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  • The rhythm of the farm was reasserting itself. The need to do certain tasks at specific times helped draw the lives of the people on the farm as close to normal as they ever again would be. The crops were ready. The combines were taken from the tractor barns and, with no further delay, the harvest was begun.
    Necessity aside, there was a void that no amount of work would or ever could fill. A part of their world was missing. Their cosmic wheel was out of balance. Jerry was gone, and with him went his laugh, his smile, his good nature...all relegated to memory, where, for some, it would fade, but for others it would be held as closely as a priceless treasure.
    I had chores to do and gradually stopped waiting on the porch for Jerry. I didn't stop looking for him. I was sure he would come back, it was just taking him a long time to get home from this heaven place. Every once in a while I'd hear a footfall and turn expecting to see him. Or I'd see a curly-headed boy run across a neighbor's yard and call out to him. Sarah had told me heaven was "up there" pointing to the sky; when a plane flew over the farm I'd wave.
    Life was moving on but I fell a step or two behind.
    A couple of the aunts took some of the younger cousins to town to buy more canning jars. I saw a boy down the street and I thought it was Jerry. I ran all the way down the block and grabbed his arm.
    Jerry, you're home...
    He pulled away and stared at me.
    My smile evaporated. He wasn't Jerry.
    Sarah hurried up to us and took my hand.
    I'm so sorry, she said to the woman, she thought the boy was her cousin.
    She thought my son was her cousin?
    Something about the way she said " my son" sounded odd.
    He died last month. She's waiting for him to come home.
    The woman looked carefully at me.
    But she's a white child....
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