Have you ever wondered why things happen that way that they do? Have you ever been stuck in a situation that seemed impossible to escape from unharmed? Most of us have, and "Extricate" explores the possibility that there are forces seen and unseen that assist us just in the nick of time.
"Extricate" contains two stories where two different people are in two troubling situations. Neither knows exactly what is going on, but just before things get totally out of control, help arrives.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)|
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EXTRICATETwo Tales of Two Women ENTANGLED Two Different Ways!
By S. R. Longshore
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 S. R. Longshore
All right reserved.
From her youth to a young woman, a girl desperately desires to be fulfilled. Many deep hurts prevent her from fully trusting people. But one day, she gets a gift, one that frees her heart and clears her troubled mind. From that moment on, nothing will ever be the same.
True Love Never Dies
Everyone has a gift. Sometimes certain things must happen before we realize what our gift is. I remember when I found out what my gift was. But I did not find out suddenly. It began to manifest itself to me in the winter of 1973. I was about eight years old and attending my mother's funeral. This was absolutely the saddest day of my life. I could not stop staring at the coffin and the big hole that lay beneath her final resting bed. I could see a man speaking, but I could not hear what he was saying. I could see everyone crying, but I could not hear them sobbing. The whole scene seemed like a silent movie playing before my eyes.
To ease the pain, I began to reflect back to a short time before my mother died. I was visiting her at the hospital. She was lying in the bed with her eyes open but looking up and staring at something in a distance, rarely glancing at anyone. Several people, mostly relatives, were there whimpering. I began to sing and dance, hoping that I would get my mother's attention. Even though she would look my way, for some reason I felt that she did not see me. Yet I was not sure. I was holding on to the thought that if she could not see me, maybe she could hear me. I hoped that she would not die if she knew I was still waiting for her to get better. I just knew that she loved me and I wanted her to know now more than ever that I loved her. She once told me that true love never dies. So I just could not stop loving her. I had to give her a reason to hold on until she could heal and come home. So I sang and danced, and I tried to smile as I fought back the tears waiting to burst from my eyes.
My display seemed to upset most of the people there. They told me to be quiet because I would disturb the other patients. Reluctantly, I stopped. I slowly glanced at each person in the room as the tears ran down my face. I thought to myself, Do they not know that if I stop showing her I love her, she might give up? I felt that they did not love her as much as I did. And I knew that they did not need her like I did. All of their faces were in disgust toward me except for an aunt and a man whom I had often seen before. The two of them smiled as tears ran down their faces.
I heard one of my relatives say in regard to my crying that I was just upset because my mother was dying. This was partially true. I was more upset because many of my relatives never valued how I felt. I was always discouraged when I shared my opinions. Therefore, I learned to keep my feelings to myself, except for occasionally talking to my imaginary playmates. And yes, of course, I was upset because my mother was dying. Who wouldn't be? I mumbled.
If my mother was to die, it was already discussed that my aunt who was smiling would become my primary caregiver. I was not sure who the man was. I had seen him around town, but we had never been introduced. He had a calm aura about him. My mother must have liked him a lot because he visited the hospital quite a bit. She often stared at him more than the rest of us. He could have been one of her male friends. I know she used to keep male company, but she never introduced them to me. One day I asked her why she did not introduce them. She said that if one of them were to become my daddy, she would. Since she never remarried, I never met any of them directly. However, there were two other men who used to do a lot of nice things for her and who went out of their way to speak to her as she passed through the streets. So I kind of thought they were or at least wanted to be her friend. Anyway, none of that was important to me anymore. I did not want a daddy. I wanted my mother to live.
As I focused back to the memorial service, I noticed that the man at the hospital and the two men who went out of their way to get my mother's attention were there as well. Real good friends they must be, I thought to myself. There to the very end.
That is what I most desired, good friends, people I could share everything with, laugh with, trust in, and gently tell me when I was wrong. Most importantly, they had to like me just because of who I am. In return, I would be just as good of a friend to them.
A squeaky noise brought me back to the casket and the hole beneath it. It was the noise of the crank lowering the coffin in the ground. This was devastating to me. All of a sudden, my silent picture was filled with the noise of my own voice screaming. No! I pleaded. Please do not lower her! She is not dead! I just know it! If you just give her some more time, she will get up! I bolted toward the casket in attempts to stop the man from turning the crank, but my aunt caught me and held me in place. I could not focus any longer. I folded and fell to the ground.
I do not remember what happened after that. I just remember lying in my bed with my back toward the door, staring at the wall. My mother and I used to share the same room. Back then the room always felt warm in the frosty winter nights. Not anymore, especially that night. That night seemed abnormally cold, almost like the freezer at a meat-packing company my class once visited.
