The following Saturday found Dylan and Jade unpacking the last of their things in the trailer.
"Hey, Dylan, where do you want these?" Jade asked, holding up a box of home videos.
"I have no idea. Those are Dad and Mom's, they aren't even supposed to be here. I'll give them back to them tomorrow."
"Really?" Jade asked, setting the box down on the coffee table and picking a tape from the box.
Before Dylan could stop her, she had one of the movies inserted into the video player. His four year old face popped up no the television screen.
"Awww! Look at you!"
"I'd rather not." Dylan grumbled.
"Oh, come here. Five minutes? Please?"
Dylan sighed and plopped down beside his wife as the width of the scene on the screen widened and he was seen stumbling around in his father's black uniform shoes. Jade laughed.
"Look, Daddy, I'm just like you!" the boy on the screen said.
"Why, yes, you are!" Adam came on the screen and swung his son up into his arms.
The too-big shoes fell off.
"They'll never fit!" the young Dylan pouted.
"You'll fit into them soon enough, son, I promise. They're big shoes to fill, that's all. Give it some time and try again."
"Promise I'll be able to fit into them?"
"I promise." Adam assured the youngster.
Jade turned off the video, saying, "I bet they'd fit now."
Dylan sighed as thoughts of the department and the child inside of Jade swirled in his mind. "I sure hope so."
Dylan thought if that video again as he laced up his own shoes the following February. He felt strange when he looked in the full-length mirror and saw himself in the brown deputy's uniform. It was like looking at a photo of his father from Adam's rookie days.
Look, Daddy, I'm just like you!
"Come on, Rookie, let's go get you sworn in." jade said brightly, drawing him out of his thoughts.
Adam didn't cry, not in front of the other deputies, no way, no how. But he had never in his life come as close as he did as he watched his son step up to Sheriff Gentry and take the oath.
A forgotten memory from long ago flitted through Adam's mind. Look, Daddy, I'm just like you!
Adam nodded. Poor Dylan. Why, yes, you are!
But he still didn't let himself cry.
Until March second.
Once again this date, the date of Emily's death, was the one chosen for a resolution signing. Bobby and Kara were expecting their first child, and Bobby had decided that he wanted to sign the resolution.
And so had Dylan.
Adam took a deep breath and called his son forward to stand in front of him. Both Bobby and Dylan had wanted him to officiate their ceremony.
Pride in his son swelled in Adam's chest as he looked at the young man before him. All the while, he couldn't help seeing the little boy that Dylan had been.
Dylan stood tall and serious before his father. The words that he all ready knew by heart, words that had become such an integral part of his life, took on a new meaning as he spoke them. They seemed to come alive.
Look, Daddy, I'm just like you!
"I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
I will love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I will be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I will train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
I will confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I will pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I will work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I will learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I will seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I will courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory."
There wasn't a dry eye in the yard as Dylan quoted, "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
This is the last story in my Dylan/Jade trilogy. Please review! Thanks! And thanks for sticking with me throughout this trilogy!This story is over, I'm afraid. And sorry that this chapter is shorter than all the others.:)