Dear Mick – Year 5

Dear Mick,

Five years. Five. Years. A blink of an eye, really. Time goes way too fast.  Not a single day goes by without some thought of you – sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a curse. Can you blame me?  We had a good thing going when you went and screwed things up.  No worries, though, I’m not mad at you. You definitely did not plan on leaving so soon, no matter that you said you would not live to be an old man. I’m fairly certain you meant older than 51.

You are still and will always be sorely missed by all the family and your closest friends. I get messages now and again from Paul.  And I can always count on Leonard to change his Facebook profile pic to the one of you and him. He changes it on the 11th of December and by Christmas changes it back. He has been doing it for five years now.  He calls or texts me every other week.  I also hear from John now and again. Other than that, your friends have all but disappeared.  I admit it’s a bummer to not have Armen pop by once in a blue moon but that’s life. Nothing you can do about that.

Outside of that, your spirit shows up no matter the gathering – if there are others there who knew you, there you are.  So many stories. I even wrote a poem a couple of months ago that I composed while driving home from Tracy and Sébas’ oyster party.  I have to give you credit, Mick. You have been my muse more than a few times and I suspect we’re not done in that department.

 

Iain is on his last six months for his DEP in electricity. The kid is frankly crazy. He didn’t quit his job at Moderco so he works from 6:45 to 2:00, then comes home for a bite and a smoke (yeah, I’m not too pleased with that) and off to school from 3:00 to 9:00. He’s been doing this five days per week for one and half years. Plus, they still love him over at Barbu so when he has no school or on Saturdays, he goes to work there.  He is on a mission. He plans on moving out come June/July so he works hard.  Doesn’t do much around the house to help, mind you, except make a mess when he cooks – he’s always trying some new recipe and he’s really good. When I get mad at his lack of participation in the household duties, he then gets all gung-ho and starts a bunch of things but sadly takes after his mother instead of his father so he doesn’t necessarily finish them (see side gate, plank on deck, electrical socket… sigh.) He’s a thrill-seeker who got his license to leap from planes with a parachute and this summer he even went bungee jumping. A wild card that one. Oh, and before I forget, you’d be rather pleased to know that Andre gets him to work for him in exchange for any mechanic work on Iain’s car.  He and Bill say that the little bugger is a good worker.  Would be nice if he was as valiant at home.

Aidan quit Dawson when he found his dream job as a video game tester. I was not surprised by his decision. Can you imagine being paid to play video games? Still, I like to hope he will do like I did moons ago when I decided to go back and finish my college degree at night. We shall see.  He had a lovely girlfriend but with her studying in Ottawa and her father dying of cancer, it was too much so they decided to split up.  A sad day for all.  But he has a great circle of friends – who are here quite often… He, too, needs a swift kick in the butt to help out an has moments where he does so on his own and then… nothing.  In the meantime, your baby is going through some serious stuff that I cannot help but wonder how you would have handled. Truth be told, I so wish you were here with me now to help me deal. But you’re not. So I have to keep being strong and supportive and hope his path leads him to what he wants but mostly, I just want him to be happy.

I worked for my fourth (and final) season at the golf club. I was bar tender/waitress this year which was most interesting.  While I had a lot of fun, it is still a job that is rather hard on the body and frankly, the pay ain’t all that fabulous, being a private club with its members that we see day after day after day.  I told them I wasn’t going back but I know they still have hopes – it’s rather nice to be wanted but, no thanks.  So, come January, I’ll be on the job search. It sucks considering I haven’t applied for a job since 1995!  All jobs since then have come to me.  Time to spit and polish the ole resumé.

I still like to take walks with Zeke, camera in hand, snapping away. He’s getting old our puppy.  Can you believe he is ten?  I have to be careful and not take too long walks with him because his hips are starting to feel it.  I had his teeth cleaned so finally, his breath is not knock-you-out gross! I am not looking forward to that day in the future when he goes to join you… Hopefully not for a good many years!

I finally sold the house.  Yep. Sold it but there was an open house already scheduled, so we held it.  The morning of, I go into the basement and there is a lake in the former laundry room.  Bloody hell.  Mopped it up, held the open house, declared it to the buyer and then took care of it.  Thank God for my cousin, Marc. Whatever work that needed being done, Marc came in and did them. I still owe him a very fancy supper.

