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"Life goes on," smiled Charlie. "Only, could life wait another half hour? I'm not ready to stop cuddling with you yet."

Adam laughed, and snuggled beneath the sheets with his wife. "I love you, Charlie-girl!"

Soon after Melvin arrived, they released a statement to the press announcing Matthew's birth. Flowers, gift baskets, and all sorts of baby presents flooded Villa Rosa. Melvin had warned that Wallace Shipley had a lot of goodwill with his fans, and it was proved several times over by the ever increasing mountain of letters and gifts that crammed the living room floor.

Hating to see all those things go to waste, Charlie and Vera sorted the food items from the toys, and collected all the cards and letters so Charlie and Adam could read them later. The gift baskets Charlie donated to shelters, and the playthings to organizations that gave toys to the children of the homeless. Nothing was wasted. As Adam later proudly observed to Jeff, "That's my Charlie!"

In the years to come, Chuck slowly continued to improve before his Alzheimer's Disease plateaued, and he showed no further signs of progress. Though he was never the man he used to be, he was an active member of the family for the remainder of his life.

Jerome finally tested to see if he carried the Overholt family curse. He didn't, and this kindness from God went largely unacknowledged by Jerome. A few days after his negative test results, Jerome was found unconscious in his office at Mullen-Overholt. He was taken to the hospital and nearly died while doctors and nurses worked to resuscitate him. Jerome later told everyone that while he was unconscious, a man dressed in white showed him his life and how desperately it needed to be changed. The incident caught Jerome's attention, and from that day on, he was a changed man. He later married Evelyn Saunders, the Director of Nursing at Mullen-Overholt, and they went on to have three children. To God's credit, Mullen-Overholt became a model of excellence in the health care industry.

Vera stayed with Charlie and Adam for the remainder of her life, and lived to see Jerome's repentance.

Five years after Thomas remarried, he had a sudden heart attack and died alone at home, while his wife was out shopping. It was never known whether he ever repented of what he did to his family and to God, but we know that God hears the prayers of his people, and Thomas had many praying for him.

Shirley never remarried, and remained in Twin Yucca, close to her family.

Mike and Sandra eventually adopted seven children, and the large house Adam had given them was filled with the happy sounds of a happy family. In addition to their adopted children, Mike and Sandra had four children of their own. "Grandma Shirley" often baby-sat and helped her daughter-in-law, and the two women went on to become close friends. Mike and Sandra remained in Twin Yucca for the rest of their lives.

Chad grew up and became a park ranger at nearby Joshua Tree. He married his childhood sweetheart, and he and Becky went on to have two children. Whenever asked his secret to a happy marriage, Chad always attributed it to his uncle, and the talks they had had when he was a boy.

After their first child together, Maggie and Jeff had a girl. For a while, Maggie entertained hopes that her daughter would marry her best friend's son. It was not to be, however, and the two only became casual acquaintances. Even so, Maggie and Charlie remained close through the years, and shared many of their family's ups and downs, together. Maggie's brother, Wayne Downen, was never found. He is still listed as missing in action.
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