This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt. Hope y'all like it!
“You shouldn’t be worrying with breakfast,” Tyler said, kissing his mother on the cheek and squeezing her arm in reassurance. “We can fend for ourselves.”
“I know you can, dear, but I need something to do,” she replied, wiping a tear from her eye. “I have to stay busy.”
“I understand. It was always that way,” Tyler agreed, remembering other breakfasts during times of crisis, with his mother working furiously at the stove, taking care of everyone else. “But this time is different.”
“We all grieve in our own way, Tyler.”
He knew that tone of voice. His mother was telling him to back off in her own unique way. Tyler couldn’t remember a time in his life when his mother wasn’t a beacon of strength. Everyone thought his father kept the family together, but Tyler knew different. He knew if the roles were reversed, and his father was here today instead of his mother, the whole clan would unravel at the seams.
“Uncle Tyler! Uncle Tyler!”
“Hey, buddy,” Tyler replied, scooping his four-year old nephew up in a bear hug. “What’s up?”
“Will you play outside with us? Everybody else is too busy.”
“Well, buddy, I don’t know,” Tyler said, watching his sisters walk into the room, eyes red-rimmed. “I think your mommy might need me.”
“Eva, Cheryl,” Tyler greeted them. “How are you two holding up?”
“As well as can be expected, I guess,” Eva replied, choking up.
Tyler crossed the room and took her in his arms. “We’ll make it through this, Sis. It won’t be easy, but we will. Dad would want us to.”
Cheryl patted his cheek, said, “You and mom, we always know we can count on you. Kindred spirits, responsible for taking care of the rest of us.”
Tyler smiled sheepishly, glancing at his mom serving up the eggs, realizing for the first time that he was his mother’s son.