I am still having a helluva time with the buyer. He has given me formal notice for, get this, noises in the pipes!  You know the ones that we hear whenever someone takes a hot shower? I didn’t declare it – coz frankly, I didn’t think of it and why would I declare something I don’t even hear anymore? I swear, if I could have ripped up his offer, I would have. I had another offer from a guy who just wanted to flip it. Too bad I had accepted the first one. This buyer has caused me and my real estate agent headaches like you could not imagine. And the worst part is, I know you would have done whatever he wanted and have been done with it. But I’m not you and I don’t have your level of good in me. So now I’m paying for my pigheadedness.

As for the house I bought – I am suffering buyer’s remorse, big time. It’s around the corner from the old one. You know the one, It was sold like two or three times in the past ten years.

There are things I didn’t see when I visited it and maybe my real estate agent wasn’t as on the ball as he could have been.  Neither here nor there. I bought the damn thing and I hate it.  Hate is a big word.  I dislike it. A lot.  I’ve been here since June 1st and still haven’t fully moved in. Of course, I left that big-ass house with all that space and have downsized as per my desire but oy. So. Much. Shit. And a lot of it is YOURS.  Working in a golf club means working all summer and weird hours so I just didn’t have time to hold a garage sale or try to get rid of shit before moving so it all came with us. And filled the garage and my room and the basement.  I am still tripping over boxes.  No way in hell we’d be in this boat if you were here.  Course, if you were still here, we wouldn’t have had to move, either.  So there you have it. I’m done whining. Just had to get it out of my system.

Christmas is in a few days, we’ll squeeze the family in here for our annual breakfast – how we are going to make it in this itty-bitty kitchen is still a mystery. I know this is odd for me but I have had zero desire to entertain in this house, thus far.

Come January, I am putting myself to work purging and doing what I didn’t have time to do before. Maybe once I’ve placed stuff, and put on a coat of paint, I’ll see the potential I must’ve seen when I decided to buy it. Learn to love it.  Silver lining: I do love the garage though. Parking my car inside has been the one thing that I have been truly happy about, so there’s that.

Your mom is slipping away so fast. She barely eats and is getting beyond thin.  She never recognizes me first thing when I arrive until I remind her who I am and then she asks me how you are doing and why aren’t you visiting with me.   It’s hard to have to tell her that you are busy working because it serves no purpose to tell her the truth. She’ll cry, be really upset and in ten minutes, ask me how you are again.

On July 1st, Hugh contacted me to tell me he lost Patrick. He died five days after his 56th birthday. A sad state of affairs. What irony that a nurse should die of a hospital error. I have since spoken to Hugh a few times and he’s having a rough go of it, which is to be expected.  Lemme tell you, you have quite the party going on up there with too many of our friends, yanno?

The boys and I are joining my sisters, their husbands, some of their kids and my mom on a cruise March 1st. I can’t tell you how much I need this.  Life was way different with you around. Summer vacations plus somewhere hot in the winter… man. Adjustments.

That guy I dated didn’t pan out.  I was done after six months. But hey, all good. I’m not looking to becoming half of a couple.  I am learning to be my own woman and just don’t feel like giving up my own power.  You held a large portion of it in the twenty years we were together and I’m getting used to not having to cede to another.  Doesn’t mean I don’t still wish you were here but just know that I’m doing all right.

You’ll never not be a part of my life.

Lotsa love,

Rog.

Not Time to Sight-See – What Pegman Saw

Being as it’s October, and in light of all the political hoopla happening in this neck of the woods, this week Pegman takes us to the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA. (And also in Canada as it’s election time here and we get to choose between our own batch of monkeys.)

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. Feel free to use the location supplied above, our take your own tour of Washington D.C. via Google maps and find a view that inspires you.

So, that said, I totally did NOT go to Arlington but decided to go down memory lane. December, 2009, to be precise. Yes, I am sorry, my peeps, yet another travel story 😉

Click me!

Not Time to Sight-See

“I really need to stop for gas, Babe.”

“OK. Take the next exit and I’ll keep a lookout for a station.”

“What the hell is wrong with this place? We are turning in circles and there ain’t a station in sight.”

“Think about it. This is D.C. Just like Montreal, you can’t find a damn station downtown.  Hey look, Babe!  The National Monument!”

