Last time I visited Vee was the first time I didn't see Max.

That's mostly what I remember from our trip last year. His absence - at least his physical absence - caught me off-guard when I walked through the door, even though I knew (of course) that he was gone. There was something about... seeing him not there. I'd met Vee face to face a handful of times prior to that, and I'd never seen him not there before.

This time it seemed more normal. So did Vee - that is, in a certain manner of speaking. Whenever I see her she seems to be holding it together abnormally well, but last year was especially awe-inspiring. She was not just functioning. She was actually coping. Or perhaps she was just distracted by the way I got so horribly lost I turned up for her home-cooked lunch closer to dinner time, then somehow managed to throw it all around her lounge room. I guess if I was that busy concentrating on remaining graceful and accommodating whilst setting up trundle beds and portacots for my hours-late guest and - I might add - facilitating doctor's visits for her son and then shampooing tomato out of my carpet and easy chair I probably wouldn't have time to fall apart either.

Still, there were brief moments when it bubbled to the surface, and in those moments I wondered how she kept from spilling over. This time, it was... well, the not-spilling-over seemed more like a given. Something she does with ease, every day, but not (I'm sure) all the time.

We visited her home, their home, the one she shared with Max and then also with Boo and then only with Boo, in the final week before she emptied it of its contents and headed for higher ground - higher both geographically and, I hope, emotionally. This time I marked our agreed time of arrival down in my calendar as several hours earlier than our actual agreed time of arrival, totally baffling Vee when I turned up on time babbling about being horribly late. She took some great photos she's not happy with but everyone else is, and she taught me a new recipe which I am yet to try and have so far not thrown onto anyone's carpet. PB enjoyed being at Boo's house even better than riding on the bus or giving Surprise Baby "train rides" in her cot around the hotel room or even chasing helpless pigeons whilst making a horrid, loud, and highly irritating screeching noise, which I thought was his favourite thing ever. And we enjoyed ourselves, too.

Thanks, Vee - you're a wonderful host and an amazing woman. And despite what you might feel, a darn fine photographer, too.


Lut C. said...

Sounds like you had a good visit with Vee and Boo.
Hope Vee's move went well, I suppose we'll hear about it when she's settled in.

Vee said...

Thank you! It's always a pleasure to have you guys over and next time you stay I will actually have a spare bedroom for you.

I am certainly feeling Max's absence in the new house, missing him lots.

You are always welcome x

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