When they got home the boys had all the outside decorations on and the house looked great. Brett and Stephanie had spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving putting them up. Emmy and the boys had helped a little, but Brett was very particular. So they mostly just tested the lights. Tonight it looked absolutely beautiful.
They drove around back and pulled into the garage. Brett opened the back door and helped Emmy out. She’d almost fallen asleep on the way home but had fought it. Stephanie grabbed her small bag and they headed inside. Waiting just inside were Tyler and Jake with big smiles on their faces.
“Finally!” They both gave her hugs. “You look like Tyler.” Jake was admiring the new brace.
Stephanie filled them in “Someone busted out some stitches. It took us a little longer getting home because they had to go in and re-stitch. Now she’s confined so she won’t bust them out again.”
“So now that you’re home, what’s first?”
Emmy hesitated, she wasn’t sure. “I’d really like a shower? I smell like the hospital.”
“Absolutely. You take a seat in on the couch and I’ll go get everything ready. I’ll have to help again, if that OK?” Emmy nodded.
Several years ago they had remodeled their bathroom. They had taken out the tub/shower unit and had replaced it with a bigger walk-in shower. Stephanie thought it might be easier for Emmy to use it.
When they were ready Brett ran to get some food while they showered. It took forever for Stephanie to get her all ready to go in. All the waterproof bandages and tube checks took a while. Brett returned with soup and sandwiches and they were still in there.
He stood by the door and smiled as he heard them talking. Stephanie was telling her about the time she’d broken her finger at practice and Brett had been forced to do her hair for a couple of weeks.
This morning after seeing her wince he had pulled her hair into a ponytail for her. She looked so surprised that he had known how.
When the hair dryer came on he went back to the kitchen. The couch was covered in blankets and the boys were smiling. “What are you two up to?”
“We made Emmy a nest on the couch.” Jake was proud.
“We were afraid she’d eat and go back to her room. So we set her up a spot here so she can watch TV or sleep. Whatever she feels like and still be with the family.” Tyler fluffed the pillows again. Brett smiled the boys really had missed her.
“Sounds good. Why don’t you all see if there are any Christmas movies on.”
“We have tons on the DVR. We’ve been taping them for days to show Emmy.”
“Did you know she’s never seen The Polar Express or The Grinch?” It didn’t surprise Brett.
“Dad she’s never even seen Home Alone.” The boys were appalled by that. Those were two of their favorite movies.
Slowly and with Stephanie’s help Emmy came back down the hall. “The boys set you up a spot right there.” Emmy smiled and Stephanie helped her over to the couch.
“Emmy do you feel like eating a little something? I got some soup.”
“Thank you. I’ll try.”
Brett got everyone’s food ready while Stephanie hooked up the infusion pump. They had to get one more serving of the supplement into her tonight. Stephanie wanted to get it done before she fell asleep so she wouldn’t have the tubing connected while she tried to sleep. From the look of her eyes she needed to hurry. Leaving the hospital and then the shower had really taken it out of her.
Tyler returned and handed her a mug of soup and a bowl with some crackers, which he carried with his bad arm. Everyone else went into the kitchen to grab their food. Brett was glad that they had chosen such a big sectional last year when they’d replaced the shabby old couch they’d had since they got married. With Emmy stashed in the corner he and Stephanie on each side and Tyler beside Stephanie. There was still enough room for Jake, had he wanted to sit there. Instead he chose the recliner so he could elevate his leg.
Stephanie looked around as Jake found the Home Alone they had recorded. They were sure a sight. No matter how bad they looked right now, with their slings and casts and feeding tubes. They were her little family and there was nowhere else in the world that she wanted to be right now.
Twenty minutes into the movie Emmy was out. Her head leaned over on Brett’s shoulder. “She actually ate most of that soup.” In the car she said she didn’t want any but he went ahead and got some anyway hoping the smell would make her change her mind.
They went ahead and finished the movie with the boys. They all laughed at their favorite parts like when the robber steps on the Christmas ornaments. But they did so quietly careful to not wake Emmy who had now made it through an entire day without throwing up.
Stephanie slid out and changed into pajamas. The boys hung around and watched Sportscenter. When she came back Stephanie laid down on the other half of the couch and Brett headed off to shower. The boys finally got tired and went downstairs.
When Brett returned the TV was still on but Emmy and Stephanie were both fast asleep, their heads almost touching in the angle of the couch. Brett checked the pump and was glad to see it had finished. He unhooked her and tucked the tube back inside her shirt. He pulled the cover close around her shoulders and covered Stephanie, dropping a kiss on her forehead. Turning the TV off he left the Christmas tree on. He loved the way the white lights of the tree made them look almost angelic as they slept.
Several days ago they’d talked about how to handle the gifts for the kids. They thought about just letting Santa take care of them, but after talking to some of the girls on the team they knew that Emmy had never been in a position to get gifts from Santa. So with Kim’s help over the last couple of days they just wrapped them all the put them under the tree.
Brett thought about sleeping in the recliner but really needed a good night’s sleep so he headed back to their room alone. He left the door open incase they needed him and climbed into the bed. His body relaxing the moment his head hit the familiar pillow.