The hat is the one she is wearing in her photo which is her facebook profile picture. We bought it at the Del Mar Fair about 3…4? years ago? Can’t remember because we went every year and she *always* bought a new hat and we both often bought new sandals – sometimes fighting over them :-))
The brunch was lovely. Waves crashing up against the restaurant windows, sunny & clear. Trina had places those little gift bags – 20 of them – in front of each place with one of Jacqueline’s bracelets in each one. We all shared our thoughts on our lost friend. Since I had nearly started sobbing just driving TO the brunch (perhaps taking the route which would take me past the place where Jax & I would meet for brunch on Sundays was not the wisest move!)..I knew I was not going to make it through talking about her and I didn’t. However, I had shared the eulogy I wrote with everyone so I felt like I had done my part already 🙂 I was thrilled that so many of our classmates came and was having a truly lovely time catching up with them. One of the gals said “OK, now that you are not on all those sports league boards, I am tagging you as our social secretary! Plan something for us!” Oh…shiiiiit! But, it’s OK, and she’s right. I’ll kick off something at my house and hopefully we can all rotate around and start gathering more frequently than every five years for reunions and…well..for funerals.
After the brunch I went up to the house to help Trina go through more things. As you can see above, I took that lovely, colorful chest and that hat which was my favorite of hers. I also took a few tops and one dress and lots of jewelry and purses. Oh, the purses! I kept telling Trina they were the last thing I needed, but…I love them! Some women are shoe whore, I’m a purse whore. Cannot resist them. And just like her furniture, there was lots of colorful ones and I know I will love using every single one. We also loaded down Jax’ car and mine with things to take out to her dad.
Today Trina and I drove the car and those items out there to her dad’s house. The plan was to take him to lunch and then go to the Forrest Lawn cemetery out there to place the ashes. Now, all I ever heard was that we were placing her ashes next to her mom’s. We knew that Jacqueline’s ashes were sent directly there. So when we got to her dad’s and we were leaving for lunch he picks up a blue velvet bag with a walnut box in it and hands it to Trina. We lock eyes wondering…wha?? She says “Ted, um, didn’t they send the ashes to the cemetery?” Because I could tell that while Trina has been doing a damn good job of holding it together in her German-stoic way, that the idea of holding Jax in that box at that moment was about to freak her right out. “Oh yes, that’s Mary” says Ted. Oooooh boy! All these years of knowing Jax and I’d never met her mom, had only heard, well, some not always nice things about her as the two had a VERY rough relationship which was only marginally repaired as Mary lost her battle with breast cancer..and here she was…in the back of my car!!! Next to my lawn chair and grocery bags and umbrella. Oh my. Soooo bizarre.
Oh, but it got better. I swear I could hear Jax in my head as we pulled into Forrest Lawn after lunch. “Oh. My. GAWD…here??!! Next to HER?!” A very nice gentleman went in back and brought out Jacqueline’s box. Oh man…to see that just took my breath away. Meanwhile an old family friend who had known both ladies was there as was another friend of Jacqueline’s who lives out in Palm Desert too. So our motely crew of 6 walked solemnly with Trina carrying Mary and the cemetery agent carrying Jax. Her dad remained composed throughout. I stood behind he and Trina as they placed the two boxes in their little niches in the wall, then placed the marble over. The marble is not yet marked, but will be in a few weeks. I was started to have to wipe away tears again when I noticed the last name of the person placed directly above Jacqueline. Cheney. And her voice came into my head again “Oh, this is just fucking great. Placed for eternity next to my mom and under a Cheney! She’s probably related to that man too!! Just PERFECT!” And then I started giggling. Sigh…I expect that’s gonna happen a lot for awhile eh? She’s gonna pop into my head with her big big voice and set me off one way or the other.
Thus endeth my two days of somehow saying a proper good bye to my friend. Thank you so much so all of you who sent me your love and support. It really did help.
Oh, and one *teensy* rant, or an FYI if you will. If someone you once knew as a friend, who then broke off said friendship dies, and you are invited to a memorial brunch and are then asked to speak about the deceased – it would be best to either be mindful that everyone else there (who already spoke before you and are clearly quite broken up over this loss) is carrying love in their heart for this person and is there to help each other through the grieving by celebrating the life of said friend and find a way to dig into your memories and say only kind things about her, OR, just SHUT THE HELL UP! But whatever you do, do NOT make an ass of yourself by telling everyone WHY your friendship went sideways (blaming the deceased of course, because you are perfect) and basically ending on an “oh, everyone please feel sorry for ME” moment sucking all of the love out of the air. Because if you make an ass of yourself, all everyone at the table is thinking is “Ah, now I see why Jax ended that friendship!” Oh, and go ahead and take a nice one way trip to the moon while you are at it. Oh, and I also recommend NOT coming up to chat with me at the grocery store if you run into me because while I may have held my tongue at the brunch, I can promise you I wont hold it if I ever see you again. Nope. So be ready. Because that’s what Jax would do for me.