In Grandma’s eyes, her meal rivalled that of a king’s feast.
In Jeff’s eyes, the meal would prove more of a challenge than survival within the Oort cloud.
Still, he had to grin and bear it; he had to make sure his mom was happy.
Somehow that didn’t seem to be too momentous a task, there was a spark of vitality to her, an ethos to her that he thought could easily have diminished on the very instant he went missing.
But the Tracys were made of sterner stuff, they had to be in this field of expertise, where rescues could go awry at any second and lives were at stake, including those trying to preserve said life.
They had to be on edge, their skills and wits always at the ready.
He took a bite of the charred turkey, his mother looking at him with a bedazzled and encouraging stare, daring him to take a bite. He got the distinct impression she was in on something, as if she’d come to an epiphany many years ago about her own cooking and wanted to see just how much the fabled Tracy stomach could take.
Grandma could sense something was bothering Jeff, and that it had little to do with her efficiency at cooking.
“Give me something for my ear to chew on dear, what’s troubling you?” Grandma asked politely.
“I heard the boys talking about Alan’s graduation; it happened only a couple of hours before they set out to find me”
“You weren’t there to see him leave this earth a boy, but in the Oort cloud, you got to see him as the man he’d become” Grandma replied.
Jeff cheered up, and took a bite of the blackened turkey, giving it an aggressive and determined chew; he was channelling his frustration into devouring and ultimately digesting it.
“I was lucky to be in just the right spot, they came at just the right time, their long reach saving me from the short end. When it came my turn to save Scott as the asteroid came apart, I heard no screams, no cries, no desperation; everyone was prepared for something, prepared for hope, prepared for doubt, prepared for rescue, and even prepared for the end”
“You taught them the art of preparation Jeff, they carried it with them all their lives, and it’s what enabled them to save countless others” Grandma assured him.
Jeff wiped his mouth gently with a napkin, threw it down, and rose from his chair fully recharged and primed.
“How do you feel son?” asked Grandma.
“As prepared as they were, and still are. Let’s save lives” said Jeff.
Thunderbirds were go.