“I don’t give a shit. You need to look for gas stations, not effing monuments! I need gas. NOW!”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find a station soon.”

“Not soon enough. Pulling this pop-up trailer sucks more gas, yanno.”

“Yeah, yeah. Maybe if you’d filled up when we still had a quarter of a tank we would not be in this mess. Oh! Look! The White House! How cool is that?”

“Jesus! So what?!”

“Look.  A station. Dunno how you are gonna manoeuvre yourself in there, though.”

“Watch me.”

 

True Colours – Friday Fictioneers

What day is it?  Wednesday!  What’s so special about today?  It’s the first day of spring!  And?  It’s Friday Fictioneers Day with none other than yours truly’s photo taken on New Years Eve.  So what do I do?  Tell a story about July, 1995… because yanno… why not?  Plus there was a ferris wheel – just not this one and there were fireworks so…

Thank you, always, to Rochelle, for keeping us coming back week after week.  Of course, when you use such fantabulous photos 😉 … I jest, of course.  Do join in on the fun, why don’t you?  Just click on the blue froggy below to add your link.

True Colours

What a great date that was.  They took his old, navy Celebrity, parked in the shopping centre and walked to and across half the bridge. A couple of miles of hand-holding, laughter and getting to know each other better.

They rode rides like a couple of kids, not thirthy-somethings.  They ate junk food and rode some more.  They watched the fireworks from the bridge in the rain.

Walking back to the car, they laughed and kissed and held hands.

In the trunk of that old Chevy was a blanket and sweatshirt.

She knew then he would always keep her warm.

 

 

Per Your Request – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman is at Rawson Lake in Alberta, Canada. Thanks to some intrepid travelers, you can tour the area yourself via streetview (actually I should say trailview) or chose a photosphere. (Rawson Lake, Karen Rawson?  Coincidence? I think not!)

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, please share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Okay… so my story has nothing to do with this particular lake… and I confess there is not one bit of fiction either…

Thank you, always, to Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly challenge!

Per Your Request

You told me where you wanted me to spread your ashes: one of the lakes where you went fishing with your buddies and “Bass Alley” on the St. Lawrence River. You told me what you wanted as your urn, too. Remember? You showed me one of your collectible Coke bottles and said, “This one.”

Too soon, that day came. I went down to the basement, collected that bottle and emptied it. Was shocked there was still a “pssshhhht” sound when I opened it. Next day brought it to the funeral home.

Spring came, and our boys went with your best friends on the requisite fishing trip. I gave them half of you in a mason jar. They performed a beautiful ritual and let you go.

It’s been over three years and I still haven’t released the rest of you. I don’t know why, really. Maybe because I’m not ready to.

 

*********

 

A Disney Birthday – Friday Fictioneers

Good Hump Day, my fabulous readers…. or to us in this wacky group, Happy Friday Fictioneer Day!  Our wonderful Rochelle keeps on keepin’ us on and we’re all the more grateful for it. This week, she chose J. Hardy Carroll‘s picture.  Love the vintage feel of it.  If you want to add your 100-word story, please do so, by clicking on the blue frog and adding your link.  It is a lot of fun, a great exercise in cutting out the unnecessary and teaches you how to get to the point!

A  Disney Birthday

“Disney!  Woo hoo!  We are going to Disney!  For my birthday!  This is gonna be the BEST one ever!”

His excitement could not be contained.

“Did you know they give you six fast passes for the best rides for any time you want to use them?”

He was positively fit to be tied.

“And then you get special name tags and you get a free picture and I wonder if they even feed the birthday boy?”

She could not help but smile at his enthusiasm.

“Yes, Dear.  You told me, many times.  You don’t turn 46 every year now, do you?”

***

Yes, the biggest kid was the most enthusiastic!

Dear Mick – Year 3

Dear Mick,

I didn’t want to start this one like I did two years ago but man… I cannot believe it has been three years since we lost you.  So much as happened in the last two years, since my last letter.

It’s December so you are on all of our minds.  We can’t help it.  Yvon celebrated his 80th birthday on Monday.  Without you, who shared the same birth date.  Actually, we had a supper for him on Sunday, at the same place where you surprised me for my 50th.  There were 24 of us in all and he was quite surprised.

