My Missing Cousin Story
I was born in South Australia and lived in that state for the first 22 years of my life. Eventually, I moved to Queensland, so am somewhat “isolated” from family members, and my regular trip to Adelaide has been postponed because of the restrictions of Covid 19.
Normally when I drive down to Adelaide, I stop along the highway south of Broken Hill and catch up with a cousin, a bachelor just a little older than me. He’s not big at communicating, despite having land and mobile phone, and internet with email. He doesn’t like the calls from folk he does not know, and all the extra emails that come through so tends to not answer his phone and not use email. I was concerned that was missing, ill or even dead.
|Mines and their families created living quarters in the creek – but sadly after heavy rains the area flooded, and they moved to safer areas. These dugouts have certainly stood the ‘test of time’.|
When I tried to contact him via email earlier this year, there was no response. I phoned and phoned and there was no answer. The phone rang out. Again and again. I phoned my sister in Adelaide and she tried too, with the same results that I experienced.
So several weeks ago I wrote a letter–asking him to call me, but again no response. Was he missing? I mentioned my frustration to a friend, who suggested I call the police to see if they could do a check for me. After a few days, I did just that.
My cousin lives in a very small town, which apparently has only one police officer in the local station. I tried to phone that station but learned that the only officer was away when I phoned and my call was diverted to a larger station not far away. I told my concerns to a lovely lady officer who was very helpful. That was around 3 pm.
The officer phoned me back soon after–she’d made a few calls. My cousin had not been admitted to the local hospital, and she was awaiting information from another officer.
Not long after, a police officer from another local station phoned me. They had found my cousin alive and well, and he would phone me later that evening. He did so.
When my cousin phoned me that evening, he told the story. We had a few laughs as the story unfolded. My cousin had decided to have fish and chips for his evening meal, and he walked to a local roadhouse/café to get his meal. As he walked back to his home, he “felt” a car following him. He didn’t look, but walked faster to the safety of his home. A police car pulled into his drive-way and the officer got out of the car and asked him who he was. My cousin was quite freaked out by the experience, though soon learned that his Queensland relative (me) was behind the ”police search”.
My cousin had received my letter the day before–but had not phoned me as requested.
I have thanked the officer, the lovely lady with whom I initially communicated, and I will be sending a thank you letter or card. My cousin phoned my sister and laughingly told the story of his brush with the law. Now we have all had a laugh about it all.
It may be some time before I can make my journey south to the city of my birth, but I will stop and either stay the night or have a meal with my country cousin when the borders are eventually opened.
Covid-19 has certainly changed the way we live and travel and I will certainly be glad when so many of our restrictions are lifted. I can’t wait to take a long drive and visit family members I’ve not seen for a long time.