Henry is the lone male in a house full of girls now. Erin is here. The kids are home. Ruth threw up in the truck on the way home from the airport. With her consent I threw away the outfit she had on. Then after they were tucked in bed for the night and Erin was on the phone making plans to see some old friends I went out and cleaned my truck in the dark. Thankfully this morning it looked pretty good and smelled cleaner than usual.
The kids may have grown. They were windblown and full of confidence. They were happy to be back and plunged into routine. Their systems are shot by the time zone change. Both were out of bed late last night looking for a snack.
Erin is well. This visit heralds her permanent return to the province. She's going to stay here until April 1st and then rent a flat in the city while her tenant expires the lease on her house south of here. She's not surprised or unhappy that I have found something in Ben, and she has managed to come to terms with her brother's death in an admirable way and has been adamant that I do the same.
Jacob sent letters to everyone. Mailed virtually the day he left town. Everyone got a letter explaining his plans and his reasons and his failings and Bridget got a book. I got a book. Dozens of letters that I don't know what order to put in, journals full of how he felt about me and why he was so temporary. It's like trying to learn a new language by sitting down with a novel written in that language and hoping for the best. There are so many words I drown in the quantity before I can latch onto a meaning for safety. I can't even read most of them.
Erin thinks I can just somehow accept it, deal with it and move on. So far I have only moved on. We somehow agreed silently to let it go. She is fine with Ben, she considered it an inevitability, which I found spooky, she thinks along the same lines as Loch when it comes to those things, and she is just happy to be back. She said the kids helped to rejuvenate her folks, that having them there helped to heal the whole family and she thanked me for allowing them to go.
She brought presents. She brought plans.
I'm happy she came back.
The house is now full of honey again. Honey and photographs of days that will never be repeated and love that will never return.