Carl gathered the family in a circle and offered up a powerful, sorrowful and very long prayer. When he finished, the others prayed also, one by one, until only Andy was left. So he prayed, too:
"Dear Lord, thank You for this family I'm gettin' to know tonight. Thank you that in the midst of tragedy You bring us together in love. Lord, we love Michelle very much and we want her to be ok. I..." Tears began, and he couldn't speak for a moment. Finally he choked out, "We miss her, Lord. Please let her be ok." He broke down and cried, and the family embraced him.
Eliisa made cookies since she couldn't possibly send Andy home empty-handed. The family chatted as the cookies baked. They talked about the magazine a good deal, since they had hardly heard from Michelle since she started working there. They had a subscription to Bold Traveler and were able to see month-to-month which places she had traveled, thanks to the photo credits. Andy told them about Little Nemo's and all the fun times that had led up to their romance. He even told them about Michelle's reluctance to visit his church.
When he finally decided to go home, Carl put a hand on his shoulder. "Andy, I'm so glad you decided to come by tonight. You've been a little piece of Michelle for us that we've been missing for a long time. Here's my card. Could you do me a favor and ask your boss if he knows anything about this assault we heard about on the news? Call me and let me know what he says, if you would please."