To help me warm up, I wrapped the covers around me twice. There was no one in the room with me to talk to. Even my imaginary friends left me that night. I just lay there and listened to the quietness. I could not seem to sleep. At a distance I heard someone walking downstairs toward the staircase. The floors were hardwood covered with linoleum rugs that crackled whenever someone walked on them. Usually I could recognize everyone's footsteps. These I did not.
Slowly the footsteps crept up the staircase. Once at the top, they came toward my room, which was in the back of the house. I had always had a vivid imagination, and therefore I thought the worst. So when the footsteps reached the doorway of my room, I was literally shaking. I just knew that someone was there to kill me. I almost welcomed the thought.
While my mother was in the hospital, I would hear other people sit around and tell death stories. I hated that! It was like my mother had already died. They did not give her any hope to live. To hear this was especially hard for me. Before my mother got ill, death never entered my mind. Now it seemed as though death was all I thought about. On one of those occasions, I wanted to be the one who was dying instead of her. Everyone liked her, and no one seemed to like me.
While in the bed, I felt a constant flow of cold air blowing on the back of my head. It was like someone was standing close behind me breathing slowly, steady and deep. I called out to see if anyone would answer, but no one did. My mother always taught me to pray before I went to sleep, so this was the only thing I could think to do. I began to pray though I did not believe that praying would make a difference. Most of my prayers seemed like wasteful babblings. I prayed that my mother would not leave me, but she did.
When I prayed, I requested to fall asleep so I would not know when I was killed. Since I wondered what death was like, I also asked if being dead was like being in a long, deep sleep. If the answer was yes, then I wanted to just wake up in the morning, not remembering when I fell asleep. If the answer was no, then this meant I would die. If I was to die then I did not want to feel the person killing me.
The answer must have been yes, because I woke up. I opened my eyes to a brightly lit sky. I could hear my family outside of my room wondering how long I was going to be asleep. I smiled and thanked God for answering my prayers this time. So from that point on, I believe that death is like being in a deep sleep. I forgot to ask what you dream about. So what happens after that, I am not sure. I then began to wonder if I was dreaming when I heard the footsteps and felt the cold air. At that moment, I really did not care. The first night of knowing that my mother was not coming back was hard enough. I just wanted to move on. I had bigger fish to fry. How to live without her was the only thing on my mind.
Everyone has Problems
About eight years later my aunt asked me if I remembered the day I tried to console my mother by dancing and singing. Of course, I replied. She then told me what I felt all along. She said that she knew my mother could hear me and that she was pleased. She also said that she knew her sister better than anyone else and that she knew what made her happy. She believed that the singing and dancing truly did. When she said that, it was one of the few moments in my life when I felt that someone appreciated me for who I was.
As for the man, I would see him around from time to time. He was some type of missionary, because he visited often when someone was sick. Each time I tried to approach him; he seemed to be in a hurry to leave. I once managed to say hello. He looked at me, nodded his head, and smiled. Before I could muster up more of a conversation, someone distracted my attention. Oh well, I thought, I'll just leave him alone and let him do his work. At least he is doing a good deed.
There were several missionary people around town. They must have been from a missionary church, school, or something. I was not that fond of churches even though I attended one. They preached a lot of things, but I did not see where they had a great impact or change for the better. There had been times when great church leaders had been caught doing the very thing they condemned others for. My aunt said that people are the same everywhere, in and out of church, and we all have some type of problem. She believes that the difference with church people and people who do not go to church is that church people have admitted that they have problems. They go to church in belief that God will heal all their problems. She said I should not be too hard on people. I did agree with her. It was just that I felt that if church people knew that they made the same mistakes as non-church people, then they should not point their fingers at others as much as they did.
I believe that is why I liked the missionaries. I could really see what they were doing. They did not just console people in the hospitals and at funerals. They worked along with people in the church. They walked along beside people as they crossed the street, helped people lift heavy items, and so on. I even saw a missionary ride to the airport and walk with the person to the plane. I supposed the person was nervous about flying, so the missionary went along to comfort him. I wished everyone would have a helping spirit. But unfortunately, everyone does not.
For instance, a couple of years ago, I saw two men fighting in the park. The motion of their scuffling is what captured my attention. I could not stop staring as they threw blows and wrestled with each other. Several people were watching as well but most of the people were trying to stay out of the way in fear of getting hurt.
Three men were so close to the two fighting that they could touch them. Since they were that close, I thought they were all together. Two of them were encouraging one of the men fighting by waving their fists, and shouting like a couple of cheerleaders at a pep rally. The third man just stared as though he was watching the Sunday night matinee.
