When Double Becomes Single…continued

Last week Sharon told son Fred he better get his children to the funeral or she would take all of them off the will.

Fred showed up all smiles and Sharon said, “The business isn’t complicated; you measure the space carefully then show the client cabinet samples and deliver on time because we don’t install. Bright-eyed Fred said, “Show me a ruler and I’ll get started, but when Sharon brought out several different sized rulers, Fred backed off and said, “Whoa, I’ve never seen devices like these, I pictured regular 12-inch rulers.” Sharon said, “If we are to be partners, you better learn fast.” Fred whined, “Uh, maybe you can hire a guy to measure.” “Fred, go to the local hardware store, meet the manager and tell him you need to learn right away otherwise we have no business because I’ll have to close up.”

“And live on the insurance money?”

A vein throbbed in her forehead; Sharon knew aspirin and ice would help as soon as her son left. “Any money I have is my business so you learn the simple task of measuring and then we can move on; right now I must lie down.






When Double Becomes Single…continued

Sharon returned from arranging funeral plans to find her older son and his wife at her door. She said, “Where are the kids; I thought  you all would stay overnight or longer.”

“Uh, James is in the middle of SAT’s and Lori is studying for midterms.” Astonished, she looked from her son to his wife; “Their grandfather dies and they can’t get away to say goodbye?” She turned her back in disgust; are you coming in because it’s too cold to leave the door open?” “Uh, no Mother, we checked into a motel a mile away because Corrine isn’t fond of the dogs.”

Sharon hurried to let the pups in knowing they gave more affection than she’d had from her own son and then the pups enjoyed a romp around the floor with her until she cried since she’d never driven the car at night alone and never had the training to be on her own. “Be strong dammit; stand up for yourself; just try it!” She hurried to call Fred and said, “You get my grandchildren here no later than tomorrow morning or they are out of the will and so are you.” She hung up and spoke to her deceased husband: Barry, brats aren’t going to treat us this way, my sweetheart; no way, no how.


When Double Becomes Single… continued

Whimpering came from Barry’s side of the closet and there stood the two rescue dogs saved to live with them a few years ago; the sweet pit bull Tommy moved closer to his best pal, Gracie, a chocolate Lab Setter, both sensitive to what went on in the house. Sharon patted the bed to allow them to climb up for comfort knowing Barry didn’t care anymore

Early the next morning, Jeff called to say he and Inge would land at LaGuardia in the evening and they arranged for a driver to bring them home to her. “One more thing, Mom, before I hang up so listen carefully and consider my advice; I’m the younger son, I’ve made a success in business and marriage but I’m sorry to say, Fred, on the other hand, is not to be trusted and I’ve learned his business is in bankruptcy; you and Dad built a successful business with a reputation for quality service but beware and know Fred will take advantage saying he wants to help and bring in that wife of his yet he knows nothing of business and he’ll rob you, Mom, I just feel it. See you soon, Inge sends her love.

Troubled, Sharon made a plan, her first attempt on her own; she called George Ferguson at the funeral home followed by showering, selecting a gray dress and Barry’s favorite dark blue velour warm-ups, then gathering marriage pictures, baby pics and so many happy memories and she knew tomorrow would be the end of Act One of her life.


When Double Becomes Single…continued

Last week: Sharon, just widowed, broke the sad news to her younger son Jeff and Inge his wife so far away in Copenhagen, knowing they would catch the next flight home.

“Mamse, soon we want you to sell your home, move here where we have much room and before the children are too soon old; oh, did I say it right?”

“Dear Inge, just perfect; I pray for your safe journey  as you come back to me.” She ended the connection, knew she needed a glass or two of Chardonnay before calling her difficult son in New Jersey, too close for comfort.

Liquid courage helped her punch in his number; the phone rang a few times, his nasty wife, Corrine picked up; Sharon heard shouting in the background, just what a mother loves to hear and Corrine said, “Yeah, who’s calling?”

