My siblings and I all chipped in this year and sent my parents away to the seaside town of Port Fairy for Father's Day. I suggested they call in to the well known Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld for lunch. Dad was concerned they wouldn't get in as the place is usually booked out well in advance but they went in with fingers crossed they would get a seat, and they did.
It was a great way to kick off what was a really lovely weekend for them. One of the effects of Amyloidosis is that it attacks your tongue, your tongue swells a lot and attacks your taste buds continuously, foods you once loved don't taste the same and a meal you enjoy one day is pretty horrible the next. At this stage Dad was not enjoying the taste of many foods.
He rang me, excited to tell me that he was on the balcony of the accommodation we had booked watching seven whales out in the ocean. He also told me how lunch at the Royal Mail had been really great, specifically the wine he had drunk, he couldn't remember the name of it but he sure would like to give it another go.
My Dad and I always liked to enjoy a glass of wine with a meal together.
I didn't think much more of it until I was looking at my new followers on twitter and noticed that the Royal Mail had just started following me. I ended up sending them some messages asking if there was any way they knew what the wine was that a person drank a couple of weeks ago.
We started emailing and they told me exactly what my parents had for their meal, the wine Dad drank and they let me know that only 28 cases had been made. They had one of the very last cases of the wine left.
The Royal Mail then sent me one of their last remaining bottles and I excitedly waited for it to arrive to surprise Dad with it, after a week we realised it was lost to the hands of some Australia Post employee who I hope didn't choke on a peanut while they drank it and the Royal Mail very kindly sent me another bottle.
It arrived on Friday while I was having lunch with Dad. When I got home and saw it I rang Mum to tell her it was here and I couldn't wait to have it with Dad, he was happy to eat fish which it would go well with.
But then Dad went and died that night. When I packed my bag at 6.30 in the morning I packed the wine in my bag too. I cried to Mum that we haven't drunk the wine yet.
Mum suggested I keep it and we have it in a few years to remember Dad at a special time. Again I messaged the Royal Mail and they let me know it would cope with cellaring for 5 - 10 years if I wanted to hold it. I was thinking maybe we might have it for Christmas this year instead.
Yesterday Mr H drove me the few hours home and our lovely neighbour met us straight away. As I chatted to her Mr H started to unpack the car.
The bottle rolled straight out of the station wagon on to the drive way.
For a moment I nearly lost it (again). Then I decided that Dad just clearly never wanted me to drink that wine without him.
The Story goes on...
Edited with an Update: Friday 2 November 2012
Yesterday I went to spend the day talking, crying and getting through the day with a wonderful friend. Our little girls played perfectly together all day. After a couple of hours my lovely friend said "I have bought something for you, that I hope you don't find upsetting'. I was intrigued at what it could possibly be.
The night before, with her three children probably wanting dinner, homework checked, bathtime etc she instead drove around the bottleshops in our area hunting down a bottle of 'The Story' wine.
She found one and placed it on the table in front of me. I didn't know what to say, I was so touched by this act, couldn't believe that she had found it and was expecting the bottle to spontaneously combust in front of my eyes.
I have a bottle of 'The Story', I am planning on drinking it with my siblings on Christmas Day (Mum doesn't drink so we don't have to share). If anything happens to this bottle of wine I am taking one to the cemetery and pouring it over Dad's grave to ensure he finally gets to have another taste.