The pouring rain stopped as the small caravan of five vehicles stopped in front of the small farm house that had been hidden deep in a small valley of the Ozarks. The house was well kept but also well used. The small barn off to the right had the same well used but well cared for look. There were flowers growing everywhere and as Sam got out of one of the trucks, he saw there were also many medicinal herbs all throughout the small beds.
Sam helped John and Bobby get Jane’s wheel chair out of the back of their truck, closing the camper shell tight in case it began to rain again. The brothers made sure Jane was comfortable in her chair as Sam went back to his truck and helped a very pregnant Rhonda out. Naomi and Nick were getting out of their Jeep Cherokee along with Mollie and Renee and Roger was getting out of his truck. Gloria and her twin boys brought up the rear and quickly caught up with the group as they made their way to the front porch of the house. An old woman met them with a curious smile on her face.
Sam took the lead and began to introduce everyone, then turned back and said “We sure hope we have the right place. Please tell us that you are Sally Madison.”
The old woman replied “Yes, I’m Sally Madison.”
The group all sighed in relief and in unison. Sam got a big grin on his face and said “we are all friends of Carrie’s. Actually we all were complete strangers until we each met Carrie and now -through her, we’ve become great friends, family even; and so we would love to see Carrie and let her see just how much she touched each of our lives. You have a remarkable granddaughter, Mrs. Madison. Can you call her for us?”
Sally Madison looked the group over carefully but could see no hint of malice in any of them. “Come with me” she said and then led them off the porch, down a small well worn pathway, and into the very middle of the flower beds. She then stepped aside and the group could see a small headstone. “I’m sorry but Carrie was killed by her mother’s boyfriend almost a year ago in New York.” Sally sighed and turned towards the small headstone; “I’m thankful that her mother allowed me to bring her home.“
“NO!” yelled Roger.