She adjusted her pearls in the mirror as the sounds of her family gathering below flowed over her like the smell of her favorite perfume. It’s been so long since we’ve been together, she thought, now everyone is home. She tugged at her blouse one last time and turned to go downstairs to join the family. Standing in the door watching her was Jed Delaney, her sweet Jed, her beloved husband of over thirty-five years.
“Martha, you look radiant as usual,” Jed said as he took her hand, “the gang’s all here, are you ready?”
darling,” she said as she pecked him on the cheek. They descended the
stairs into the front parlor, a crackling fire welcoming them.
the bottom step waiting on them was their oldest son, Michael, who had
arrived just a few moments before. Michael grabbed Martha and gave her a
big bear hug, “Mom, it is so good to see you and dad, I’ve missed you
so much.” Beside Michael was Jackie O, as they called her, a nice Irish
girl named Jaclyn Katharine O’Reily before she became Michael’s bride
and mother to their two sons, Matthew and Mark, and yes, they are
working on Luke and John.
Mary Beth, the only daughter, sat in
the overstuffed leather wing chair, looking like the princess she was.
As her mother approached, she rose and they embraced, communicating as
only a mother and daughter could. Mary Beth hooked her arms through
Martha’s and they turned toward Ross.
Ross was the baby of the
family and Martha mothered over him as he grew up. Often Martha refused
to let him join in with his friends, “They’re such a rowdy bunch,” but
Ross never really would mind as he knew Martha would make it up to him
somehow, usually in the form of fresh baked cookies or pie. Martha walked over to Ross and adjusted his tie, “A man in
uniform can’t have a crooked tie,” she said. “You look so handsome in
your dress blues.” She reached down and put a letter in his hand. “You
can read it later, it’s just mushy mom stuff.” She looked at Mary Beth
and together they straightened the flag that draped Ross’ coffin, Martha
looked back at Ross. “Welcome home baby boy, now the family is all
together once again.”