The wind howls loudly, as my boots crunch in the snow. The smell of fresh pine trees makes the air feel sharp and refreshing. The frosted blueberry wreath that hangs on my parent’s house’s front door starts coming into view, anxiety floods into every nerve of my body, making it feel insufferably hot despite the skin piercing cold weather.
Stepping inside the comfort of my childhood home, I make my presence known as I silently wrap my arms around my mother’s waist, scaring the daylights out of her. A shriek echoes in the kitchen as me and my siblings burst into fits of laughter.
“ow-ow-oww momma” I complain as my mom drags me out of the kitchen by my ear, a small smile gracing her lips.
“How have you been, Liz? Your dad and I missed you loads.” She says pulling me into bear hug.
“I have been fine mum. I missed you and poppy even more. Don’t tell them but I missed the spawns of devil as well.” I reply, saying the last part in a whisper, referring to the twins.
Once I have met with everybody, we get seated around the round ebony table, for the thanksgiving dinner.
“You all know the drill, say whatever you are thankful for this year, I’ll start.” poppy announces, prior to standing up and saying what all he has been grateful for.
Before I know, it is my turn, inhaling a deep breath, I stand up, my hand bundling the colorful table cloth so tightly that my fingers turn white. I feel tears forming, my limbs shaking and lips quivering, yet I compose myself and begin.
“I’m indebted this year to so many people, that this may as well go on for the whole night,” I say trying to lighten up the mood. “Mum and dad, who have held my hand each day from the day I was born, to Emma and Evan, whose smiles have lighted up my darkest days.” I continue a grateful smile on my lips and a tear down my cheek.
It feels like I am standing at the end of a cliff, ready to jump into the waters that wait below, it won’t matter if I drown; I’m not much far from it anyway. So I dive….
“But most importantly I am thankful for today- my possibly last thanksgiving, courtesy of my freshly diagnosed bronchus cancer.” I sigh, there it’s done; I dived.
My parents have tears streaming down their face, and the twins have engulfed me in a hug. I hate myself for making all of them cry, but alas it had to be done.
“You should have told us earlier darling. We would have been there for you from the start. We are so sorry, my love, and this is not going to be your last thanksgiving. I promise.” Momma says pulling me into her arms.
Maybe this really is not going to be my last thanksgiving.
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