"I'm glad," said Percy, and quite meaningfully. He felt a pang, but he was long used to stifling the feelings, and shook it off, straightening his shoulders out.
His reserve cracked a little when she told him he should have been there. He knew that, logically, but it hadn't made him feel any better about showing up. Bill's invitation hadn't been friendly, either. And his mother...well, if that didn't get him to clam up, nothing would. He did feel bad about his mother, but he'd dug himself a deep grave when it came to Mum, and he didn't think he'd ever be able to crawl out of it.
"Mum will be fine," he replied sharply. "She's got everyone else. I think they'll be fine." He thought they'd probably been doing fine these couple years. He hadn't heard otherwise, at any rate, and no one had apologized to him for hurting his feelings - wounding his pride.