Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope by Abby Rike | Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope

Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope

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by Abby Rike
     
 

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DESCRIPTION:
In 2006, Abby Rike lost the life she knew and loved when her husband and two young children were killed in a car accident. Devastated and numb, she shut down. For nearly three years she walked through life like a spectre, present in body only. As she descended, so did her health.
Fortunately, Abby was not alone. She had loving parents,

Overview

DESCRIPTION:
In 2006, Abby Rike lost the life she knew and loved when her husband and two young children were killed in a car accident. Devastated and numb, she shut down. For nearly three years she walked through life like a spectre, present in body only. As she descended, so did her health.
Fortunately, Abby was not alone. She had loving parents, supportive friends, and a faith that continued to sustain her. Little by little she found the courage to return to life. Joining The Biggest Loser proved a catalyst for the physical and emotional changes she needed to make. In fact, against all odds Abby gained strength, courage, wisdom, and continued her steadfast relationship with God. Instead of anger, she found herself slowly but steadily healing. She lost a hundred pounds but gained hope.
In this riveting book, Abby tells her story—from her joyous life before the accident to the unbearable pain that followed it and her eventual emergence as a woman reinvigorated by her faith in God. Today Abby's resilience and positivity are a testament to the power and importance of faith in the darkest hours.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rike—star of the eighth season of The Biggest Loser—tells all in this honest, openhearted tale of tragedy and healing. She married Rick Rike in July 2003: "So began our journey together in the greatest partnership that ever was." Their dream ended on October 13, 2006, when Rick; Abby's daughter, Macy, 5; and their two-week-old son, Caleb, were killed on a Texas road. "I was never angry," she says, but healing was another story. She went back to work three months later, joined a poker league, earned a master's degree, and moved to Louisiana. After nearly three years of struggle, Abby made it onto TBL. "The person on that scale was broken, and that's what I was there to fix." Despite being eliminated, she continued to work out and eventually lost 100 pounds. Abby's journey from tragedy to health (and thinness) is inspiring, the details of TBL fascinating, her exuberance and passion invigorating. Letters between Abby and Rick, as well as Facebook entries and eulogies, are included. (May)
Dr. Rob Huizenga
"WORKING IT OUT is a powerful message of hope over despair - with a lot about weight loss to boot. Abby, a resilient woman who beautifully chronicles her climb up from the depths of despair, has a personal message for all who've let themselves go: 'the scary thing (was for me) to continue living out my days in the mindless, emotionless, purposeless state in which I'd been living. Some things are worse than death.'"
Jillian Michaels
"Abby Rike's story is not easy to wrap your mind around. She suffered a loss that seemed impossible to move forward from, but she has not only moved forward, she has thrived. She came to the ranch wanting to find her purpose, she now lives that truth and proves that you can too. After reading, WORKING IT OUT, I felt like I knew Abby's family and had walked those agonizing steps with her. I look at that smile that radiates from within her today and know that the transformation I was lucky enough to be a part of goes much deeper than her appearance."
Jill Kelly
"Deeply moving...yes. Inspirational...absolutely. Life changing...without a doubt. Abby Rike's story is birthed from the depths of human tragedy. But her hope and joy radiates in the midst of her tears and fears. After reading this beautifully visceral and compelling story, you will not be the same."
-Jill Kelly
"Deeply moving...yes. Inspirational...absolutely. Life changing...without a doubt. Abby Rike's story is birthed from the depths of human tragedy. But her hope and joy radiates in the midst of her tears and fears. After reading this beautifully visceral and compelling story, you will not be the same."
-Jillian Michaels
"Abby Rike's story is not easy to wrap your mind around. She suffered a loss that seemed impossible to move forward from, but she has not only moved forward, she has thrived. She came to the ranch wanting to find her purpose, she now lives that truth and proves that you can too. After reading, WORKING IT OUT, I felt like I knew Abby's family and had walked those agonizing steps with her. I look at that smile that radiates from within her today and know that the transformation I was lucky enough to be a part of goes much deeper than her appearance."
Jennifer Rothschild Author of Self Talk
"WORKING IT OUT is no starry eyed Pollyanna faith story. This is real, raw and refreshingly hopeful all at once. I truly couldn't stop reading once I started. Abby Rike grabs you, invites you into her story and gives you hope that your story can end well too. Because Abby is uncompromisingly real with you, she gives you permission and even inspiration to get real with yourself, your issues, your disappointments and your potential. If you need someone to show you the powerful person who lives within you, then you need this book. You will not be disappointed!"
-Jennifer Rothschild Author of Self Talk
"WORKING IT OUT is no starry eyed Pollyanna faith story. This is real, raw and refreshingly hopeful all at once. I truly couldn't stop reading once I started. Abby Rike grabs you, invites you into her story and gives you hope that your story can end well too. Because Abby is uncompromisingly real with you, she gives you permission and even inspiration to get real with yourself, your issues, your disappointments and your potential. If you need someone to show you the powerful person who lives within you, then you need this book. You will not be disappointed!"
-Dr. Rob Huizenga
"WORKING IT OUT is a powerful message of hope over despair - with a lot about weight loss to boot. Abby, a resilient woman who beautifully chronicles her climb up from the depths of despair, has a personal message for all who've let themselves go: 'the scary thing (was for me) to continue living out my days in the mindless, emotionless, purposeless state in which I'd been living. Some things are worse than death.'"
From the Publisher
"Abby Rike's story is not easy to wrap your mind around. She suffered a loss that seemed impossible to move forward from, but she has not only moved forward, she has thrived. She came to the ranch wanting to find her purpose, she now lives that truth and proves that you can too. After reading, WORKING IT OUT, I felt like I knew Abby's family and had walked those agonizing steps with her. I look at that smile that radiates from within her today and know that the transformation I was lucky enough to be a part of goes much deeper than her appearance."—-Jillian Michaels, trainer for The Biggest Loser and author of Master Your Metabolism"

