Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day 9 -- February 10, 2015

Day 9 – February 10, 2015

Frank and I both thought of the same words as soon as we awakened this morning . . .  Happy Birthday, Jay! If our boy had lived, he’d have been 47 today. How I miss him! But on his birthday, we try to do nothing but celebrate. As usual, I posted something on my Facebook page. I know that most of you who are reading this saw my post; however, I’m posting it here just to have it saved in a place that I’ll remember.

Happy 47th, Jay!

That’s right. Had Jay lived, he’d be 47 today. Hard to believe. Thinking about Jay on his birthday (and my dad’s!) could be a sad day; however, as so many of you know, Jay was a funny guy, and we like to spend his birthday thinking about the Fun Jay.

As you know, I always post something here on Jay’s birthday and on the anniversary of the day he died. I start thinking about my post weeks ahead of time, sometimes writing new memories and sometimes posting something that I wrote a while back. The one today is from a couple of years ago.

I love to write, but my genre is nonfiction, to be specific, memoir. In a weak moment (or perhaps it was a brave moment) a couple of years ago, I succumbed to the encouragement of my favorite writing teacher, Melanie Faith, and signed up for her online poetry class through WOW—Women on Writing. A poet, I am not! In fact, back in my Woodham years, I used to write ditties for retiring teachers. All of us laughed at my attempts and called them “pomes,” not nearly good enough to be called “poems.”

My poetry attempts for Melanie were just a step above the pomes that I wrote for teachers. My submissions (I still can’t call them poems) leaned definitely toward memoir, my chosen genre, and one was about Jay. That piece is what I’m posting today. You’ll see my boy and my heart in it.


You’re absent.
Of course, you are . . .
Absent from me, the one left at home.
But you’re present There,
With the Lord,
enjoying much more singing and dancing and bass music
Than I am,
and that makes me as happy
as I used to be when you put my head in the fan.

Do I still grieve?

You know I do, but not all day every day.
Just when I walk down the hall at home,
Where the photos of you playing at Trinity’s
Or hugging some sweet young thing
Or putting the kitty in the fridge
Or making funny faces with Wendy

You know I do, but not all day every day.
Just when I happen on a song by INXS
Or David Bowie
Or The Church
Or Billy Idol
Or Crowded House.

I do still grieve.
You know I do,
Just not all day every day.
Not all day every day, my son.

I hope this little ditty brings back good memories of Jay . . . of his talent and of his humor.

Happy Birthday, Jay!

We dressed and took everything out to the car. Then we headed straight for Café Du Monde, where we’d fill our tummies with coffee and beignets. Frank used to eat three orders (three beignets in each order), but his appetite has dwindled to only two orders. I have one order. When he told the waitress that we wanted three orders, she said, “Three beignets?” No . . . three ORDERS . . . that’s nine beignets. They were as delicious as they ever were!

I took a few pictures before we set off for Pensacola.

Frank decided that we’d go to Sam’s for gas before going to my cousin’s house. Yikes! It was supposed to be cheap. It was $2.24! Not cheap at all. But we didn’t find any gas in Pensacola as low as ours is in Santa Fe/Albuquerque. Who knows? It may be that much at home by now.

When he got back in the car, he said, “Do you want to take flowers to Jay on his birthday?” Of course, I did. So we went to Michael’s and bought posies for Jay and also for Mother and Daddy. As we were leaving, we saw our good friend Linda Thomas Lasher outside the store. What a treat! We stood in the cold visiting for several minutes. So what’s so important about this? We were going to have dinner with her and her hubby tonight! We still had plenty to talk about in the evening, though.

If the person who added some new flowers to the last ones that I put on Jay’s grave is reading this, thank you so much! Also . . . an apology to whoever put the black bracelet on the vase because it broke when we emptied water out and tried to put the vase back. We left it, but it’s broken. Made me so sad. I chose the flowers for my parents’ graves, and Frank chose Jay’s. They’ll look very pretty for a while, but the Florida sun doesn’t allow the bright colors to last very long.

When we arrived at JoAnn and Fred’s house, we found that their son, Freddie (I believe most people call him Fred now, but old habits are hard to break), was there. We were so happy to see him because it had been years and years since we had seen him. We always enjoy being with Jo and Fred and catching up on everything that’s going on in their lives.

We left at 5:00 to meet friends at the Marina Oyster Barn for dinner, the REAL beginning of our seafood splurge. Linda and her husband Bob, Barbara and David Lautner, and Fran Crumpton are five of our best friends in the whole world, and we thoroughly enjoyed being with them. There was not a minute of dead air at the table! Two more best friends, Annice and Gene Webb, couldn’t join us for the evening because of Gene’s health, and we truly missed them. Frank had fried shrimp, and I had fried oysters. Yummmmmm! We splurged and had key lime pie. So good!

We were back at Jo and Fred’s house by 7:45 and had more chatting to do before turning in. Good start to a very short visit to my hometown.

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