Tag Archive | loss

Survive and Thrive-the story unveils. . .

The book, When Double Becomes Single, begins on a sad note. Sharon Michaels is suddenly widowed and all alone, she hasn’t a clue as where to begin. Her husband of thirty five years steered their  life and she followed. What’s a woman to do, how does she begin again at age fifty six to learn how to drive at night. All she has are two dear rescue dogs who need her as much as she needs them.

This is a scene I like. A lot.

Work dragged on Monday. Sharon met with customers, made sales and by the end of the day, she didn’t know if working without a partner was the best thing to fill her life. Empty, she felt empty. A change of clothes and she piled the eager pets in the car for fun at the dog park. Spring brought out the best in people with canines. Tongues hung out the back window. They strained at the leashes until Sharon let Tommy and Gracie loose behind the fence. Before long, other folks showed up with different sized canines. Sharon had to laugh at a fierce Chihuahua barking at her large pets. The owner, a man dressed in a suit, joined her.
“Come here often?” His voice deep and musical.
“That’s a line from a bar, right?”
“Yes, it is. I used it a lot in the old days. It worked most of the time.”
“I never bar hopped. I married young and lost my husband a few months ago. How about you?”
“I’m married to this pip squeak pet of mine the past few years. Janis Joplin is her name. She can’t sing but man, can she bark in High C. I was divorced a couple of times before then. I just can’t seem to get it right.”
“Tommy, Gracie, NO!” Sharon’s dogs stopped harassing another canine. “They’ve been in the back yard too long without my attention. I’ll have to bring them here more often.”
The tall stranger smiled. “I hope you do. What’s your name, if you don’t mind.”
She searched his face for a clue as to his personality. How can you tell at first glance? She had so little experience with just about everything.
He touched her cheek rosy with the chilly spring breeze. “I’m Jack Torrance. I sing on Broadway right now in a revival of Chicago. Now it’s your turn and remember, I’m just asking for your name.”
“Sharon Michaels. My husband and I have a business, not very exciting. Now I sell kitchen cabinets and my oldest son and his wife joined the company to help me. Today, Jack,” she tested his name on her tongue, “I felt way out of sorts about visiting customers on my own so I packed up the pups we rescued a few years ago and here we are.”
“Good job, Sharon. We’re having a conversation. This isn’t too painful, is it?”
“No. It’s just different. Tell me about your career.”
He laughed. “It’s checkered, at best. I’ve been a song and dance man forever, sometimes scoring a good part, sometimes chorus. As long as I keep working, have union benefits, I’m good. I live in Tappan, not far from here in a small cottage where I can hit the Palisade Parkway and get to town fast.”
The wind picked up and Sharon shivered. “It’s time to head home.” She called to the dogs and turned to Jack. “Would you like to have dinner at my house now. Monday’s you’re off, right?”
“Why thank you, yes I’d love to. That’s brave of you.”
“Yes, it is. I need company and you’re just the one. Follow me.”
Jack tucked Janis in her little dog house and started up his Volkswagon.
Sharon rounded up her two rowdy pups and home she went with her new friend behind her. “Barry, what in the world did I just do? Is it weird to invite a relative stranger to our home? Yeah, it is. I’ll keep a knife handy. You’re the one in heaven. It’s lonely down here without you.”
Fast, she fed the dogs and sent them out to the yard while Jack waited in his car.
“Now what do we do with Janis?”
“She’ll sleep in her little house in the car while we have dinner.”
Into the house they went where he stopped to admire her taste. “Sharon, this is so cozy and comfortable. I’m guessing you’ve lived here many years.” He ran his long fingers over the piano. “Do you play?”
She blushed admitting the truth to a real performer. “Not often and not too well. Why?”
Color came to his cheeks. “I have an opportunity for the part of Amos who sings Cellophane in Chicago. I know the song so well and the dance but I’d love to have someone help me practice and critique what I’m doing.”
Sharon took a deep breath. “I haven’t played in a long time. Do you have sheet music? Maybe I’d be able to help. I always did for my boys.”
Jack swept her into a dance move and hugged her just right. “You’re a doll. I have music in the car. You fix something easy for dinner and I’ll get my portfolio.” He raced to the door and left her open mouthed surprised.
What a kick to meet an actor and bring him home for dinner. Am I having fun or what? In the fridge she found salad, deviled eggs Mia made with black olives on the side and avocado slices. Sherbet to cleanse the palate in the freezer and some left over crème brulee. Hmm. Just enough for a light meal.
By the time Jack hurried in, the table was set. Excited to show her the music and begin, Sharon told him to calm down and have a bite or two. Then they’d check out what else he carried in his portfolio.
Small eater, she thought, or too anxious to settle down but she enjoyed every bit of the light dinner. When they finished, he rushed to the piano and played while Sharon cleared the table. She joined him in the living room where he apologized for not helping. Eyes sparkling, he handed her the sheet music for Cellophane and stood up ready to sing.
“Hang on a minute, Jack. Let me bumble my way through first.”
To Sharon’s surprise, she caught on right away. Two or three times over the music and soon Jack sang as she played. His voice clear and touching as he sang the words about how nobody knows my name. Dance movement came with it. Obviously he’d worked on the audition for hours.
“So what do you think?”
“Poignant. I’d like to see you relax a bit more in the dance when you kind of shimmy, reach out to the audience; start softer with your voice and build on it. But Jack, what do I know? One thing for sure, you touched me with the way you sang as if it was the truth. Nobody knows your name. You made me want to cry. Sing as if this happens to you on a daily basis, make it believable. You’re not just a song and dance man anymore. You’re special. I mean it.”
“Sharon,” he kneeled at her feet, “you may be the best thing that ever happened to me in years.”
“Let me know what happens, my friend.”
“I’ll send you tickets.” He hugged Sharon and hurried out the door.
“What just happened, Barry? I took the pups to the dog park, met an actor, invited him home and played the piano for him so he’d audition plus I gave him critique on how to perform it better. All the years I spent in your dear shadow and here I am giving advice to an actor.” Sharon laughed and didn’t stop. Maybe she was Cellophane all this time.
Three days later, red roses arrived with two tickets to Chicago. Sharon called Kathy Chambers to invite her to the play.

