"In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future."
It's the sound of her voice that shatters my calm, and takes me from own world and back into hers. I am standing at the window, watching a bruised tulip bend its yellow head down towards the ground, the weight of the dew too much for its frail cups. I am silent, because it is morning, because I only have these few minutes each day to dream; to think; to remember.
And when the sound of my name rolls off her tongue and across her lips, I shatter.
My mind sways and falls away; I feel the ambers of my body melt and succumb to weakness and age. I am reminded of my own mortality, and in a mere second, I see the life I was given float through my mind. I am reminded of so much; too much.
I turn slowly, leaving one hand pressed to the window, and ready myself for another morning.
My eyes whirl open, and I stand facing the apparition before me, my thoughts still on the flowers beyond the windowpane: Jamie loved tulips. Jamie… Jamie…
She's a picture in gold, with the light streaming across her dark hair. The morning sun is still heavy with sleep, and it plays dimly across her cheekbones, her lips. She is brushing the sleepiness out of her eyes, and in her arms, she holds a ragged bear. I take my hand and run it through her hair. And suddenly, I feel the memories overtake me. I close my eyes and breathe in slowly.
"Are you alright, Landon?"
I try to smile, my eyes flickering open. I steady myself, and try to be stern.
"How many times have I told you to call me 'dad'?"