Yesterday I attended a memorial/funeral service. Daddy's bestie, Jay passed away February 1 but because of Covid they had to wait to schedule his service until February 27. It was a sweet, short, simple service. Jay was Navy in his early years so they had the color guard there, two of them. Since it was in a church there wasn't the full regalia that is sometimes a part but they did walk to the front of the room, saluted and taps played. That ALWAYS gets me, so tears formed. Then they took the folded flag off of the mock coffin (he was interred that morning) and unfolded the flag, turning it to the room to show then they slowly folded the flag again, saluted again, then walked the flag to Dino (Jay's son) and handed it to him, saluting again. It was simple and beautiful and of course, tears.
This family goes back in my memories to the very beginning. Momma, Daddy, Jay and Helen always got together to play cards, pinochle. Dino I think was my brother's age and their daughter was my sister's or younger. The parents would play cards until very late in the night so they would put down pallets for us to go to sleep then be taken home later. I can remember making tents with the sheets and one time Dino kissed me, my very first kiss. Oh gosh, I always had a crush on Dino, think deep down I still do, but really he's more a brother to me. The very first tattoo I ever saw was on Big Jay's arm. I was fascinated by it and probably never saw another one until I was well into adulthood.
Yesterday when I walked in the building the very first person I saw was Dino. Even though we were masked I recognized him immediately and he said, "Hi Beautiful!" Oh goodness, I can't lie, my heart fluttered a bit, but really it was love for a good guy, for a good family. Big Jay had a giant heart to anyone he met always hugging and kissing you on the mouth, even my Daddy every time they parted. It was so sweet. Sadly that kissing is probably what took Jay's life because he died from complications of Covid. I've known several people that have had Covid and survived but he's the first person that I knew who passed away. Breaks my heart.
The service went on with a heartfelt message from one of Dino's best friends then a scripture and a slide show. Goodness, those photos took me back to the young years, the Jay that is so vivid in my memory and his wife Helen. She was a beauty. Helen passed away shortly before Momma from COPD, like Momma. (DAMN smoking!) There was one photo that showed Daddy, Jay, Dino, my brother, my EX-brother-in-law, and another guy, the bowling team. Gosh, more tears. My mask was getting soggy because I didn't have a tissue. After that I wanted to say goodbye to Dino and waited my turn. He grabbed me in a bear hug and started sniffling. I told him to please keep in touch because we are family. He then did the Big Jay thing and kissed me full on the mouth, of course with masks on...LOL.