Calder and Kaylynn’s marriage could not have been better. The two worked like a true team and through them Dale was continually reminded of Dagmar and himself. Kaylynn loved Dale like her own father and enjoyed helping him throughout the day. She cooked meals, helped around the house, and was devoted to helping out as much as possible. She knew she would be getting a job soon, perhaps go back to acting, but for now, as wrote in her journal, she wanted to help the Harrison men. Dagmar had been a hero for her and she felt she needed to be here for them.
Calder was able to focus on his job and another promotion was not far off. Brendon had recovered a bit from his demotion but it appeared the displeasure he had been showing was growing into a jealousy of his brother. They argued a bit more than usual, usually begun by Brendon. They no longer seemed relaxed in each other’s company.
Dale was becoming more and more quiet and he painted feverishly. He ached from the late hours as he pushed himself. He no longer went to play poker as much. There had been a shift over the past few weeks and he felt it. He knew what was coming and he welcomed it. Calder would come and watch his father paint. They would talk and Dale would tell him his time was coming soon.
“When the time comes, Son, don’t try to stop it. you’re a doc and you’re gonna want to try. Don’t. I’m ready to go,” Dale said.
The certainty in his father’s words chilled Calder. He agreed to his father’s wishes.
One sunny spring day HE arrived. He slid in through the wall of the art studio and Dale felt him. His final painting was not done but now it never would be. There was a wonderful poetry in it. He knew Death had intended it to happen just this way. Poetry. It was something Dale would never had ascribed to the creature that took his wife but now he saw it was true. He put the paint brush down slowly and turned to face Death.
A sharp pain cut through his chest and he winced.
His family, so dear to him, drawn by the chill pervading the house, gathered around him and reacted. Calder remembered his father’s words and held himself back. Brendon rushed through the house. The man who had given them so much was departing, moving onward.
It was over quickly. Oddly, Dale grinned happily one final time at Calder through the pain. He was dying doing the one thing he loved the most. His boys were strong, his legacy would continue and although he had perhaps not taken the nicest of paths to get there, he was happy at the end. His only regret was not being able to see his grandchildren. However, he was looking forward to seeing Dagmar again. The past several months without her had been horrid.
He fell to the floor.
Above him, the final painting sat on the easel. The three of them wept in the art studio as the spirit of Dale moved through the wall. Death stood there for a moment and then followed Dale to the other side.
It was over. The original Harrison who had come to Roundabout Corners to make a life for himself as a simple artist had done what he had set out to do. Perhaps not as nicely, as legally or as directly as he originally intended but he had achieved his goal. The family would have to go on without him and it would. It would grow and flourish upon the roots Dale and Dagmar had given them. One day, perhaps, from this simple home and these simple beginnings the family would become something far greater then Dale could ever have become on his own.
From one ending another beginning.