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“Making Your Bones. ..”

All moviegoers have seen the Godfather and maybe the wonderful Prizzi’s Honor. We’ve seen, read, or heard about mobsters’ who “make their bones” with the first kill. But, and here comes the big Butt as I like to say, we have a four and a half pound kitten named Lily. Funny, fast, and adorable, Lily surprised me with a little gift a few days ago. She made her bones, our kitty while the ten year old big mamoo Tabby named Tony sat and watched her play rough and tough with a super small mouse. Then, while I wrote a chapter in my new book, Lily shoved the deceased under the door making funny sounds of kitten delight.

After the husband tended to  burial of said deceased, Lily decided she needed many hugs and kisses and climbed up on the desk to snuggle. I didn’t agree and patted her little back until the rascal fell asleep. Who needed kisses knowing where her mouth and paws had been moments before.

Our home is a small cat kingdom right now. Amusing, tiresome and a lot of work for this author. If you have pet stories you’d like to share, please jump in. As for me, I do love writing about pets. They add warmth, humor and love to every story I write.

If you enjoy stories about lots of pets and humans, do check out She Didn’t Say No, a mature romance with an unusual twist.Say No CVR ARe


She Didn’t Say No
Series: The Beginning, Not the End. Retail Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,320.
Grace didn’t say no to the Big Man On Campus, Scott Dwyer. And then her life changed… Years later, a too-close encounter of an unpleasant kind with a skunk and Scott’s German Shepherd reunites the former lovers. What happens in between are their stories of beginnings and endings and love lost, then found.



Two Moments with Robin Williams. . .

AP APTOPIX Obit Robin Williams

photo Reed Saxon AP

My agent called with good news; a booking on Saturday Night Live not live this time but on set at a hospital and I’m the nurse in the birthing room. Cast perfectly since I’d given birth to too many darlings. I met the staff in mid-town Manhattan, a serious bunch considering they worked with comedians. Excited not knowing what to say in the quiet van, I wondered who was the featured performer. All was revealed when we entered the waiting room. There sat a tanned Robin Williams in very close contact with his agent, also tan. Adorned in snazzy sweaters and white pants.

The director and script writer, who stood wringing his hands over the big break for his career, discussed the scene. Robin ‘s part: a father determined to play cinematographer and film the birth of his first child. In the delivery room we went. A camera woman balanced between her legs the camera for the shot . I did my nurse thing bustling around efficiently but not too much while Robin made hash of the script in his own inimitable way. The doll baby came out. “Stop,” yelled the director. “The baby doesn’t look real.” I said, “New born babies have a substance that looks almost like cheesy off white mayonnaise that protects the skin while inside the womb.”

All eyes turned to me. “Really?” “Yes. I know from personal experience.” A short wait while a mixture was concocted and I showed them what’s what. No extra pay for my vast knowledge. I should have complained to the union. And so it was, a fun moment enhanced with me, during a break, telling the great entertainer a joke. Robin listened carefully taking mental notes. I still remember this now once in a lifetime experience.