“Sorry to call so late, Corrine but I must speak to Fred.” don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry-hold yourself together…”Mother, what’s wrong, Oh God, something must be very bad for you to call this late.” Sharon took a deep breath, “Your father had a heart attack and now. . . he’s gone.”

Silence on the line and then her son said, “Is my brother coming in from wherever the fuck he lives?” “Of course he is and don’t curse.” “So you called him first, huh.” “Stop it right now, I have no patience for your rivalry and Jeff has to make arrangements; I need rest before the,” her voice caught before she could say, “funeral.” Sharon heard him break down as he hung up.



When Double Becomes Single

The doctor entered the room; “Sharon, it’s time to say goodbye, go home, call your sons; I know one lives in New Jersey, I think and the other lives …where?”

Tears flowed as she said, “Denmark so far away; Barry will be cremated…” Sharon choked on her words and said, “I’ll save the ashes for our younger son, Jeff, they were so close” She met his eyes, “Death is so harsh.”  With that, Sharon left to wonder how she’d ever survive without him.

Skype: “Mom what’s up? you never call this early.” Jeff squinted, saw her crying and said, “Oh God, Mom, it’s Dad…he’s  gone, right?”

Through tears, she told the worst news and heard her daughter-in-law, Inge, come running from somewhere in their home.  Jeff felt a crack in his heart where solidity had always been; “we’ll catch the next plane out, Mom; they are lenient with…he caught his breath; a death in the family, Mom, I’ll get back to you.”

“But your dance school, who will take care of it?” “Not to worry because we have the best dancer who takes charge when I’m not here to supervise and Mom, Inge wants to talk to you.” “Mamse, what a terrible loss, know that we love you and soon we be with you,”



IMG_0296 Introducing my close friend Judy Audevard and her therapy dog, Lulu. Judy is the President of Paws for a Cause. She has received many accolades for her accomplishments and medals galore.

Now that I’m a senior, when did that happen, I often wonder, I’ve learned from personal experience the wonders of Therapy Dogs. A few years ago, I fell and for 8 weeks I was in rehab. Judy contacted her friends at Paws for a Cause alerting them about my situation. While learning to adjust to my various problems with the capable care of therapists, suddenly a pooch wearing a red jacket, bounded right up to me in the busy room. She laid her big sweet head in my lap so I may pat her over and over again. Then she licked my hand. What a treat. I smiled big-time for the whole day.

From that day forward, Therapy dogs of every shape and size visited me.

Know this, my friends, I’m an author. My daughter picked up my computer from home, sat me down in a wheelchair and said, “Mom, it’s time you wrote another story. And I did.

At Your Sevice is the title. I gathered stories from Therapy Dogs owners. They were kind enough to share how their journeys began. Inundated with their heartwarming stories of how they found their dogs, how it all began and the love between owners and dogs gave me shivers. I wrote and wrote and finally finished. Vanilla Heart Publishing followed up and soon At Your Service became an ebook for all who are interested.

Thanks to Pat Colinganese for her You Are Not Alone article. President of Alliance of Therapy Dogs in Westchester County, NY Call 1-855-548-1797

Thanks for reading my blog, today.

Author Charmaine Gordon,WordPress.com/

When Double Becomes Single

Last week Sharon Michaels received a call from their family doctor. He told her to hurry back to the hospital. Midnight, snow falling; she’d forgotten her glasses, wondered who would clean off the driveway since she was still mending from hip replacement surgery, and worried if she had enough gas in the tank.

Something triggered an impulse to run to Barry’s room when outside, Doctor Max Bloom stopped her and said, “Barry’s had a heart attack and there was nothing  we could do to save him.” She shook her head; “You’re saying Barry’s gone,

he’s dead? and she raced past the doctor, pushed open the door where her husband lay still, his hazel eyes closed, gone forever from her life His checkered robe hung in the open closet, slippers tucked below, forlorn and shabby without Barry. Sharon used the stepstool to climb up on the bed; she needed to be closer, to caress his face and already he felt cool to her lips