A lady, watching from a distance, ran screaming for the police. When one of the two men boosting the fight heard the lady yelling, he pulled a knife out of his pocket. He then threw it to his friend who had his opponent held face down. Both men seemed exhausted, but the one on the ground seemed more injured. The man who threw the knife yelled, "Finish it, the police are coming." With one hard thrust, the knife was slammed into the opponent's back. People began to scream as they tried to get clear of the violence. The two men rooting and the one with the knife ran away. I later saw on the news that the three of them were caught. The news did not say anything about the man watching.
I often wondered if the man watching snitched on his friends. If he did, he did a heroic act. Many people will keep quiet in fear of being killed themselves. But there is a part of me that hoped that he did squeal. Maybe it is because I did not like the way he just stood there and watched. Yet, I could tell that he did not feel like the other two men. He did not seem pleased at all. However he did nothing to stop the fight or to talk his friend out of throwing the knife. But I supposed he was just like most of us, more concerned with self-preservation. I believe that everyone has someone or something in his or her life that he or she is afraid to stand up to in fear of what might happen. I can truly say that fear of what others would do or say has always been a struggle for me.
By the time I was twenty-one years old, I worked full-time in the city hospital as a caregiver. I chose to work there because it was the place where most people went if they did not have insurance, and I like to help needy people. Plus, it was the place where my mother died. I chose to be a caregiver because I always wished that I could have done more for my mother. Since I was so little then, I was not able to help her like I wanted to. So, I promised myself that when I got older, I would help as many people as possible. At the moment, I did not see myself as much of a help. But I knew that one encounter can make all the difference in the world.
I usually arrived at work about 6:00 a.m. After checking each patient's charts to read what the previous caretakers wrote, I began to make my routine bed checks. That morning, I was moving a little slower than normal, still a little tired from my previous night's venture. About 5:00 p.m., I went walking because there was a lot on my mind. I reflected back on many things. One thing that bothered me was one of the missionaries. resignation
Just a few days ago, my aunt and I were visiting a sick friend's house when the daughter came out screaming and crying. "He's gone! I do not know what I will do now that he is gone." As we escorted her back inside, my aunt tried to console her. My aunt asked me to phone the coroner. There was a missionary standing beside the bed. I looked over at him and asked him if he had called the police or anyone else. He shook his head no. That frustrated me a little. I thought that it was nice to visit, but not to just stand there when things like this happened. Offer some help to the family. Instead he smiled and nodded, as they often do, before he walked off. Well, I grunted. Now he was acting much like the other church people. They preach a lot of things, but their follow-through leaves little to be admired.
As I continued to walk, I also wondered about my work at the hospital. There was still a lingering feeling of being unfulfilled. I did not know how to fill that void. In a couple of more days, it would be my friend's father's funeral. I was not ready for that either. The occurrence with the missionary left me in no mood for hearing a sermon. I did not want to hear another lecture on how we should be there for each other in times of need. And when that time comes, no one is there but one or two people who truly love you.
Not to my surprise, what was it that I could hear from a distance but a church revival taking place in the local park? The foot stomping and hand clapping could not be contained by the canvas walls. Wow, I said. What irony. The very thing that I was not in a mood for was the very thing I stumbled upon.
There is one thing that I did learn about God. And that is that He will make you face what you want to avoid. Any other time I would have just walked in a different direction. For some reason, I drew closer and closer until I found myself being ushered to a seat. The music was very upbeat. It was strange how I felt that this was what I needed to clear my head even though I tried to fight the feeling.
Excerpted from EXTRICATE by S. R. Longshore Copyright © 2011 by S. R. Longshore. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: The Gift....................3
True Love Never Dies....................5
Everyone has Problems....................10
Filled with Amazement....................17
At the Police Station....................24
The Discussion Room....................31
Meeting the Speaker....................33
It Is Time....................36
The Gift Revealed....................38
One More Thing....................40
Introduction: The Trip....................47
It is Final....................48
Thinking about the Trip....................49
On Our Way....................53
At the Aunt's House....................54
Getting Ready for the Picnic....................57
Saying Goodbye to the Aunt....................59
A Day at the Fair....................61
On the Way to the Bed and Breakfast....................63
At the Bed and Breakfast....................64
Inside the Cottage....................66
The Medallion Comes On....................68
Here Comes the Sheriff....................70
In the Room....................73
On the Balcony....................74
A Knock at the Door....................75
Introduced to the Rest of the Family....................78
Trouble with the Car....................80
On the Way to the River....................85
At the River....................86
Entering the Ferry....................87
Inside the Ferry....................88
Getting off the Ferry....................90
Back at the House....................91
The Sheriff Returns....................92
Called the Aunt....................93