Speaking of Yvon, he had a major stroke in May 2016.  At the time, I couldn’t help thinking of how you would have handled it.  I pictured you going to visit him at the hospital a couple times per week, even though it was in Ste-Adèle.  I could see you being there, encouraging him to work to make his left side function again.  I could imagine you freaking out and saying things like:  “There is no way I would want to live like”, that yet you wouldn’t give up on him.  We finally moved Mom and Yvon to Varennes so we can be there to help out.  It is exhausting on “Mo” as she is his primary caregiver.  He can’t do much without her help.  I’m sure you’d do your share without a word of complaint.

I’ve gotten ahead of myself.  I mentioned to you that I would take the boys to Cuba and I did.   We went to Holguìn in March, 2016, which is far from Havana, so we couldn’t go visit it, but also far from the “Los Tabarnacos” I wanted to avoid.  Plus, I ensured we would not have to spend too much time with the Spring Breakers so the boys ended up missing two weeks of school.  We left on the Thursday of the Spring Break, returning on the following Wednesday.  They obviously did not complain.   I tell ya.  Was very special to have a week’s vacation with the boys.  We had a huge suite – one room for the boys including two double beds, a bathroom, TV, mini bar; a living-room-type area, including full bathroom, TV, mini bar and my room with a queen-sized bed, full bathroom, TV and mini-bar.  I swear, we were so pleasantly surprised!  As Iain was going to be 18 only at the end of the month, he managed to finagle himself an adult bracelet so he could enjoy himself without my help.  Aidan, on the other hand, was supplied by both me and Iain (what a bad mom, allowing a 16-year-old to drink).

Iain turned 18 on the last day of March and we all got together for supper at your favourite Barbù – where Iain was working part-time as a cook.

Some time in March, I got a call from François L. – remember him?  I used to work with him at Corby, then with François B. at Elixirs.  Anyway, he had moved back from Val d’Or where he’d been living for the past 4-5 years and was now in Boucherville.  He also had become manager of the restaurant in a private golf club and would I be interested in working as a waitress.  I told him I had never done that before and he said it was not a problem, that they would teach me the how-tos.  Well.  Why the hell not?  I was not getting that much business catering the family meals and was now considering what my next move was.  Couldn’t live off what was left of Mick Design for much longer so the timing was perfect.  Holy crap.  Turns out I’m a natural at this waitressing gig and the members and staff took a liking to me.  And man.  Was great for my arse.  I was walking it off.  11 lbs to be exact!  The only thing that was not so fabulous, was I felt I was abandoning the boys by not being home for supper 4-5 nights per week.

Iain graduated from high school in June.  He’s a funny guy.  He was zero interested in going to his prom but he felt it was very important to go to his graduation ceremonies.  It was nice to watch him walk up, wearing his gown and mortar board, all serious.  What he wouldn’t have given to have you there…  Since graduating, he has been working full time for a company called Moderco – so funny, on his first day, he texted me telling me that he must have your genes as he’s a natural!  He has now decided that he no longer wants to go into the Military to learn electricity (thank God) but in February of this year, he will be applying at Pierre Dupuy as he wants to return full-time and get his electricity degree.  Fingers crossed he gets in.

In September, 2016, my dream came true.  It was beyond bittersweet as you were not there.  I finally went to Tuscany.  I dunno if it was on Facebook or Twitter or what, but I discovered “Cook in Tuscany” – Oh. Em. Gee. It’s like this was created just for me!  I could just hear you saying something like:  “No way would I spend that much for a week, blah, blah, blah….”  I went anyway.   It was PERFECT!  I do not regret one single second of it.  Not one.  After my week with 13 other fantastic guests and the best hosts ever, Linda and George, I spent 9 days.  All. By. Myself.  I never thought I could do such a thing and not be lonely.  Well, that’s not entirely true.   You were on my mind during the whole thing.  There is no one else I would have wanted to be there with me but you.  I left the boys home alone with a bunch of food and instructions and frankly, I don’t even know if they realised I was not home… They are not the most demonstrative kids in the world.  Definitely do NOT take after you or me on that one.  All that to say, even though I had spent the day in Zug, Switzerland with a friend, arrived really late in Chiusi and stayed at a most fabulous B&B – I am now friends with Milena the owner, the moment I walked into my room, I burst into tears.  A mix of joy and sadness and excitement and almost guilt that you weren’t there.  I got over it and fell in love with the land.  I absolutely will be returning.  Oh man!  How could I forget!  I dunno if you had anything to do with it, but on my last day with my group, I heard my name being called.  Pierre V. – right there in my little village!  He is absolutely convinced you had a hand in it.  I ended up spending the day with them two days later.  Un-friggen-believable.