WORKING IT OUT is a powerful message of hope over despair - with a lot about weight loss to boot. Abby, a resilient woman who beautifully chronicles her climb up from the depths of despair, has a personal message for all who've let themselves go: 'the scary thing (was for me) to continue living out my days in the mindless, emotionless, purposeless state in which I'd been living. Some things are worse than death.'"—-Dr. Rob Huizenga, Associate Professor of Medicine UCLA"

Deeply moving...yes. Inspirational...absolutely. Life changing...without a doubt. Abby Rike's story is birthed from the depths of human tragedy. But her hope and joy radiates in the midst of her tears and fears. After reading this beautifully visceral and compelling story, you will not be the same."—-Jill Kelly, author of New York Times bestseller Without a Word"

WORKING IT OUT is no starry eyed Pollyanna faith story. This is real, raw and refreshingly hopeful all at once. I truly couldn't stop reading once I started. Abby Rike grabs you, invites you into her story and gives you hope that your story can end well too. Because Abby is uncompromisingly real with you, she gives you permission and even inspiration to get real with yourself, your issues, your disappointments and your potential. If you need someone to show you the powerful person who lives within you, then you need this book. You will not be disappointed!"—-Jennifer Rothschild Author of Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself and Lessons Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith Not by Sight

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609419899
Publisher:
Hachette Audio
Publication date:
05/04/2011
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Working It Out

A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope
By Rike, Abby

FaithWords

Copyright © 2011 Rike, Abby
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446575034

CHAPTER 1

Into the Depths

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our despair, against our own will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

—Aeschylus

I am standing on the side of the road. It’s as though my feet are planted in the ground, planted in cement. And I’m just waiting. No one will tell me anything. The dreadful scene that lies around the curve ahead remains a mystery for now as I’m frozen in place, standing like a statue at the defining moment of my life—eerily controlled while the life and love I’d cherished slips from my grasp. The intense combination of the red, white, and blue lights from the multitude of emergency vehicles penetrates my vision so severely I am overwhelmed by the visual assault. These are the lights that embody emergency, rescue, and often tragedy. Only this tragedy—my tragedy—has left us with no one to rescue.

My heart beats as if it wants out of my body, as if my heart knows it belongs in the van with the three people who had filled it with the joy of a truly perfect love. I ask the unavoidable question piercing my soul: “Is there a white van in the wreck?”

“Possible family member” is the emergency responder’s reply into his radio.

“I need to know if there’s a white van!”

And then simply, “Yes.”

