Jay, Dan, and Cat: Together

What to say? Len and I went to Dallas for Jay’s Memorial. From the get-go, Jay would have made much ado over it all. As we drove into Dallas, I noted how easy it is to spot a funeral home. Not just the exterior with a portico and columns but usually a two part name. For example Porter Loring, Sunset Ridge, Fair Lawn, Harper-Talesek, Peel and Sons, etc. Len and I discussed this and about that time I saw a big sign that said Casket Store…it was what it said. Then I suggested to Len how you never hear of a funeral home called Duke’s or Buck’s…and I can’t even imagine one with a woman’s name…Hmmm. I will have to mull this over. At any rate, Len and I got tickled at this and we just knew that Jay would have loved the conversation.

I am just thinking about that conversation we had with Jay and Dan at Gershwin’s Bistro those many years ago. Seems like we were always talking about our funerals….that may have a been when Jfay told us to wrap him in a sheet and leave him at a rest stop…I say that because it seems we began elaborating on the theme. Jay saying that no one liked him enough to come to his funeral. I think that’s when the idea evolved for the five of us to go in separate cars…No HOV lane for us. We also talked about paid mourners. It was such a memorable conversation that we have replayed it over the years. Well, here it was finally happening.

The memorial started at 5:00 PM on Friday. The funeral home really was in a strip shopping center. I kind of think it is for families who really don’t want a regular service. When we arrived we were first, of course. Minutes later I thought Cathy arrived but it turns out it was Trish. I was sort of surprised at her noncommittal attitude but once I realized it wasn’t Cathy after all, it made more sense. The service was in a room with 21 chairs and about 6 arm chairs in the back. I think there were about 30 people there…mostly friends of the ‘kids.’ No spouses or grandchildren in attendance. Jay’s friend Marilyn was there with a friend, Jody and Jim, and a woman from the early market days whose name I can’t remember….she didn’t know any of us so I think she was from the very early years or the very later years. The preacher did a nice job…he made reference to how Jay was not a religious person, had a difficult childhood, loved his family, had become ‘testy’ in his old age, his friendship with Dan, his pets, AND his creative years in San Antonio with his dear friends Lee, Betty, Susan and Len! We were the only friends mentioned and mentioned twice! That made me cry. So, Jay’s interred so to speak in Dan’s box….along with Cat.

It was very brief and to my knowledge no ‘wake’ or reception. Kelley read a letter that her daughter wrote to Jay in heaven. Stevie did his best to make some comments but it was too difficult to proceed.

I asked Pam if I could take a photo of the little brass plaques on the box. She said, “Sure!” It was all very informal. Very. I don’t know if you can read the engraving….It says on one, “Dan, friend and father,” another says “Dad, One of a Kind,” the last Kitty Kat. I am so glad they put Kat with them. IMG_2410.jpg

All in all it was pretty much the way Jay expected. The ‘kids’ told us they had already taken care of everything. He had all the household packed and in boxes for the movers so they disposed of the boxes…I imagine keeping some things, surely. Stevie was up helping his Dad move, he said the first time he had been in Dallas in a year. He went to run to the bank and got a call that Jay had collapsed. Steve said he was there in about 3 minutes and when he arrived EMS was already there and working on him. There is a fire station just a block away from Jay’s old apt. He was DOA and a blessing for Jay.

I think this seems like a pretty cold description…it was as he wanted it and it was very sad but respectful. Steve said they would scatter ashes at a later date.This is the AF photo that was next to the box and it is also the obituary from the paper. They did have the wonderful photo of Jay and Dan at Kelly’s wedding…you all remember it…both in tuxedos, Dan with his arms crossed in front of him, and Jay with his elbow resting on Dan’s shoulder. I loved that photo of them. You could tell, Jay was being charming and glib in that picture.

This is the obituary that was in the paper.1335037432TouchstoneJay.jpg

Jesse “J” Touchstone passed away on April 18, 2012. He is survived by his children, Kelly Touchstone Loring, Kathy Touchstone Mullen, Pamela Touchstone Osborne, Patricia Touchstone and Stephen Touchstone, daughter-in-law Aimee’ Touchstone, sons-in-law Jim Loring, Peter Mullen and Tom Osborne, and grandchildren Stephen Touchstone, Leah Touchstone, Grace Touchstone, Nathaniel Loring and Geniefer Loring. He was one of a kind, dearly loved and will be missed. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Scleroderma Foundation, Attn: Donations, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 105, Danvers, MA 01923.

Pam told me that Jay had lots of photos of us and the kids from the early years….all in that rectangular box that sat on the coffee table. All the kids were very, very welcoming and appreciative. I find that I am much more saddened than I expected. I am so glad he didn’t have any long term suffering but I am so sad he won’t be around to tell me how much he hates my hair….do you remember how right in the middle of a conversation he would say, “Susan, I hate your hair.” I wish he could have seen it as it is now! I have got to find that happy snap of Jay and Dan!

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One Response to “Jay, Dan, and Cat: Together”

  1. Since I came to like Jay – after your previous post – I’m glad you wrote this – as you saw it. And shared the photos. I hope you will come to mine and do it justice too. Love to YOU.

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