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"And then there's your father, Charlie. Fear motivated him to get married, so someone would be there to take care of him, if he should be next. Both of my sons have been living their entire lives under the fear of, 'What if I'm next?' long before the disease ever touched Chuck. And what has been the end of all this fear? Bitterness, anger against God, and the reluctance to give their heart over to anyone. Charlie, I want you to listen to me, very carefully. Love is the absence of fear. First John, chapter four, verse eighteen, says, 'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.' These many weeks since you've been gone, I've been thinking of that verse a lot. Love truly is the greatest of all things mankind is capable of. It's the fulfillment of the first commandment, ('Thou shalt love the Lord thy God...'), and it's the basis of every noble and good thing that God requires of us, as Christians."

Vera looked at Charlie intently, to see if the young woman had understood what she was trying to say.

"Grandma," said Charlie, "I still can't marry him."

"Pumpkin," said Vera, "if God has shown you that your path truly leads away from Adam, then that is where you must go. But, don't leave him, because of fear. Don't be the fulfillment of the family curse to another generation."

Charlie was silent.

"My mother used to say," recalled Vera, "that where there's shadow, there's also light. Now, I'm going to get the doctor to release you, so you can get some rest and elevate that ankle."

As the grandmother left, Charlie changed into the fresh change of clothes Vera had brought her. Then a female nurse entered the room with a wheelchair.

"All I need are crutches," she told the woman.

"This is standard hospital policy, Miss Overholt," answered the nurse, motioning for her to get in.

Charlie complied, and was wheeled from the room into the hall where Vera was waiting with a couple and their teenage son.

"Charlie," said Vera, "this is Mr. and Mrs. Kiley, Jo's parents. And this is their son, Jerry."

"We wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for saving our baby's life!" said Mrs. Kiley, tearfully giving Charlie a warm hug.

"You'll always be in our prayers," said Mr. Kiley, wiping tears from his eyes. "I shudder to think what would have happened to Jo, if you hadn't found her!"

Jerry awkwardly hugged his little sister's rescuer.

"Jo can't stop talking enough about you," said Mrs. Kiley. "She's under sedation right now, but it would be such a treat if you could come and see her, later. You should have seen her eyes light up when she realized that you were Charlotte Overholt!"

"So, she finally believes me, does she!" exclaimed Charlie, with a laugh. "I tried to tell her, but she just could not be convinced!"

"May I ask," inquired Mr. Kiley, "how you managed to track Jo, across so difficult terrain, and for such a great distance?"

"My Daddy taught me," replied Charlie, proudly.

"Someday," said Mr. Kiley, "I'd like to shake his hand! He must be very proud of you right now!"

Tears came to Charlie's eyes as she struggled to hold back the torrent that had been laying just beneath the surface. When words wouldn't come, Vera excused themselves from the Kileys.

"It's all right, Pumpkin," comforted Vera, wiping Charlie's tearstained face with the palm of her hand. "Mr. Kiley is right-- Chuck would have been so proud of you!"
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