And that painting hung in our living room after that. My mom loved it.

"These are amazing," McKenna breathed, staring at the artwork that surrounded her.

My feet robotically took me to where she was standing, as she stared at the canvas in front of her.

Well, the series of canvases in front of her. There were four of them.

They depicted my dad, my mom, Parker, and me in a form of abstract art, my mom's specialty.

McKenna couldn't stop staring at them, biting her bottom lip.

"My mom had a thing for abstract art," I said, as I stared at the canvases.

I could see her sitting criss-cross in the middle of her paint shed, her oversized jean shirt on and her messy bun knotted on the top of her head. I could see her focused expression as she stared at the canvas in front of her, brush in hand.

"So your mom was an artist?"

I nodded. "Yeah, she has pieces on display in a lot of the museums around Florida."

She turned back around to face the canvases in front of us, a look of awe on her face.

"And one in in the Museum of Modern Art in New York," I added.

That had been her biggest accomplishment. I can remember her squealing around the kitchen as she announced the news, like a 10-year old.

I turned to see my mom's tree painting leaning against the other wall.

It looked simple enough at first glance, a depiction of a tree. But at a closer glance, you saw that the tree was made up of an arraignment of colors, and when they came together, it looked like the browns and greens of the tree.

My mom had loved this painting as well. And it had hung in my bedroom.

"Oh wow," McKenna breathed, as she stared at the tree with me. "Was that done by your mom too?"

All I could do was nod, my throat closing up.

I remember when she brought me that painting. I hadn't spoken to her in three days, in one of my moods.

She'd simply left the painting by my bedroom door, and when I'd stepped out to go to the bathroom, it'd been waiting for me with a simple note attached.

Read between the lines.

I stared at this painting for hours on end, when I was feeling down or after I'd had one of my infamous panic attacks. This tree had symbolized hope for me, a greater purpose.

"I have the note too," Parker's voice said behind me. "It's in one of the boxes."

I'd saved the note, keeping it tacked up on my wall.

"I was always jealous of that tree," Parker said, as I turned to face him. He had a half-smile on his face. "I loved that damn thing."

"Did you find anything?" I asked Parker, my voice hoarse.

"I'm trying to remember why I saved some of this," Parker said, nodding over where Emily was holding my mom's plates.

Our entire kitchen had been Paris themed, because my mom loved it there. And so she'd devoted our kitchen to the city, the plates, the décor, everything.

"I have a box full of hand towels," Parker informed me. "Paris-themed hand towels."

I followed him over to where the kitchen décor was, and there was indeed a box full of hand towels, along with the Paris-themed plates and the Eiffel Tower she used to have hanging on the wall.

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