The shoe man came back into work, and as I bought two pairs of shoes the last time he visited only a month ago (http://boomayhew.blogspot.com/2009/07/shoes.html) I couldn't really justify buying any more.
Luckily he also sells handbags, so I treated myself to a really nice dark brown, soft Italian leather, MASSIVE bag. It'll come in handy for my trip to Savannah (on the plane).
I love handbags. I have bags inside bags (inside bags) so that I can store them all. Every time we went on a trip, even a day trip to France or Belgium, Cliff would tease me and say, "oh look, a handbag shop and you NEED one of those Boo." I'd make a noise like "oooooooooooh" and practically run into the shop, like the proverbial kid in a candy store.
As I was looking through the bags, I was inundated with such vivid memories of being with Cliff whilst buying other additions to my collection; in Jamaica, in Hong Kong, in London, in Chelmsford, in Ostend, and in each memory he was always the same ... patient, grinning at my childish excitement and pleasure, trying to steer me towards the better-made or sometimes cheaper options on offer.
And instead of the sadness that came with buying the shoes, my heart was smiling when I bought the bag.
Smiling at the memories.
Smiling at him.
Smiling at how proud I still am to be his wife.