Joanna Anderson Campbell lived the perfect life ... loving daughter and sister, loyal friend, faithful wife, and devoted mother. She was happy and content. What more could she have asked for? Life could not have been better. At least ... that's what she believed. Until she died. Can death teach the most valuable lessons about life? Jo Campbell is about to find out.
Excerpt: Chapter 1: Jo
I feel another heavy sigh within me. I wish I could say it feels like a burden removed, but it does not. It feels like the weight of a pyramid on my soul. Is that the weight of a lifetime of memories that I’m not ready to part with? I don’t want to go. I want to stay and see Emma and Kevin grow old; see my grandchildren grow up and prosper. But I know it is not to be. And while I accept that, I sure don’t have to like it.
My lips are so dry. I am so thirsty. As I think this, I see Christ on the cross. He too was thirsty. I get it now. It’s not an intellectual understanding. It’s a reaffirmation. Death comes to us all and we cannot hide. I am so tired.
The room begins to shift and shape itself. Voices are becoming slow and hard to understand. The room seems to be growing more distant, elongated with furniture and people falling away from me. My children seem to be sliding away from me. Why do they seem so small–have I gotten bigger? With every ounce of strength I still possess, I force my eyes open. Faces blur and it is hard to refocus.
Voices are now distorted, slow and monosyllabic. I reach for my babies’ hands, but they keep moving further away and I cannot grab them. I cannot pull them to me. I am frenetic, clawing in my efforts to reach them, but they recede further and further until I can see them no more.
The excruciating horror of this reality is upon me. The pain of this sudden and irrevocable separation is almost unbearable for me. I scream silently that I am not ready–that I want to stay–I will do anything, trade anything.
I try to barter with God, but it is in vain. My children are lost to me. The world is lost to me.
And with that, I am gone.
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About the author:
Kathi Haacke Morehead makes her fiction debut with WHITE NIGHT. She is the author of HEART BLEED: Letting Go and Stanching the Flow, and THE BEST FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. She has also written numerous articles for Mind Body Green and Boomeon. She blogs daily at A View From the Cheap Seats Today. Kathi lives in Brunswick with her husband Dave and their four finicky felines. Her motto is "love and laugh!"
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