Biographical Non-Fiction posted August 28, 2014 Chapters:  ...28 29 -30- 31... 

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Finding the love of my life - A Hospital Romance

A chapter in the book The Little Dog That Wouldn't Let Go

A Meeting That Changed Two Lives.

by Sankey

As Carson Robison, I think it was, said on the old "Trains" record, years ago:
"Well, folks! That's all, back to the asylum! Goodbye!"

Chapter 11(Word)

Part of my duties in the Out-Patients area was getting typing done for patient's files. I frequently dealt with the temporary supervisor of the Out-Patients Typing Pool who mostly managed an area called the Discharge Typing Pool over in the Medical Records building. Having seen my notice about starting meetings for hearing impaired staff she mentioned it to a girl in her section. 

This young lady was hearing impaired as part of her Cerebral Palsy. After the supervisor (who already knew who I was) had been encouraging her to get in touch with me about these meetings for a while, she did! 

Louise was a "Rubella" baby. She was 3 months in her Mum's womb when her mother contracted German Measles. Unfortunately, in those days, there was no preventative medicine, as exists now for young women to protect against Rubella and other things before getting pregnant. 

I know that God had brought her into my life, as a matter of fact, He planned it a long time before. Even with the success in getting the job at Concord Hospital. Another miracle!

The eventual meeting with Louise was God-ordained, His design, unbeknownst to me on much earlier times when I was still very young. 

My mother used to visit people at the "Royal Ryde Homes" known as the "Home for Incurables." I got to go with Mum a few times, and meet some of the wonderful people, with whom she did Bible Studies. These people were all twisted up in their bodies, from various conditions but still bright and alert in their minds. One of the ladies had dived into a swimming pool on the shallow end at a much younger age, I am guessing and broken her neck. 

I know that meeting these folks was preparation for this time, much later, of meeting Louise. In the previous eight years, there had been attempts by friends to organize blind dates and so on but to no avail. Bachelorhood continued. 

A comment by a pastor, a couple of years before this time, confirmed how God would bring us together. When I asked him:
 "When is God going to bring the right one along, for me?" He answered and said ...
"Maybe you will lead her to the Lord yourself!" How true and profound that was to be! At that later time, the pastor's comment,  years before, went along with some thoughts I had in visiting these folks at "Weemala" at Royal Ryde Homes, in those many years past. God was showing me He knew I would finally find real happiness with someone who was "out of the ordinary." Perhaps a single mother with children. Or someone with a handicap. He was preparing me, even YEARS before I would meet this special person. He had picked us out for each other.

I called her on the phone that day and I suggested to Louise; as I came to know her later, we have lunch to talk about the meetings. (I had absolutely no malicious or romantic intentions, at that time) and she agreed. On the arranged day I went down to the cafeteria. Just near the entrance to the cafeteria, stood a slight, bespectacled girl with brown straight hair. I had seen this girl on my travels around the hospital (doing my rounds with files, etc.) I had also noticed her walking style, with her crutches.

Even before we started talking, I had already taken a liking to Louise. We had lunch and I talked about this group for Hearing Impaired staff I was trying to get set up.

I was also still having treatment with the Endocrinology professor. When I told him about meeting Louise all he said was...
"Ask her out! Ask her out!"

In some mysterious way, things progressed to the point of my ringing Louise on the phone, at home. Visiting her at her parents' home and sometime later, we had our first date. Boy, what a fun date that was! We went to see "Back to the Future" that was showing at the old Astra Cinema in Parramatta, now the Greater Union Cinema complex. The funny bit wasn't going to see the movie but what happened, during the show! I WENT TO SLEEP, on our first date! It was so embarrassing when I found out I had gone to sleep.

My going to sleep in the pictures must have been forgiven because we continued to see each other, both at work during the lunch break. (Wow! Some of those lunch breaks nearly broke up good relationships with our bosses,) as well as visiting her at her parents' home. It was through Louise I learned that it really doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, BUT IT'S THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS. The extra benefit in all this was that she was then and still is after, now more than 32 years of marriage, a good looker!

We spent s
o many wonderful times, in the beginning, sitting on the log in the grounds at the back of the "Medical Records" building at the hospital. At the time we met, we were both quite unhappy with our lot in life. Louise's brother with whom she had been close, married a few months previously. This, after also losing her beloved companion, her dog "Teena", had compounded her unhappiness. My situation was not much better.

Some months prior to this, I had given up church activities for a period of six weeks; as well as my involvement in politics. A kind of breakdown had occurred. However, I had continued my work duties normally (in a strained sort of fashion). I think my near breakdown, plus, undiagnosed (at that time,) other problems, contributed to some forgetfulness at work, as well. I remember one day at work, by this time in the Staff Development area, I had forgotten to set up a training room for a session.

Many lunchtimes were spent talking about our lives, on that log. Even though Louise still claims I was pushy in the beginning, I was quite happy for things to move along in an orderly fashion. After a few months of seeing each other, I was keen to "go steady" with Louise. I took her out to an Italian Restaurant not too far away from where we worked that fateful Friday night. After the wonderful meal, I asked her to "go steady" with me. 

I had asked quite a few friends around the place to pray that night that God's will would be done and Louise would agree if it was His will. The new relationship coming as it did, so many years after my previous non-adventure in the lovelorn stakes, made me determined not to lose my heart again, too quickly. As it turned out, she said...
 "No," to my request. I was crushed. But seeing I was trusting the Lord to work things out, I was sort of happy though disappointed, to leave it in His Hands.

The following Monday, I got a call on the internal phone at work.
"Louise here, would you like to have lunch?" After falling off the chair in shock, I replied in a half disgruntled tone,
 "Ok, see you, at the Cafeteria at 12:30 pm." We met outside the cafeteria and went to our table. I looked at her, all lit up like a Christmas tree and said:
 "What's the matter with you?" 

She replied with a giggle and big grin...
"I changed my mind!"

In a discussion with a family friend recently, I was reminded of the one time I tried to get Louise into the surf at North Curl Curl, one of our North Coast beaches, not too far away. It was "fun" getting the (ordinary) wheelchair across the sand, then handling her in the water with all her sunblock on. She was so slippperrryyyy! We didn't attempt it again!

A couple of good things about my time at the hospital were:

1. Meeting the Endocrinologist and… 

2. Meeting the girl I would marry not all that long after I moved back into the city with work.



First Picture (Top Left)is our very first photo together, others as we meandered along.
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