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Synopsis of Beyond a Veil

Life during death

Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because, for those who love with heart and soul, there is no such thing as separation. — Rumi

What is our relationship with those who have crossed over to the life after this one? Are they able to communicate with us? Author Ron Frazer believes that they can.

This book will change the way you look at life, dying and the mysterious, empyreal existence that awaits us all. As you read how Lori Sashinian adjusts to each new situation that life throws at her, you may find a more light-hearted approach to your own issues and fears about the “after-life.”

Beyond a Veil is the story of Max and Lori Sashinian who have struggled for years with mediocre careers in a small, rustbelt town. As the story opens, Sophia, their eight-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome, is abducted and murdered, leading to an escalation of Lori’s brain disease that is progressively robbing her of her ability to use language.

Though sad events occur, the story is uplifting; the emphasis is on Lori’s remarkable spiritual journey. While she rapidly loses everything that was once important to her, visits by her deceased daughter and grandmother open her eyes to the meaning of life. Throughout the story, her tutors teach her to visualize the oneness of all creation, to develop her psychic and spiritual abilities, and to accept her increasing physical disability with joy.

If you are ready to challenge your understanding of the meaning of life, Beyond a Veil is for you.


Chapter 1

“What do you mean, ‘She’s not there.’?” Lori Sashinian screams into her cell phone, “Where the hell is she?”

Jorge Albinsonia looks at Annette, his seven-year-old daughter, who is making herself a sandwich for lunch. The little girl looks up then shrugs. “I’m sorry, Lori. When Annette woke up this morning, Sophia was gone. Her bed was made. We just assumed that she had gone home for some reason.”

While still talking to Jorge, Lori rushes upstairs to check Sophia’s room. The room is exactly as it was when Lori cleaned it yesterday.

“What’s going on?” asks Max, Lori’s husband.

“Sophia’s missing! … Jorge, I’m coming over.” Lori dashes out the front door with her cell phone in her hand.

Max searches their house, looking in all of Sophia’s favorite hiding places. He rushes from bedroom to bedroom, throwing open all the closets. He even checks under the bathroom vanity where Sophia once fell asleep on the towels, providing Max and Lori with a heart-stopping hour of searching.

As Lori races along the sidewalk toward Jorge’s house, she sees Sophia’s purple Dora the Explorer backpack lying on the driveway of the house next door. She picks it up, opens it, finding only what she would expect: Sophia’s cell phone, a few books, a favorite doll, and Sophia’s toothbrush and toothpaste. Panic-stricken, she continues to Jorge’s house, three houses from her own.

Jorge is standing at the open door when she arrives. “Annette and I have been talking. We can’t imagine what happened,” says Jorge as they walk into the living room. “The girls went to bed around ten. My brother was here babysitting. This morning, Annette saw Sophia’s bed was made. She heard the TV, so she came out here expecting to find Sophia watching TV with Alberto. He was by himself, stretched out on the sofa, asleep. He said he’d fallen asleep watching TV. They decided that she must have gotten up early and gone home.”

“Is Alberto here?”

Jorge shakes his head. “No. He left an hour ago.”

“I found this in a neighbor’s driveway.” Lori holds out the backpack.

“She had that with her last night,” says Annette.

“Can I see your room?” Lori asks.

Annette gives a follow me sign with her hand, then heads down the hall. Lori follows her as if in a dream, imagining her daughter walking these same steps a few hours before. She passes through the door that Annette is holding open. Her eyes sweep the typical little girl bedroom, dolls, books, clothes scattered on the floor, two twin beds, one neat, the other unmade. She kneels beside the bed in which Sophia had slept, then lays her hand on the blanket, hoping her daughter’s warmth will still be there. It isn’t. Feeling like she could explode any second, she closes her eyes for a moment to calm herself.

“Is there anything else you can tell me, Annette? Did you girls talk to anyone else? Could Sophia have gone to another friend’s house? Was she feeling well?”

“We didn’t talk to anyone. We had a great time—watched a Disney movie and went to bed a little after ten. Then we talked and laughed for a while until I fell asleep. When I woke up, her bed was just like that.”

