Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah

        "And thatís the story of how everything happened," Sarah finished, looking down at the little girl on the bed.
        "You mean Aunt Elaina and Uncle Kevin arenít really my aunt and uncle?"  The little girl asked.
        "Thatís right, you just call them that for nameís sake.  Besides, theyíre like your aunt and uncle, theyíre close in the family for the meaning of the name to take over," Sarah explained, reaching over to turn of the lamp next to the bed.
        "Wait, Grandma Sarah, one more question," the little girl said, stopping Sarahís hand.
        "What is it, ĎRora?"  Sarah asked, lowering her hand.
        Aurora smiled sweetly.  "When did Mommy and Daddy meet?"  She asked.
        Sarah shook her head and chuckled.  "Uh-uh, not tonight.  That story can wait until another night.  As it is, your father is going to have my head for keeping you up so long," she said.  She leaned over and kissed her granddaughterís head.  "Goodnight, Aurora," she whispered.  She switched off the lamp and walked to the door.
        "Goodnight, Grandma Sarah," Aurora called as she got comfortable.  Sarah smiled and closed the door behind her quietly, walking down the hall and to her bedroom.  She sat on her bed and pulled over the photo album that was sitting there.
        ĎSo many memories in just one lifetime,í she thought as she slowly flipped through the pictures.  First there was the picture Brian had taken of her before he left her house so long ago.  Then, the picture of them together at New Years at Nickís before they were tried to be kept apart.  Their wedding pictures in the church and at the park in front of their tree.  The day little Brian was born, a few of him when he was a baby, and then when Katie was born.  Picture after picture of Katie and Brian together, Brian always protecting her.  School pictures of each child, from preschool all the way to graduation from high school.  Sarah smiled over the pictures of Katieís accomplishments with her painting and Brianís success with his singing.  The final few pictures were of Brian and his wife, Jennifer, with their daughter, Aurora, and Katie and her husband, Michael, Katie being a few months pregnant with their first child.
        "Looking over those pictures again?"  Brian asked as he walked in the room.
        Sarah nodded and looked up at him.  "I canít believe that itís been so long.  Itís been nearly forty years since we met, forty years."
        Brian smiled and sat next to her, hugging her close to him.  "And you donít look a day over fifty."
        Sarah chuckled and hugged his arms.  "And neither do you."
        Brian smiled, or rather grinned, at her.  "Being around you makes me look and feel younger," he said.
        Sarah couldnít help but smile back.  "I look at Brian now and see the little boy I raised.  And I also see his father when he was his age," she said.
        Brian sighed.  "Well, hate to break it to you, but Iím no longer that young, though I wish I were."
        Sarah nodded.  "I know.  I like you just the way you are."
        Brian hugged her closer and Sarah closed her eyes, resting against his chest.
        "I got a call from Nick today."
        Sarah opened her eyes and looked up at Brian expectantly.  "And?  What did he say?"
        "He is now the grandfather of twins, a boy and a girl, Steven Gene and Stephanie Sheryl Porter," Brian said.
        Sarah smiled, but then her smile faded.  "I donít know whether to be happy or sad that her middle name is Sheryl."
        "Happy.  Sheryl is finally resting in peace.  She had a lot of issues back then, at least Maggie got meet her before she died," Brian said.
        Sarah nodded.  "It was so sad that she got cancer."
        "At least Nick and Sheryl settled things before she died, he was hurting inside when she finally called him."
        "Yeah, twenty years after the fact," Sarah said bitterly.
        "Well, at least she called him and didnít have to find out about her through her family.  She was suffering too, Sarah, neither remarried, they were meant to be together, if only Sheryl had stuck around to find the courage to tell Nick she was sick."
        Sarah shrugged.  "Well, its over now.  Nicky is happy, Maggie is happy, heís a grandfather, and weíre grandparents to two wonderful kids."
        Brian smiled.  "Indeed.  I find it strange that Brian chose Aurora as his daughterís name, Iíve never heard that name before."
        "You never saw Sleeping Beauty when you were little?  That was my favorite, Brian knew that," Sarah explained.  "And Katie knew to keep up the tradition of Thomas as a middle name, I think Michael Thomas is a wonderful name."
        "Well, when Brian and Jennifer have their next child, Brian told me that they already have a name picked out since theyíre sure it will be a boy.  They said next is Brian Thomas the third, theyíre going to make my name sound like royalty," Brian said, laughing.
        Sarah chuckled and stood up, getting ready for bed.  "At least heís keeping with the tradition.  Besides, he knew I would have his head if he didnít name his son Brian Thomas."
        "You threatened him?!"
        "No, I just told him it would mean a lot to everyone if his sonís name would be Brian Thomas, thatís all.  And Iíve already instructed Jennifer to get him interested in singing."
        Brian laughed.  "Youíre determined that our entire family tree will be musically orientated, arenít you?"
        "Absolutely, itís the only lifestyle that any of us know, and itís the best.  You sing, I sing, Brian sings, Jennifer plays piano and photographs for concerts and such, Katie paints and plays the violin beautifully, and Michael runs a music store and lesson center.  We canít get much more music orientated than that," Sarah pointed out.
        "True," Brian said slowly.  Sarah finished getting ready for bed, then climbed under the covers, pulling another photo album over to her.
        "Remember that Christmas?  When Kevin and Nick finally worked out their differences?"  She asked, flipping through the pages to the named holiday.  She smiled at the picture of the two men sitting together, laughing.
        "Of course," Brian replied, getting in bed next to her.
        "Well, when I went to put Aurora to bed, she said that instead of a regular story, she wanted to know our story.  The story of how you and I got together," Sarah explained.
        "What stirred that to subject?"  Brian asked, confused.
        "I think it was that Jennifer and Brian were talking about how he remembered a Christmas when his grandmother had told the story of our meeting about ten years ago.  I guess Aurora didnít hear the entire thing and wanted to know about it."
        Brian smiled sadly at the memory of his mother.  "Mom never did stop telling stories about that."
        "Well, Jackie did like the story, after we filled it in for her.  It made for good story-telling, very interesting," Sarah said, wagging her finger at him.
        "Youíre interesting," Brian said, catching her finger and leaning forward, kissing her forehead.  "Come on, letís go to bed, itís late," he said.
        Sarah sighed and closed the photo album in front of her, placing it on the dresser.  She switched off her lamp and laid down next to Brian, hugging his chest.
        "I love you, Sarah," he whispered.
        "I love you too, Brian," she replied.  She closed her eyes and dreamt about their past.

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