Tim knocked on the door and was greeted by Kevin's son. "Hey, uncle Tim! Just in time for dinner!"
"Oh yeah, I bet I can beat you to the table!" They laughed as Tim came in and closed the door, watching the child run off to the dining room.
"Timothy!" Kevin's wife was a boisterous woman who loved to be involved in everything that was going on.
"Hello, Gloria. How did the recipes do for you?"
"Oh, I am so glad that you got them all out for me. It is not the same without your sister here to cook with, but she is certailny here in spirit today. Holidays are for remembering loved ones, as much as celebrating life and family. Do you think so?"
"Oh, yes." He kissed her on the cheek. "If only we can get my wicked brother to agree."
"Ahh, nice to see you, too, Tim." Kevin came and stood in the doorway, throwing darts with his eyes. "We do not see so much of you recently. Good to have you here."
They went in and sat at dinner. Christmas was in two days, but it was tradition for them to celebrate early, going back to when their sister helped feed the homeless and Christmas Eve and Christmas day. There had been unspoken agreement that even though this was their first year without her, they would continue her traditions as much as possible. [The wife;s] parents were there, and Tim greeted them warmly, glad that there would be less awkward silence with his brother with other guests around. The kids helped, too, asking their loud and funny questions, laughing and being scolded much of the evening.
Towards the end of dinner, Kevin offered an olive branch. "How is your friend Christine?"
"They are doing well." Tim nodded his head. They had been very distant since Kevin had accepted the Jones' case against Christine, and Tim did not feel that it was Kevin's right to know such things. The truth was, he was spending quite a bit of time with their family. He and Chad had met and gotten to know one another relatively well. They even went out on a double date one night when Tim met a girl during a study group. Once he had accepted that Christine would only be his friend, It had been enjoyable to get to know her as such, and they all began to feel comfortable with one another.
Kevin nodded to Tim, accepting that the subject was still not one to talk about. But Tim surprised him a little. "They have really included me in their lives. Christine and Chad are kind of starting new since the accident, and they wanted me to be part of their friends. She really wanted to expand the people she knows and hangs out with. It has been fun, kind of learning how to branch out and let go and enjoy life. I am glad that I pursued the friendship."
Kevin sighed with relief, and his wife served dessert. Missing their sister and overcoming disagreements had been a tough part of their lives, and it was finally looking like things were settling down and relaxing. All was well, after all.