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"If this is EVER more than you can handle, you must promise me to quit," warned Adam.

"I promise," said Charlie.

"Bill's secretary," continued Adam, "will fly down from Vermont once a month to pay bills and give you your paycheck," he explained. "She's also going to give you a household allowance to pay for things that the house might need, such as light bulbs, laundry detergent, etc. If the house needs any repairs, you're the one in charge of hiring someone to fix it. I'm paying Chad to keep the lawn mowed and to tend the garden. Maybe you could show him what to do."

"Sure," agreed Charlie. "Did you think of asking Mike to take my place?" she asked, curiously.

"I did," admitted Adam, "but, he and Sandra are too busy playing house to look after mine. Why, are you having second thoughts?"

"Not if you aren't," Charlie smiled.

"Okay, then," replied Adam. "I can use your help. I've notified the police that I'm going to be away a lot, so they will keep an extra watch on the house; don't get nervous when you see a patrol car stopping outside," he added, remembering her skittishness concerning policemen. "Oh, and I'm putting the porch lights on a timer, so don't play with the switches. Are you sure this isn't too much for you to handle?" he asked again.

"What, you don't think I'm able to bring in the mail?" laughed Charlie.

"I know you're sixteen," Adam replied, "but, even you have your limits. With Chuck and schoolwork, I don't want you to run yourself into the ground on my account."

"I can take care of myself," answered Charlie.

"I know," Adam teased, "but the last time you said that, you had to be rescued from the kitchen table!"

"That was an extenuating circumstance!" exclaimed Charlie, indignantly.

"Here's Bill Paulson's number, and also his secretary's number," continued Adam, handing her a business card. "Make the call from my house, and your uncle won't have a large phone bill."

"Okay," replied Charlie, putting the card into her pocket.

"Aren't you going to ask what's the salary?" asked Adam, curiously.

"You already pay me more than enough," replied Charlie, handing him the grocery list.

"You'll never be a good businesswoman with that attitude," he laughed.

Charlie only shrugged. She wasn't about to take advantage of Adam's generosity.

"Well, since you don't care," replied Adam, nonchalantly, "I'm going to triple your salary." Before she had a chance to say anything, he returned to the living room.

As the month of June wore on, an ongoing concern was finally coming to a head. Arnold Overholt wasn't eating-- no matter how much Vera and the nursing assistants coaxed and cajoled. Whenever the spoon came to his lips, he only sat there, staring off into space. It seemed a simple thing to just swallow, but Arnold couldn't remember how. Gradually, his body was forgetting basic bodily functions. In a desperate attempt, Vera fixed her husband his favorite foods, cutting it up into tiny bites sized morsels.

When this failed, Arnold's doctor asked Jerome and Vera if they wanted him to install a feeding tube directly into Arnold's stomach, thus prolonging life. Not wanting to be the one to make the heart-rending decision, Jerome left it entirely to his mother.

It was not a happy day for the Overholt household. Charlie watched as her grandma struggled with the decision, all the while knowing that one day, she too, would be forced to face the same reality. After much prayer and thought, Vera arrived at her decision:
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