John Marsden Writing Topic #163

‘…And when they came home…’ (Michele Williams)**

How We Got Here


I just finished reading through the kids’ letters.

I had no idea that Gwen planned it all and that they all felt the way that they do. We’ve always had an open and honest relationship, especially in regards to Travis’ role in the family, but I was overwhelmed, honoured, touched and extremely proud that they all loved me enough to open up to me, especially now that they are adults.

I know Michael’s reassured me plenty of times over the years, but to have him tell me in writing not to feel guilty for reaping the benefits of his help made me feel more absolved than ever. I’ll never stop feeling guilty that I was so wrapped up in my own grief that my son had to take on the role as a father, however I’m happy to know that he turned out to be a fine, young man and it didn’t affect his views on becoming a father himself too much, I know he’ll be a great one. I had to control my tears as he was walking me down the aisle, I hope he has a daughter too one day, so he can enjoy the experience of walking down the aisle as a father of the bride, rather than the son.

Lucas’ letter, especially his reference to Travis’ dancing skills made me laugh. All of my children bring countless smiles to my face for endless reasons, however Lucas always seems to know when laughter is necessary in life. I’m relieved that he managed to find happiness with Blake after years of struggling and I know he’ll do a great job in looking after Bethie.

It didn’t surprise me that Gwen came up with this idea, she has always been thoughtful and kind. I haven’t had the chance to speak with her about it and say thank you and ask her how she came up with the idea. I thought it was interesting that everyone agreed not to read each other’s letters, however after reading them all, I think they made the right call. I don’t think they would have been as open and honest if they had. Travis did tell me about his conversation with Gwen in her car, he told me that he wanted her to know that he would always be there for her and that he was dying to tell one of the kids that he was in love with me. He chose Gwen because she is the most like me, she looked so beautiful in her aqua bridesmaid dress, which flattered her baby bump perfectly…I can’t wait to become a grandmother.

I hope that Cassie really is coping well with being around a heavily pregnant Suzanne and Gwen. I know I’m overreacting a little, but she’s my baby and I don’t want her to be depressed. She tells me that she’s never wanted children and I believe her, however I have this feeling of dread that she’ll change her mind and sink into depression. Like with Gwen, Travis told me about his interaction with her in the medical centre elevator, but not straight away. I was mad until he told me why he held back for a little while. I told him that he could never keep things from me when it came to the kids ever again, but I also kissed him on the cheek and thanked him for being a rock for her when she needed him.

I felt guilty when I finished reading Christi’s letter. She deserves to be happy after all she went through and everyone was right, I do like Peter and they are right for each other, but I just don’t understand why I couldn’t at least have been at their wedding. At least she’s trying to make it up to me by including me in her pregnancy. Twins! I can’t believe it and not to mention how full circle is that?

I like that Carrie is close with Markus’ parents. It took all of my willpower and inner strength to forgive them all those years ago. Even though I was angry, I still had a heart and morals and I knew that they needed to know about Markus’ death. It was hard to see them, even harder when they were interacting with the kids, I couldn’t help but feel that their shock and regret was some well-deserved karma (just a little), however we’re on much better terms now and I appreciate their blessing towards my new marriage.

I’m so relieved that Scott embraced his passion for cooking and has a new career to kick off in the New Year. Scott has always been smart and passionate, however I was worried about him as being an athlete is all his life has revolved around. He seems happy with Isabella and it certainly seems like she’s teaching him well. To tell you the truth, I’m also relieved that he’s retiring, I’d constantly walk around with a knot in my stomach worried that he’d injure himself so seriously that he wouldn’t be able to come back from it.

I’ve never gotten an insight into the twins’ lives from both of them at the same time before. It was interesting to say the least, in all honesty they didn’t really tell me things that I didn’t already know about them, however I feel I understand them and their bond as twins a lot better now. The triplets have always been different to the point where most people don’t know that they are, but with the twins it has always been obvious and not just because of their looks. I think the separation has been good for them, they’re finally becoming their own people.

Last but certainly not least, Bethie, my baby. You wouldn’t think that her and Kane never got along when they were kids if you saw them now, even strangers can see they’re in love and they’re certainly an unstoppable force of power on the dance floor. They’re going to knock Blackpool out of the park! I’m going to miss her so much, but I know she’ll have fun and be okay, but I’ll still worry. I’ll also be cheering her on with the twins and Carrie, even if we do get thrown out, I’ll be the mad woman yelling, “that’s my baby!”

I’m happy that they’re all happy for me and Travis. The wedding was an absolute dream with all of them there and the photos will be amazing. My life well and truly began with Michael’s birth and started all over again with the births of each child afterwards. Now, as most of them have pointed out, I have a new chapter in my life to begin as a newlywed and soon-to-be grandmother.

Despite what I thought and felt at the time, I now know that I’m blessed that my life didn’t go as planned when I was seventeen.



**Reference: Marsden J 1998, Everything I Know About Writing, Pan Macmillan, Australia.

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