The Fourth Thursday of November

Jerry had taken care of his mother for ages. He’d cared for her every moment since her Alzheimer’s finally stole the rest of her sanity. Jerry had been there when his father died, exhausted and broken. And Jerry had been there when it came to the choice whether to stick by her side or allow her to pass.

Jerry had decided to stay with her. Just as she’d done for him. He owed her. She’d taken care of him so it was more than fair to help her with the same, especially this late in her life. She maybe had another year. Maybe two if Jerry paid extra attention.

It became routine. Easy, and nothing more than a chore he needed to take care of everyday.

Jerry didn’t mind it. It was the least he could do.

Jerry sat in the rickety chair, rocked back and forth in the same manner as his mother had for years. The sound soothed her, gave something for Jerry to focus on as he surfed for a proper vacation spot. Good reviews, great destinations.

When he slammed the enter button to finalize the transaction, his mother’s hollow body wiggled under the blanket. Jerry re-positioned and shifted her unconscious body so she was on her back.

Jerry fluffed the pillow under her neck, did the same with the one he’d placed his laptop. He closed it and set it aside, gripped the sides of the pillow.

Jerry sandwiched his mother’s head. All the while dreaming of his next vacation.

“Appreciate it, Mom,” Jerry said. “Happy Thanksgiving.”

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