Jorge is standing at the bedroom door, a look of distress on his face. Lori pushes past him saying, “Sorry. I’ve got to go. Give me Alberto’s phone number.”

“Sure. It’s 789-3011,”

“Thanks.”

She runs back home, finding Max in the front yard, looking up and down the street. She holds out the backpack. “This was on the Robertson’s driveway. Annette says she was gone when she woke up this morning.”

Max dials 911. The dispatcher takes the information, then says a car is on its way. They go to the kitchen to wait for the police. Lori tries to pour herself a cup of coffee, but she is shaking too much; the coffee sloshes on the counter. Max takes the cup from her, helps her to a seat at the kitchen table, refills her cup, then places it before her. She doesn’t try to pick it up, choosing to rest her head in her hands, her elbows on the table. She starts to cry.

Max rubs her shoulders for a minute, then walks back and forth between Lori and the kitchen sink where he glances out the window at the street. He goes to the front door, opens it, looks outside, then leaves the door open as he walks back to the kitchen. Back at the sink, he anxiously looks through the window once more, then notices that there’s one cup left in the coffee-maker. He is about to pour a cup when a police cruiser pulls up to the curb.

“They’re here,” he says, then bounds to the front door with Lori following. They stand there fidgeting for an anxious minute before the police exit the cruiser, then walk briskly to the front door.

“You called about a missing child?” says the older of the two policemen. His nameplate reads, Hammersmith.

“Yes, please come in,” says Lori, turning to walk into the living room.

The four of them sit on two couches that face each other. Lori repeats everything that Annette and Jorge told her earlier. She shows the patrolmen the backpack found on the neighbor’s driveway.

Without touching it, Sergeant Hammersmith says, “Don’t handle the backpack any further. We’ll have our people examine it.” He takes out a notepad and pen. “I need to get some information about Sophia.”

He asks two dozen questions about Sophia, her appearance, clothing and whatever items she might have with her. While answering, Lori goes to a sideboard in the dining room and retrieves Sophia’s school photo.”

“How recent is this?” says Hammersmith.

“It was taken a few months ago,” says Max.

Hammersmith studies the photo, then hands it to the other officer. “Your daughter has Down Syndrome?”

Lori’s body stiffens. “Yes. Is that an issue?”

“I’m just wondering how competent she is on her own.”

Lori and Max look at each other. Lori says, “She’s quite high-functioning and very responsible for an eight-year-old.”

“Good. I’m sure you’ve already made some calls, but continue calling anyone who might know where she is—her friends, teachers, any other contacts. The most likely event is that she is with some other friend, but we will start searching immediately. A detective will contact you soon.”

“Besides calling her friends, what should we be doing?” Max asks.

“You can drive to some places that she likes to visit, but be very careful. You’re very upset—that’s understandable—so you’re not the best drivers at the moment. If there is a friend who could drive you, that would be much safer. That will allow you to put your full attention on looking for Sophia.”

Lori looks at Max for a moment, then says, “We can get Jorge to drive us around. Annette can be an extra pair of eyes.”

Hammersmith hands both of them a business card. When you find her, give me a call. I’ve got your number if we find her first.”

As Max shows the police to the door, Lori is already on the phone to Jorge.

A few minutes later, they are in Jorge’s SUV. Lori is in the front seat. Max and Annette are in the rear. Lori and Max are on their phones for the first half hour, talking to the parents of Sophia’s friends, her teacher, and people at their church. Annette is directing her dad to the homes of friends, the park where they sometimes played, and a corner convenience store where they often bought snacks.

They drive, then drive again, along each street in the small town until dark. There is no sign of Sophia, nor is there any indication that she has been in contact with anyone within the last twenty-four hours.

As Jorge drops them off at their home, Lori’s cell rings.

“Mrs. Sashinian, this is Madalyn Vickery. I’m the detective who works with Sergeant Hammersmith. I’ve been assigned to help find your daughter. Can I come by in the morning?”

“Of course.”

“I’ll be there at nine.”

* * *

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