You know me.  I took a gazillion pictures…

Sadly, end of January, Richard Phillie lost his battle with bone marrow cancer.  I so remember the day Shihan announced to us in karate class that he had it.  The survival rate is about 5 years and damnation, that’s about how long he lasted.  Valérie stayed with him until the end.  I was glad I was able to be there for her, lend an ear and encourage her.  He was such a wonderful man and maybe he’s out there partying with you now.

I started dating.  Ugh.  Remember when I told you that I was gonna keep the devil I know (you!) rather than start all over and have to train a new one?  Damn you, anyway for leaving me like this.  That said, I tried various dating sites.  I figured why not?  I met you on Tele-Personals all those years ago.  That ended up working out pretty darn good, you ask me.  Well.  Let’s just say that I did see a few that I sorta kinda dated for a bit – not enough to introduce to family and friends, mind you.  Some of these guys became pretty good friends!  Actually, the one I hung out with in Zug, Switzerland, name is Urs, was one of them.   Christmas came and went, nothing much special, to tell the truth.  I worked a day here and there over the winter until the Club opened up again full-time in May.

One of the guys I befriended, Jean-Louis, invited me to join him in Punta Cana for our birthdays in April.  He said he was tired of travelling alone and would I keep him company – just friends, no strings, separate beds – and he offered to pay half.  Well now.  A week in the sun for $500?  Count me in.  It was nice.  Someone to share meals with and keep company while taking in the rays.  We did absolutely nothing besides go shopping one afternoon.  The rest of the time was beach, eat, sleep.  Felt kinda good!

But… I came home to this.

A pipe in the boys’ bathroom leaked causing damage in our beautiful dining room.  Iain took my car to work and someone backed into it and drove off.  The foundation cracked and water damage all across the carpeted floor – all has to be removed.

Oh friggen joy, oh bliss.  The insurance covered the dining room – we now have a brand-new floor (since August only).  I haven’t taken care of the car yet but Sébastien has given me the name of someone and the basement is not bloody covered.  Sigh.

Aidan graduated in June 2017.  He had some rough moments but all’s well that ends well!  Check out the hair!  Lordy!  It’s all my fault.  I told him he had Robert Plant hair and to let it grow.  LOL.. Iain keeps calling him a bum.  How we ended up with two such different guys is beyond me.  Anyway, he has a part-time job at Subway, has been dating Willow for almost two years and is doing okay.  He was too late to register for CEGEP for September but has since signed up to start in January.  I am pleased.

Your mom was found unconscious in her apartment on June 28.  She had fallen and knocked herself out and we have no idea how long she lay there before being found.  Her friend Carole had been trying to reach her and finally go the superintendent to go check things out.  As you know, she calls home pretty regularly but I don’t worry as she usually calls at least once per week.  Well… she ended up in the Jewish General for two months.  They have established that she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.  We ended up going to court to give her the chance to go back home.  However, the ruling was that she had to allow the CLSC to go in three times per day to make sure she ate and took her meds and whatnot.  The day she refused them entry, she would lose her rights.  She lasted 5 days at home.  The CLSC called on her, she refused to answser – you know what a hard-headed woman she is – they knocked on her door and she had a black eye, apparently from banging into a cupboard.  They felt she looked dehydrated and convinced her to go back to the hospital where she was declared unfit to live on her own.  So.  Now I have inherited her.  She, at least, had her papers in order and in 2014 named you and me mandators in case.   She redid her mandate naming me and her friend Carole.  Bloody hell.  Carole lives in Ottawa.  Thankfully Carole does not want to be a part of anything and has signed over her rights to me, so now I am in the process of waiting for all to be finalized so I can take care of her – financially.  She has been in the Lev Tov Seniors Home in NDG for the past two months – though she thinks she’s only been there for a day or so.  She keeps trying to escape and wants desperately to go home.  The boys visited her and were finally able to see that, though she remembers us, there are holes in her memory.  It is not easy.

