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  • I sat on the top step of the front porch stairs.
    I was waiting for Jerry.
    I knew he had been hurt. I knew everyone was sad, even people from town had come up to the farm to say how sorry they were. Gramma Carlson was staying with Jerry's mother. Grampa Carlson was sitting in his study, alone, reading scripture and crying. Emily was helping the women from church "make arrangements." Marty was cleaning up debris from the storm.

    The older cousins were taking care of the younger kids. No one told them to, they just did.
    One of the girl cousins saw me sitting on the porch steps watching the men clear away debris.
    She sat down next to me and took my hand.
    My name is Sarah. Did you have lunch yet?
    I shook my head, no.
    Come on, after luch we can work in the gardens. Is that alright?
    I told her that Jerry and I did our gardens together and I was waiting for him.
    Oh, Sweetpea. Didn't anyone tell you what happened to Jerry?
    The bull ran over him. When is he coming home?
    Sarah looked away and started blinking very fast.
    We can work in your garden so it'll be nice for Jerry.
    I walked with her.
    Nothing looked the same.
    Sarah got a rake and a couple of compost baskets.
    Using the plants as examples, she carefully explained the concept of death, giving me only as much information as she thought I would understand. The Heaven part was very confusing.
    I didn't like that Jerry was going to be put in a box in the ground, but it somehow didn't seem quite so awful after Sarah explained that he was going to be next to his father.
    We went to church. There were prayers.
    We went to the cemetery. A box was put into the ground.
    We went back to the farm and people came to the house.
    I sat on the top step of the front porch stairs.
    I was waiting for Jerry.
    If he was going away, I wanted to say good-bye.
    I'd promised.
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