at any minute but I knew as much as anyone else. The email simply said arriving 10.20 am Qantas flight from New York.
So we stood there our necks craning over the throng of the expectant waiting to see who came through that might resemble my dad.
Aunt Amanda, dad’s sister who had gone to the States when she was eighteen and never returned, was coming home to attend dad’s funeral and we all decided to go to the airport to meet her.
Dad had maintained contact with her all these years and so it was easy to call her and speak to her when he passed away. Her voice was that strange combination of Australian accent and the twang of the words she pronounced from living in New York all these years.
She two years younger than dad and had broken her parents hearts when she left to marry Barry Nook a soldier she had met when he was stationed at the camp down the road from their home.
Barry had died a few years earlier and dad had been saddened that his health was not good enough to go to his funeral.
But Aunt Amanda was soon to come into our lives. She was the last of her line and we were it as far as an Aussie family went.
My son Benny held up a sign, ‘Welcome Aunt Amanda”.
I was getting fidgety, the kids impatient, my wife looking worried, as were we all, as it seemed to take an eternity before we saw her.
Before us stood a woman, the exact image of dad. The same shining blue eyes, that smile that dad had when he looked happy to see you.
She embraced us all, there were G’day’s all round, I gathered her luggage and we headed for the car.
We expected a woman who might be reserved with us from being so long away but in fact we found a woman so pleased to be among us that we couldn’t help but feel immediately warm towards her.