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After saying good-bye, Adam hung up and looked over to Charlie and Chad, who were busily fishing.

"Bad news from home?" asked the father, who had heard some of what Adam had said during the call.

"My brother-in-law is in the hospital," answered Adam, turning to leave.

"I hope he'll be all right!" the man called after him, as Adam walked down the stream bank to where Kevin was standing guard over Charlie. Chad looked up with a wide grin as he proudly held up the string of fish he had caught.

"Aren't they beauties?" exclaimed the boy. "I don't think Kevin will have to go for food for days!"

Before he spoke, Adam glanced over his shoulder to be sure that he was out of range of the man and his kids.

"Is something wrong?" wondered Charlie, who was fast becoming alarmed by the grave expression on Adam's face. "Was the call about Daddy?"

"No, it's about Thomas," said Adam. "Chad, your father was taken to the hospital today, after he collapsed while he was working. The doctors are still trying to figure out what happened, but they're doing everything they can for him. Your mother and Mike think it's best if you come home, so I'm going to call the pilot of our jet, and prepare him to be ready for us in Fairbanks."

The fish in Chad's hand dropped to his side, and his face fell. Tears began to well up in his eyes, but no words would come. Embracing his young nephew, Adam could only comfort him with pats and hugs. Chad didn't care if the teenage boys downstream saw him acting like a little kid, or not. His father was sick, and the world suddenly looked scary and uncertain to the eleven year old.

The group left that same afternoon, pausing only to stop for gas and lunch at a take-out, before heading back onto the Alaska Highway. Since Chad needed Adam more than she did, Charlie offered her seat to the boy, so he could be near his uncle. As Charlie sat up front with Kevin, she asked God not to forget their family, in this time of need.

Whitehorse was about fourteen hours from Fairbanks, so even with a good day's drive, they had to stay in a motel for the night. Before noon of the next day, they reached Fairbanks, and the airfield where Adam's private jet was waiting for them.

Soon, they would be home.

"Draw nigh [close] to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
~ James 4:8 ~

end of chapter
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