Matt didn't really know what to tell him, or how to comfort him, so he asked if Caleb thought it might help to have someone else around for a little while, for us to talk to, and just as someone to be around the house in case I needed a break from being the only adult in the house. Caleb accepted the offer and told me later. The person Matt asked to drop by was an old friend of his, one I met on several occasions.
At first I was angry and annoyed that Matt did this. I don't need a stranger in my house, I don't need a man's looking after. But he's been coming by for a week now. He doesn't come in the house, because there is still a pandemic on and he's out and about quite a lot due to his job. But he comes in through the back garden. We set up chairs, we sit and talk. Sometimes it's just him and me, sometimes it's just him and the kids, sometimes it's all of us. Parts of him have changed over the past 16 years, but he was always a very affable man, and that hasn't changed. The kids really like him.
And before anyone gets any ideas- because my husband already has due to our nosy neighbour- there is nothing going on between us. Neither of us has any desire to be anything more than friends. He's a kind soul. He went with the kids to the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday afternoon. They went with Cami's daughter and her father.
I'm becoming a little less frayed around the edges. There are nights I don't sleep well, I've been prone to panic attacks during the day. But by around 7 Frankie shows up, and the air feels easier to breathe.