Friday, October 13, 2006, began as a calm and quiet day of precious hours shared between a mother and her brand-new, beautiful baby. And I knew beauty. I had watched it grow and radiate from every part of my daughter, Macy, for almost six years. I had witnessed the beauty of her innocence and the gift of her vivacious spirit. And now we’d been blessed once again with our blond-haired, blue-eyed, nine-and-a-half-pound perfect baby boy. The past eighteen days spent with Caleb had been absolute bliss. Caleb represented our hope for the future, and Rick and I savored the joy he added to our lives.

He was the only boy, Mommy’s handsome “feller” (as I so lovingly called him), PaPa’s fishing buddy, Daddy’s little Longhorn, and the most wonderful completion of our family.

In those moments with my new family of four, I was acutely aware of the blessings that had been showered upon me. Not once did I take what I’d been given for granted; they were my purpose, my joy, my truth, and my everything. My roles as wife and mother were everything I’d ever wanted, and I would not have traded lives with another human on the planet.

That particular Friday I wasn’t feeling well. Aside from the normal fatigue every new mother faces, my chest felt unusually tight, and I was running a low-grade fever. Nevertheless, I wasn’t too ill to miss time with my delightful son. With my husband Rick, a teacher, and Macy at school for the day, I had time alone with Caleb to play and treasure those fleeting moments of a child’s infancy. Sitting on my bed with him in my lap, his head at my feet, I talked to him and cuddled him as we studied each other to our hearts’ content.

When Macy and Rick eventually came in from school, I was immediately captured by Macy’s excitement over what she described as the best day of her life. As part of fire safety week at school, she had climbed onto a fire truck and embraced that occasion with the unbridled zest for life she brought to every experience. She went on to tell us about a sweet little boy named Mcguire who wasn’t in her class but had made her feel special by knowing her name. As I watched her trademark red curls dancing around her jovial face, she ran off to draw a picture of herself and Mcguire each wearing a crown, poised in a whimsical carriage.

Meanwhile, Rick and I discussed whether some of the symptoms I was having warranted a visit to the emergency room. Deciding I should go—better safe than sorry—we agreed that we didn’t want Caleb exposed to any potentially harmful germs lurking in an ER waiting area. Rick would take him, Macy, and our two nieces, Madelyn and Maryl, to an open gym while I sought medical attention. I kissed Caleb and then Macy. I walked over to Rick standing behind our counter and kissed him, then went out to the car. Darting out from the house, Macy ran toward me as I was about to leave. From the car I called out, “Baby girl, you have got to get back in the house. You cannot just run out of the house!”

She replied, “I just wanted one more hug.”

And then she stood in front of the car, wrapped her arms around herself, hugged herself, and said, “I love you!” I watched that exceptional child run back into the house, then pulled out of the driveway.

I’m at the emergency room and of course there’s a long line. My name has been on the waiting list for almost an hour. I determine that my family—my life—headed in the opposite direction on their fun outing together, have surely arrived by now. I call Rick to check in and to my surprise he doesn’t pick up. Weird. He always answers his phone. I call back. It rings and rings and rings. Voice mail. I call again. It rings and rings and rings. Voice mail. I know that more than enough time has passed for him to have arrived at the open gym, so I place a call to my ex-sister-in-law’s house, where Rick was to pick up our nieces. I get right to the point. “What time did Rick pick up the girls?”

“He hasn’t picked them up. I just went ahead and took Madelyn and Maryl.”

And the feeling that something is horribly wrong begins to rise up from the pit of my stomach. Every fiber of my being knows that there’s been a wreck. What I don’t know is how bad it is.

I’m not completely conscious of my legs as they carry me to the front desk of the emergency room to explain that something has happened to my family. But somehow my body successfully reaches my car and I’m driving—fast. I’m driving and crying and praying out loud. “Please put angels all around my family. Please. All around them.”

Five miles past our house, on the two-lane highway we’ve traveled so many times as a family, the sun begins to go down in the sky and a barrage of flashing lights comes into view.

Please put angels all around my family.

The onslaught of lights is almost too much, as I recognize the telltale signs that something truly terrible has occurred. I watch as uniformed officers redirect traffic around the blockades they have positioned, but I will not be redirected.

Please. All around them.