We lost Matante Lucette in September.  So friggen awful and I was asked by both Michel and my mom to speak at her funeral.  I still can’t believe that Mom and Matante Nicole are all that are left in their family.  Then Mononcle Faldora died, leaving behind three sisters and two brothers from a family of 15.  Crazy when you think that in that gang, the youngest is going to be 79 and the oldest is going to be 90 yet in Mom’s family, both women are in their late 60’s and mid-70’s.

And then in October,  our baby turned 18!  Yowza!  How can that be?  The sisters, an uncle, some cousins, Grandmaman & Grandpapa, all got together to celebrate.

The last thing I want to tell you is that I have found love again.  It is still very new, only since the beginning of October, but it feels right.  Go figure.  François works at the golf club!  He is a retired prison guard, of all things, keeping himself busy by working in the practice fields of the club in the summers and doing renovations with a friend the rest of the time.  He is well-liked by members and co-workers alike and, though this may sound weird, I think you’d like him.  Like you, only not quite as fast, he was introduced to lots of family.  He survived and thrived so I take that as a good sign.  He even clicked with some of my high school friends!  And our boys like him.  I haven’t pushed anything and they haven’t criticized him so I’m thinking things are good.  What is important to me, is he realises that you will always have a section of my heart and he respects that.   He won’t do anything without asking first, and has admired everything you have created.

You’d definitely like to see what he has done to your garage!  It is so neat!  He is also extremely handy and has been working really hard to rip out the carpet in the basement.  What a crappy job he has undertaken.  That carpet glue is gross, stuck, needs to be scraped after being heated… awful job.  Not only is he helping me with the house, he is helping me with your mother’s apartment.  Oh. Em. Gee.  We knew she was a hoarder but the situation is ridiculous.  We have emptied bags and bags of trash and recycling and bags and bags of clothes to be donated and we are still not done.  We have to have the place emptied by December 31.

This has turned out to be way longer than I ever expected, even though I knew I had so much to tell you.  You will always have a place in all of our hearts.  Tracy, Sébastien, their kids, and Lisa, Chris and their kids as well as so many of my cousins and extended family talk about you regularly.  Your friends too.  We don’t see Armen or André anymore and that’s what I expected to happen.  There is no anger or anything like that; it’s just how things are.  There is an occasional text with a “we should get together soon” and a reply that “yes, we should” and it sort of hangs there.  Not anyone’s fault.  You were the glue that kept it all together.  Even between themselves, the various groups, hardly ever get together for lunch because you were the instigator, the gatherer.

That said, I do still have Leonard.  He will, out of the blue, text me or give me a call.  He misses you something fierce.  And I got a nice text from John the other day, as well as had good chat with Debbie.   I expect I will get an annual hello or a Facebook message.  You were lucky to have so many friends and family who loved you.  I am lucky to have been a part of your life for almost 20 years.

I suspect this will be the last time I do write you, but who knows?  I may get an urge, or not.  And that’s okay.  Just know that we are all doing well; doing the best we can and are moving forward with life.

Lotsa love,

Dale

xoxo

 

When His Heart Stopped – Friday Fictioneers

Well now.  This is a rarity.  —Not my waking up at stupid o’clock and not being able to go back to sleep.—  But to surely find myself on the first row of the “Hollywood Squares” as our buddy Russell calls them…  As always, thank you to Rochelle for hosting this crazy bunch!

I’m sorry to do this to you.  I had to “go there”.   I won’t bother pretending this piece is not wholly true so I’ve kept all names real.  I cannot believe my life changed so drastically three years ago this coming December 11th.  And when I saw my own picture as the prompt, I just dunno what happened.

To add a more joyful or funny or sinister or wherever your muse takes you, click on the blue frog.

Get the code

Mine!

Genre:  True Story

When His Heart Stopped

The phone rang.  “Ya, Dale, it’s Armen.  Mick collapsed.  He’s at Santa Cabrini Hospital.”

“What do you mean he collapsed?”  Fear gripped her heart, sending shards of ice throughout her veins.

“I dunno.  They called me.  They are checking him now.  Tony’s with him and they have questions for you.  I’m on my way and will meet you there.”

She Googled the address, dressed and left, thankful both boys were at school.

Tony met her at the entrance and guided her to the registration.  “He had a heart attack at our shop.”

Her own heart sank, somehow she just knew.