Thursday, June 12, 2008


Today I'm attending the funeral of a friend. My ex's Uncle Jay died a few days ago, he was only 49 years old. I met Jay nine years ago and he instantly felt like family. Jay was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when he was just in his early 30's. Jay had severe MS and he took a lot of prescription drugs to stay functional. In many ways, those drugs were worse on his system than the MS but he needed them to be functional. Even though Jay had horrible physical problems and pains related to the MS you would never think of him as a sick person - Jay was ALWAYS the life and fun of any gathering. He was truly a one of a kind person. Jay LOVED to tell jokes and funny stories and whenever you met him it was like someone pulled the string on his back and he just regaled you with tales. Sure some of them I'd heard more than once, but it didn't matter, they were always interesting because he told them with such enthusiasm and gusto. Jay loved cars and that's something that we had in common. Corvettes were his favorite and he owned many of them over the years. His last Vette was a triple black convertible. Jay was such a huge influence on my ex and there are certain things she still says like Jay. I'm pretty impressionable when it comes to phrases and speech patterns, so of course I even picked up Jayisms I still do.

Over the years, Jay had many MS health related problems that landed him in the hospital and in near death condition. I don't mean he was really sick and then snapped out of it, I mean he literally was expected to die and then he'd come out of it and literally cheat death. The first time it happened, I referred to him as the "Energizer Bunny" because he just kept on going. After it happened a few more times, I started calling him the "Cockroach". Whenever there was another hospitalization and everyone thought Jay was a goner I'd think, "No, he's the Cockroach, he'll be okay." Well Jay's body finally gave out. Yes he's gone, but he'll never be forgotten. I think his spirit has reunited with Sue, one of his best friends who also died too early in life. And I think he's still telling some damn good stories. In tribute to Uncle Jay, here are a few photos of him and some Corvette shots.

Serena and Jay in his Calypso Red BMW 750 IL - one of many cars Jay owned over the years.

Serena, Jay and his sister Barbara at the Keno machines at the Orleans in Las Vegas in 2001

Jay and Sue at a Dodger Game in 2000. A typical Jay expression! I can imagine him probably saying NUTS! and doing that face.

Serena, Jay, Me, and Susan at the Gold Coast in Las Vegas in 2003.

Jay and Serena in Las Vegas in 2005.

Me in a Vette at the L.A. Auto Show in 2007

I love you Jay and I'll never forget you.

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