Moment 2: The movie, Cadillac Man, starring Tim Robbins and Robin Williams was at a car dealership in Brooklyn. At the time, I was a newbie and newly widowed. The background gang were outside in the dealership’s lot when the rain started to fall. After a few minutes, Robin Williams yelled, “It’s raining. Get these people to where it’s dry.” Nice, I thought. Someone important to the movie finally took care of us or the union needed to be called.

I pray the actor has at least found peace and his widow and those who loved him in life will recover from their loss.

6/2/2013 WeWriWa

Welcome dear readers and friends to another Sunday of eight line snippets fro a group of talented writers. My entry today is from  my second book Now What?, the second book published by Vanilla Heart. How many times have you railed against the sky arms out stretched when something’s gone wrong and you yell, “Now What?” Follow this story of loss, survive and thrive by a very determined woman age fifty and learn to laugh and love again asking Now What?

excerpt in eight:

It was 2:30 a.m. when the phone rang and I fumbled for it, my heart starting a race toward bad news.Our doctor’s voice urged me to hurry so  I crammed into clothes as if I expected this call. It was only a fever yet the dogs had curled up next to him on his favorite couch and never left his side all week. I cried all the way driving too fast on Eden’s Expressway and then the slow elevatorride to the fourth floor, a sprint down the dim corridor to his room. He lay on the hospital bed where I’d kissed him goodbye not so many hours before.

            I asked everyone leave me alone; settling in beside my Bob I held his cooling hand and asked the two words spoken many times during our years together, “Now what?”

This time there was no response. I was on my own for the first time.

for more snippets:


Now What newstyle 3D


Now What? is available at Amazon,B&N in print and ebooks

A Daughter’s Tribute To Her Dad

While sorting papers for my daughter, I came across this tribute, a poem she’d written in ’92. She was a teen when her dad died suddenly. Since this is close the anniversary of the day that changed our lives, I will share just a bit of a young girl’s feelings.

                  “Dad, I sit and think of you; sometimes it’s all I do.

Right now I’m shedding tears ’cause Daddy, you’re not here.

Why’d you have to go? I’ll never ever know.

When I saw you, how I pleaded. I said God this can’t be true and Dad, I feel so cheated.

It’s so hard to be without you.

Where are you now? I wish you could have stayed. I know you’re here with me; I feel you when I pray.

Hey, there’s something I want to tell you and it means a lot to me.

Sometimes when I go for a run and feel like stopping or slowing down,

I picture your face and open arms and pretend you’ll be there when I get home.

Daddy, only you and I know it’s true; there was nothing like me and you.

You were my favorite pal in the world and I’ll ALWAYS be your little girl.

I love you Bugsy Malone and I’ll never ever  stopping thinking of you.

August 28, 1992 4:30 a.m. dated ’til forever

(She called her Dad Bugsy Malone for some reason known only to her.)

First Love

The scene takes place in Von Stueben High School, Chicago. The year, 1947. We were strangers. He wore a reindeer sweater, this handsome senior, the most popular boy in his class. I ran up three flights of stairs to invite him to a party. He smiled down at me and said, Yes.” From then on we were best friends, always a couple and later when we married in 1951, he said to everyone, “I chased her until she caught me.”

Life as an Air Force bride was the best. Many temporary duties in foreign countries took my love from me. I learned to be self reliant, live alone until he returned and then came the babies. No longer alone, I managed as my friends in the 301st Air Refueling Squadron  did.

Thirty seven years after we were married, my first love died suddenly. Many more years have gone by and now I’m a published author. One night, I dreamed a story of a couple like us. In the morning I began to write. Now What? is a book based loosely on life with my first love. Fiction, of course but if the following blurb entices you, know that the journey is close to my heart and I hope it touches you.


It was 2:30 a.m. when the phone rang. I fumbled for it, my heart starting a race toward bad news. Our doctor’s voice urged me to hurry. I crammed into clothes as if I expected this call.

It is only a fever that won’t go down, isn’t it?

Our doctor shook his head. “Carly, I’m so sorry.”

Settling in beside my Bob, I held his cooling hand and asked the two words spoken many times during our years together. “Now what?” This time there was no response. I was on my own for the first time. When my fingers touched his wedding ring, I slipped it off and held it in my fist. The gold band was warm. I clung to him. “Come back to me, dearest.”

Sometimes what you wish for is more than you can live with.

Now What?  by Charmaine Gordon