Lon and Hannah had had so much time together on Skype. They seemed happy enough. And she was even happier to be in a winter wonderland. Ellie still smiled at her slow like honey accent. Hannah was sure to have plenty of boys gathered around just to listen to her.
It was kind of odd, but not really. Seriously, it was a nice family gathering. And then her Mom arrived. With a cane. Ellie wasn't sure to ask if she'd slipped on ice or something entirely different.
Finally, her Mom fessed up about needing a hip replacement. Ellie couldn't believe it. Her Mom?
"How did that happen?" She winced.
"Its been trouble for some time. I used to be a cheerleader." Her Mom told her over a glass of red wine.
"You were a cheerleader?" Ellie looked at Ben. She always imagined her Mom pregnant with Ben as a teenager. Not a cheerleader.
"College, actually." Her mom shrugged as if she had been crazy popular then.
"And..and your hip?" Ellie wondered about now, not then.
"God, those two kids of Lisa just aggravate it. Climbing all over me. I love them to pieces, but they just won't stop. They know I don't feel well." She looked so soured. Ellie had no idea it was about her health. "I'm going in for surgery next month or maybe the next." She looked at Ellie as if she'd be no help to her. "I have a friend staying with me a few weeks. He's just a friend."
Ellie shot Ben a look, wishing he'd ask more questions, but he didn't.
"I'm sorry, I can't do more. I could-could maybe cook for you." Ellie offered. But she did have her hands full with the baby and Charlie.
It was a bit of an uneasy Christmas. But soon presents were opened, and it was washed over with lots of family fun. Watching the little ones so excited. It was good to have her brother here. By the looks of it, they might not be leaving until after the New Year's eve with the snow and ice that was falling outside. As it was, Lon and Ben had picked up her mother for their little feast so she wouldn't have to drive. It was hard to think of her Mom getting older. In Ellie's eyes, she would always be thirty-something and happy. She wanted to think of her Mom happy, not worn out, the way she looked now.