TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2021: Lauren Brace

The family of TCT – for giving me something to look forward to at the end of every day

Thank you to all of the amazing writers on The Central Trend. You guys make the school so much brighter with your creativity, kindness, and words of encouragement. The editors – you are all so incredible, hard-working, and talented. We wouldn’t be nearly as much of a success without your leadership. Thank you for everything. Allie and Katelynn – thank you for reading story after story and the time you put in as my first editors. I appreciate every piece of advice and comment. You guys are amazing. Alex and Arpita – I can’t get enough of your abundant smiles in our conversations. I’m so happy that we ended up sitting so close together on the first day of school. Even though we’re all from different grades, we formed a friendship that I will never take for granted. Thank you for all the laughter and for always making me feel special.

My teachers – for simply noticing me 

Mr. Ivory, Ms. Zilhaver, Mr. Brad Anderson, Mrs. Heinz, Señora Dykhouse, Mrs. Penninga, and Mr. George, thank you for pushing through these crazy years and working so hard to provide the best and most engaging education possible. This year, I’ve found myself so much happier at school, and I know that you are mainly to thank for creating a positive and uplifting atmosphere. Even though you have had hundreds of students over the years, thank you for taking the time to get to know me. Every conversation with you is a highlight of my day. Thank you for always encouraging me to take risks and pursue my dreams, I wouldn’t be the competitive and passionate person I am without you.

The band kids – for providing me with my first family at FHC

Seriously, words can not express how much you all mean to me. Ever since freshman year, I’ve always felt like I belong. It’s nearly impossible for me to walk from one end of the band room to the other without smiling at someone. Marching and playing my instrument would mean nothing without the incredible people beside me. Saxophones, thank you for making me a leader. Seeing your improvement and growth throughout the year has been amazing to watch. To Maddy Bachert, DeLaina Billingsley, Ian Mahoney, Emma Raisch, Kyra Thomas, and Ashley Yarnell, I’m so grateful that band has allowed us to grow so close together. You have brought me so much joy through the art that we create and have given me valuable friendships that I will forever carry with me. I love the ice cream trips after football games, the smirks across the room, and the support for one another. Thank you for everything. 

The Class of 2021 – for inspiring me even when you’re gone

Katie Ritzema, Linus Kaechele, Mason Yarnell, Rachel Lynch, Rebecca Dooley, and Sukhpreet Singh, thank you for the impact you have all made in my life. When I was a freshman, you welcomed me with open arms and showed me all the wonders you’ve discovered at FHC. I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing you, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s finally time for me to step into your roles. It’s hard to believe that I am now the age that you were when we met; so much has happened in two years. Even though you have graduated, you all continue to encourage me to always put my best foot forward. Thank you for the memories, the laughs, and the legacy you left behind. 

Dylan Pomeroy – for making me happy every morning

I love driving you to school before zero hour; you have such contagious positive energy that never ceases to make me happy. You’re so considerate and supportive of others, and I’m so grateful that we have grown closer this year. Thank you!

Maya Rogne – for walking the Panther Prowl with me in kindergarten

Ever since we met, fate has continued to pull us together through the different phases of our lives. I’m so excited to begin my eighth year of Odyssey of the Mind by your side. From traveling to Florida to Iowa to Europe, the memories I have with you are immeasurable. Thank you for continuing to shine your optimism; I’m convinced that the world is brighter because you’re in it. Your joy and enthusiasm are contagious. I couldn’t ask for a better friend, you are incredibly loyal and kind to everyone you meet. You are unequivocally yourself; thank you for always being a constant in my life. I am so grateful to fall into your unbounded support, no matter how minuscule my complaint or struggle may be. When we’re together, I know that we can conquer the world.

Aden Pomeroy – for giving me a friendship I could have only dreamed of

If you had told me in fifth grade that we would one day spend every week at each other’s house and would go on two trips to Florida together, I never would have believed you because it would have been too good to be true. I’m so grateful for our bond. The texts, the conversations, and especially the board games, always light up my day. It’s so refreshing to simply be around you, and I’ve come to think of you as an extended member of the family. Whenever we haven’t seen each other for a week or more, I admit that I always feel there’s something missing. Thank you for everything, I can’t wait for all of the adventures still to come. 

My grandparents – for spoiling me with your love and support

No matter what I’m involved in, it’s comforting to know that you will always be in the audience cheering me on. I cherish your kindness and the memories that we have together. From baking cookies to playing Pinochle, from watching Tigers games to going boating together, you provide me with limitless adventures. Thank you for reading my stories, for coming to my concerts and performances, and for all of your love.

Aunts and Uncles – for making me smile every time I see you

Thank you for the memories, the laughs, and all of the love. I cherish every little text I receive, every hug, and every adventure that you take me on. I’m always so excited to share with you what I’ve been working on and the events of my day. 

My cousins – for always making me feel important

It’s impossible for me to imagine a life without the bond I share with all of you. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleaders, going along with my crazy game ideas, and for all the best hugs. Hailey – I’ve loved growing closer in the past year through our love for Marching Band and music. You’re incredibly understanding, and I am always grateful for that. Thank you for the games, giggle fits, and memories. Ashley – You are one of the kindest people I know. Everything you do comes from the heart, and you are incredibly creative. Thanks for always believing in me. Claire – I love your sass, passion, and determination. Thank you for tackling me with your hugs and your continued amazement for every tiny accomplishment, you’re one of a kind! Emma – thank you for always being curious and caring about every detail. Most importantly, thank you for the smiles. Everything is such a joy when you’re around.

Mom – for being the best listener

I’m so genuinely disappointed when you aren’t home when I get back from school. I love all of our conversations; you always have something insightful to add as I recount the events of my day. No matter how small the victory or rant, you are always understanding and supportive. With every new project that enters my life, you continue to inspire me to do my best. You are the calming waves as they crash against the shore, the harmony to my song, and the warm feeling I get inside every time I eat a crisp apple pie. Thank you for everything, for being the best Mom I could ever ask for. Always remember, I love you to infinity and beyond and back.

Dad – for every bear hug

Thank you for all the little things: the compliments, the time, and your continuous support. Thank you for never letting me doubt that you are proud of me, and your trust in me means a lot. Your passion and intelligence is inspiring, and I love bragging about you to everyone I meet. You are the solid rhythm that never wavers, my favorite colored leaves falling from the trees, and the feeling of accomplishment after I succeed on a test. Always remember how important you are to me, I love you!

My beautiful twin sister – for simply being my best friend

I must admit that every day you were gone at play rehearsal, I missed you. I’m so grateful to have a twin sister: someone who I can confide in when I need help, someone who always has my back, and someone who makes my life so much more exciting. You add joy to my life that I don’t realize I’m missing until you force me to launch myself 500 feet in the air on an amusement park ride or convince me that inviting friends over will make me feel better when I’m too stressed to even fathom the idea.

It’s obvious that we have an undeniable connection that is rare to find. I’m so lucky that I got to meet my soulmate before I was born. I could continue to go on for an infinite number of paragraphs, recounting all of my favorite memories of the past 16 years of my life. However, for now, I will leave it here and say thank you. I wouldn’t be anywhere near the same person without you. 

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