The Final Service
Forty-year-old Sandy Richards is a successful music teacher, wife, and mother living a comfortable middle-class life in a small Midwestern town. But behind her warm smile and easy laugh is a heavy burden she cannot release.
During her childhood, Sandy (or “Shadow” as just about everyone knew her) was inseparable from her larger-than-life father, a World War II hero she adored. Sandy followed him everywhere, hung on his every word, and loved him with all her heart as only a young child can. It was more difficult to love him at some times than at others, especially when he was there and then he was gone — right in front of her eyes without ever leaving the house.
For reasons she would not fully understand until many years later, something went horribly wrong and their relationship fractured, seemingly forever, when her father died of lung cancer on one long, hot summer evening. His passing left Shadow alone to “sort through his warehouse of junk,” an old storage facility jammed with emotions so overwhelming they balanced her on the edge of suicide. Then, when and where she needed him most, a stranger entered her life. And everything changed once more.
The Final Service offers a riveting story about human nature, emotional abandonment, and how unfulfilled dreams left a middle-aged woman on the brink of personal destruction until one event forever altered the core of her belief system and her life. It is a story of faith, family, and forgiveness, and the realization that forces larger and more powerful than ourselves are at work in our lives in ways we are unable to fully understand.