Brian walks into the kitchen, going up to Elizabeth who is stirring the pot of mashed potatoes, he puts his arms around her. She just leans into him, feeling at ease, feeling close to him. Reminding her and him, how they normally are together. Why they fight so hard to be together.
“Babe, is dinner almost ready? Ethan is here.” Brian says, as Ethan just stands in the doorway watching.
“Oh ok, you guys go take a seat at the table, and we will be right in with dinner. Hello Ethan, thank you for coming.” Elizabeth says as she takes the pot off the stove.
“Thank you for having me,” Ethan answers just watching before he goes to take his seat. Remembering how this use to be his family. How she would cook for him, and their children. Never thinking that would come to an end and she would be someone else's.
He does his best to put that behind him, knowing it will never be like that again. Just at the time, instead of cherishing it, he would always say something was wrong. He nows sees the error of his ways, it's just too late to turn back time.
Brian, Ethan, Tylor and baby Zach take their seats in the dining room, Izzy and Sofia following. With Joan and Elizabeth bringing in the dinner.
“Roast beef, with mashed potatoes, seasoned carrots, garlic bread, and salad. I hope all of you enjoy it.” Elizabeth says.
“Can’t wait, mom, it's just like old times.” Sofia states.
Elizabeth just smiles taking her seat next to Brian, as Ethan fills his plate and tries to ignore that statement.
“I am so glad all of us can be gathered here today, to enjoy this meal. I am glad we have come this far.” Elizabeth comments.
“Same here and again thank you for having me.” Ethan answers.
“No problem. I never asked where are you going to live?” Elizabeth asks.
“Like I told Brian earlier with my mother. She isn’t doing well at all after my father has passed. So I am trying to be there.” Ethan replies.
“Oh, she was never really easy to get along with. I guess now she has her wish of you living and being with her. Maybe that will make it better?” Elizabeth responds.
“It hasn’t really. She has just gotten worse. Her health is declining due to it. She misses my father and wants to be with him.” Ethan answers.
Elizabeth just looks at him funny.
“They really never got along that well. They fought all the time.” Elizabeth responds.
“I guess that was their way, she is lost without it. All those years of being together, it's hard to just walk away and forget it ever happened.” Ethan admits.
“True, She needs to make this her time. Do something for herself. Maybe after a while of her griefing she will feel that way?” Elizabeth says.
“Maybe, who knows. My sister can’t deal with it anymore, so it's on me. Now that I don’t have a family they feel that I should be the one to take over.” Ethan remarks.
“You can always put her away? She doesn’t have to be your burden. Don’t let her push you into this like she has so many other things, Ethan. This should be the time of your life that your free to do what you want. You worked hard enough, don’t let her ruin it.” Elizabeth states.
“I know, but she is my mother. I just can’t through her to the curb.” Ethan answers.
“I know, If she was different, I would say do it, but we all know how she is. She is miserable and wants you to be the same.” Elizabeth comments, not able to hold back her feelings.
“We will see how long it lasts, Hopefully, things will get better,” Ethan responds.
Brian just eating and listening, not really knowing why Elizabeth cared either way. She had no part of this anymore. Then he did know how she disliked Karen. He also, knows that Elizabeth will not hold back her feelings anymore, saying just how she feels, and he is proud of her for it.
“Mom, Dad, Brian, if I can have your attention? I have something I would like to discuss with you,” Izzy says.
“Sure of course. What is going on?” Elizabeth asks.
"Of course, Izzy." Ethan answers.
Brian just nods, as he eats, a little surprised to even be one she wanted to discuss anything with, but happy to be invited to.
“Well, I stayed here while daddy was in our old home, I don’t want to live with grandmom, and I want to go to college. I was just thinking you were always saying you wanted me to come to stay with you. Would I be able to come now? I can go to a New Jersey college and commute up and back. That way I can spend some time with you as well.” Izzy says.
Ethan just looks at his daughter, hurt, that she wants to leave him. It takes him by surprise and Elizabeth can see the hurt all over his face. Brian is also taken by surprise and figures to let Elizabeth take the lead on it.
Elizabeth looks at Brian, who continues to eat. He didn’t mind her coming, he couldn’t say much anyway. Elizabeth took his son without any complaints, he was willing to do the same. The look on Ethan’s face just makes it even better for Brian. He knew it had to hurt, he just felt now you know how it feels. What goes around comes back around. He just remains silent.
“I would love that. We don’t have much room though. You would have to bunk in Tylor’s room. There are two twin beds in there, mom-mom had to bunk with him also.” Elizabeth responds.
“That's ok, We bunked together when it was last Christmas. I would like to come before the holidays so we can spend them together.” Izzy announces.
Again Elizabeth looks at Ethan, who now could barely eat. Yet, he still keeps his feelings to himself, knowing if he says something it will just go back to what things were and he doesn't want that. At the same time, he doesn't want this either.
“I think maybe to be fair, you should stay here for Thanksgiving. It would be nice for you to give that to your father. Then afterward you can come, and spend Christmas with us. We will have to look for a college close to us, and get things ready.” Elizabeth says.
Brian seeing she is trying to make a compromise and that she still cares about Ethan’s feelings in away. Even though they had their hard times, this was both their child. She knew what it was like to be apart from them, how badly it hurt. She was trying to make it easier for Ethan.
“Ok, I think that's fine mom, it will give me more time to pack.“Izzy answers.
“So you are just going to up and leave us?” Sofia asks.
Ethan wanted to ask the same question but stayed quiet.
“Oh you will be fine, you can always come too. You're just too settled here, where I’m not. I really liked it when we visited. I been thinking about this for a while now and finally made up my mind.” Izzy says.
“I am not sure about moving there. I have a home and a job here. Plus I don’t think Micheal would want to move. His family is here and so is ours.” Sofia answers.
“You're the one that wanted to get married.” Izzy Laughs.
“You two are both different and there is nothing wrong with that. If Sofia wants to stay here that's fine. She has your father and Mom-mom here. Which that is another thing. Mom, have you thought about moving closer to us?” Elizabeth asks.
“I have believe it or not. I come and go. Like Izzy, I really enjoyed it there. It's just hard to get up and leave here. We will see.” Joan responds.
“Well, if you are all going to come, we are going to need a bigger house,” Brian says jokingly. Feeling this could be the best thing ever.
“Looks like you will be getting stuck with the lot of them,” Ethan replies.
“That's ok, I don’t mind. Elizabeth has always been there for me, taking in Tylor. We are a family. I am sure we can work something out if you want to come live with us Joan.” Brian answers with a smile.
“I thought about that, I am not sure I would want to live with you. I don’t want to be a burden on you. I was thinking if I did I would get my own home. That way everyone has their privacy.” Joan remarks.
“That sounds good, We are getting a big bonus for Christmas and Elizabeth and I have a lot to talk about. It’s either we get a new home, with more room, or expand ours. Maybe we can do a mother-in-law suite. Just for you. So you can be on our land, just in your own space.” Brian answers.
“Oh, that would be lovely, even if I just came to visit for a few months at a time,” Joan replies.
Ethan just sees how everything is different, and changing even more. He would be losing his daughter and even his mother in law. His other fear was that all of them would wind up going to New Jersey leaving him behind. He just knew it would be a bit harder for Sofia with her husband. But never say never.
If they all left that left him here alone, his old family, no longer. That just put more emptiness inside of him.