Chapter 13

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As we go around the table everyone's says the usual "im thankful for my loving family and job and house!" I'm going deep and saying something im really thankful for. When it's finally my turn to wait I feel my cheeks redden, "im thankful for my family, but most importantly Claire. I'm thankful that Claire has been here for the past 3 years and supported anything and everything I've wanted to do." I say feeling i lump build in my throat. When I look at Claire I see her tearing up, "she's been there for me since 5th grade and I cant ask for a better best friend and soon-to-be step mom!" I say and 1 tear falls down my face and we're both smiling at each other and I know she knows I meant every word. For 3 years she's the one who's been here for me. Through all the bullying in 6th grade, all the laughs at family game nights, the many times so far i've cried for some reason i haven't figured out yet, but most of all she's the one who's been my mom. i remember having a great relationship with my mom, we would go snowboarding together when i was 7, eat ice cream really late just because, and i remember this one time i couldnt sleep so i went down to my mom's room and we watched 50 first dates and ate sour patch kids till i fell asleep. when we had Christmas with her Nicholas and I would always sleep in her bed on Christmas eve and she would sleep on the couch outside her room by our little family Christmas tree. i miss that little tree so much.

After everyone says their thanks we eat and talk. Thanksgiving is always the longest dinner. I'm pretty sure our dinner lasted 2 hours at least but I like that about thanksgiving, i like this family time. the more food people had the more we drove down memory lane. "And Ken fell out of dads car because he opened the door without a seat belt on," my dad laughed, ken is one of my dads older brothers, "and dad made use promise not to tell mom." everyone laughed including grandma, i assume this isn't the first time she's heard this story, it definitely isnt mine. all the dinner plates are cleared off the table and i help my grandma cut pie for everyone. pie is my favorite thing about thanksgiving, i just love pumpkin pie, it reminds me of my aunt Torry's pumpkin pie!

"Thank you." My grandma says quietly. i thought i didnt hear her it was so quiet.

"oh. for..what?" i ask still not 100% positive i heard her say it.

"Thank you for the lovely thought of a prayer for uncle Tom. Nobody's brought him up all night until that prayer, and if he's going to be brought up at all im very glad it was in a prayer for good health." she says so sincerely. i look over at her and she's got a kind smile on her face, but i know she's dying inside. Not having her brother here with the rest of the family is hitting her hard. she leans over and gently puts a kiss on my forehead, " meet me out there with the other pie!?" she tells me and walks away holding the apple pie. Somehow i know she'll be awake crying tonight just like me; i've had this lump in my throat since "story time" started and i cant seem to make it go down no matter how much water i drink. When i place the pumpkin pie stratigically closer to me then anyone else and sit down my pappap wants to pray...again. This. Is. Weird.

"We pray that Tom is in good health and may he leave the hospital for the last time for a while very soon. i pray his family and friends stay strong during this hard time in their lives. i pray mom and dad get their son home safe and sound when the time is right. i pray my lovely wife be strong for all eternity. Amen."

"Amen"

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