I pull over to an open space and get out of the car, standing there with my emergency room bracelet on. The frantic words escape my mouth. “I need to know if there’s a white van!” I hear the “Yes” in reply. But my life is in that van. My life is in that van. Panic-stricken, I turn to the man beside me and ask, “Is it bad?” No one will make eye contact with me as the lights continue to flash and engulf my senses. The curt answer I am met with barely registers.

“Well, both of the cars caught on fire.”

WHAT?! And I see the fire trucks, but no one will tell me anything. I call my mother who is on a trip with my father in Florida with the Trinity Valley College board of directors. I cry out with a torrent of incomprehensible explanations of the events unfolding before my eyes.

Approaching me from a distance, two stone-faced officers are coming with the news. I am vaguely aware of the phone still at my ear when each officer takes one of my arms. And from the mouth of a wonderful man named Officer Clint Pirtle—the only man to make eye contact with me—came the most horrific statement ever to reach my ears: “I’m so sorry. We found no survivors.”

I drop to my knees, only to get right back up and plead, “Well, I need you to keep looking!” Surely they just haven’t found everybody yet. And then I remember the phone in my hand. “Mother, he said they’re all gone. He said they’re all gone.”

As Officer Pirtle takes the phone from my hands, I am left with the wave of numbness that has begun to infiltrate my body and mind. I instantly know Officer Pirtle’s words are true; I know that they are gone. I know that I will never see them again. Without the benefit of denial, I’m left on the side of the road with only myself—truly broken, violently severed from the life I’d known only hours earlier. And just as if a limb has been severed from my body, shock takes over quickly, and I don’t feel the pain right away. As I absorb that everything precious to me is gone, my mind becomes flooded with the knowledge that I have nowhere to go, no one to call, and nowhere to be.

Sitting on the back of an ambulance beside a young paramedic, I think back to that frantic drive toward the unimaginable place in which I now find myself. I prayed that God would put angels all around my family. I just didn’t mean this way. I turn to the unassuming paramedic and am overcome with the urge to tell him our story. I tell him, with an eerie calmness, as though I haven’t just been told that every member of my family is dead, “I have to tell you how wonderful my family was.”

And as I explain that I’d had the most perfect husband, and the most perfect five-year-old daughter, and the most perfect two-week-old son, that precious man stands there and listens. I wonder aloud, “How could this be real when they were just going to open gym?”

And that wonderful man, a complete stranger, stands there and listens. A female paramedic joins us only to leave minutes later, unable to handle the words I feel compelled to share. But he never leaves; he stands quietly, offering no inane platitudes meant to comfort me.

As my ex-sister-in-law arrives on the scene and I get into her car, I am starkly aware of my complete solitude. I recognize the face of Ronnie Daniel, justice of the peace and the man here to fulfill the unimaginable duty of declaring my family dead. He comes to me and says, “Abby, I’m so sorry. If I could take their place I would.” And he means it. He truly means it. “Is there anyone I can call?”

No, I think. I don’t have anybody to call. It’s just me. My parents are on their trip in Florida; my brother is at a football game in Georgia; and my husband’s not answering.

I leave the scene with my ex-sister-in-law and head to my house—our home—to pack some things. I have no reservations about returning to the house we shared as a family. It is truly a home in every sense of the word: a place of safety, love, and comfort. It is the happiest place on earth to me. As I enter the house, I am greeted by balloons saying “It’s a Boy!” I pass Caleb’s stroller in the living room and walk into our bedroom, robotically filling a bag. My face is strangely dry; I am without tears. I walk out the door into an existence I cannot comprehend. Just like that, at one fell swoop, I know that I’m no longer a wife to the most amazing man I’d ever met. No longer a mother to the two most precious children in the world. Where do I go? What now?



Continues...

Excerpted from Working It Out by Rike, Abby Copyright © 2011 by Rike, Abby. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Abby Rike was a high school drama teacher before the 2006 accident that changed her life. After losing her two children and husband in a tragic accident, Abby fell into a deep depression, resulting in a significant amount of weight gain. After a stint on The Biggest Loser, where she lost 100 pounds and gained a new perspective on life, Abby quit her teaching job and now travels around the country speaking full-time to a variety of different groups about her physical and emotional journey.

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