DJ Pt. 35


Note: All sexually involved characters in this story are Eighteen years of age or older. There is a young, gay boy, 15 year old Fernando, whose father has kicked him out (which happens way too often in real life) and CPS (Child Protective Services) have placed him with foster parents, a married straight couple. There is no direct, or implied, sexual activity between Fernando and any other character in this story.

* * * * * *

In Part 35:

Joe and Doug are faced with a dilemma

DJ and Jamie meet their West Coast Cousins

Damion and Brandon lied to their parents

Ron and Liz plan a date

Karen and Carl take on two more boys

The Grandsons will be pallbearers

Granny is laid to rest

The cousins plan a fun weekend

DJ Part 35

Doug and Joe woke up about 8:00 AM on Wednesday March 7th, Doug headed to the kitchen to make a full pot of coffee. They saw no reason to wake the boys, as they had already decided not to go to class this week. They elected to just have a couple mugs of coffee and then head to the city. They just dressed casually, picked up the envelope that Jamie had brought with the Death Certificate enclosed and headed out.

They arrived at the Charlotte Chapel of the Lynch Funeral Home, about 10:00 AM and told the receptionist who they were and their reason for their visit. About 5 minutes later they were greeted by a man, who introduced himself as Jeff Saunders. He invited Doug and Joe into his office.

“Gentlemen,” Jeff said, “there are some technicalities we need to get out of the way, and it’s usually easiest to take care of them in order. Which one of you is Joseph Reynolds?” Joe raised his hand. “Do you have a copy of the original Death Certificate?”

“We don’t have a copy.” Joe stated, “but we have the original.” Joe opened the envelope and handed the DC to Jeff. Jeff took it to the receptionist to have her make some copies.

“Joseph,” Jeff said, “You would be wise to keep the original in a safe place, such as a safe or a lock box, and use the copies for other purposes, such as for Insurance Companies, and we only require a copy. I’ll give you some extras.”

“We’ll need to go over some things for the obituary, we file it with the newspaper, so it’s important that we have the details correct. Her name is Agatha Reynolds, does she have a middle name or initial?”

“If she did,” Joe said, “I never knew what it was.”

“Her residence, at time of death, was at the GASC in Smalltown, right?”

“That’s correct.” Joe said.

“Survivors,” Jeff said, “Any siblings?” Joe shook his head.

“Children, and locations?”

Daughter, Julia Whitlock and Son-in-law, Richard Whitlock of San Francisco.

Son, Joseph Reynolds, and Son-in-law, Douglas R. Kendall of Smalltown.

Jeff, surprised, “Are you two married?”

Joe, smiling, “We became loving husbands on January 14, this year.” Doug and Joe both showed Jeff their wedding bands.

“Congratulations, Gentlemen,” Jeff said, smiling. “Any grandchildren?”

“Four,” Joe said, “Damion and Brandon Whitlock, of San Francisco, Douglas J. Kendall and Jamie Seldon, both of Smalltown.”

“Hold on,” Jeff said, “Douglas J is your husbands son?” Doug and Joe nodded.

“So, by marriage, that makes him a grandson, right?” How does Jamie fit into the picture?”

“Jamie is DJ’s boyfriend of about a year,” Joe explained, “and Mom regarded Jamie as her grandson also.”

“Hold on again,” Jeff said, “who is DJ?”

“That’s Douglas J, he goes by DJ.”

“Jamie doesn’t fit in because he is not an actual relative, despite the emotional feelings between him and the deceased,” Jeff said. “Let me give this to Linda, so she can get it typed up.”

Jeff, returning, “You’ve requested the service to be held at 11:00 AM Friday morning in our Smalltown Chapel, but there are no visitation times requested, did you forget about those?”

“Sir,” Joe responded, “Mom was a rather new resident of Smalltown. She came here for our wedding, in January, and then decided to stay here, instead of returning to her home in California. In the two months she lived here, very few folks ever got to know her, and most of them that do are our closest friends and coworkers. Having a viewing would be a waste of time and money.”

“I understand,” Jeff said, “just an alternative option, since you plan the service for 11:00 on Friday, might be to have a viewing on Friday at 10:00 AM, just before the service. It would allow those few visitors to have an opportunity to pay last respects, and offer support to your family.”

Joe and I looked at each other, and quietly agreed to use that option.

“Who will be the officiating minister?” Jeff asked. Again, Joe and I looked at each other, another detail we were confronted with.

“Joe,” I said, “do you think Pastor White would do the honors?”

“I don’t know if she does funerals,” Joe replied, “but I still have her number, and we could ask her. Jeff, we’re going to have to get back with you on that.”

“I’ll bursa escort need to know by early afternoon, tomorrow,” Jeff replied, “have you made arrangements for pallbearers?”

“Joe,” I commented, “I somehow didn’t realize how much was involved in making funeral arrangements.”

“Me either,” Joe said, “I guess Mom had to go through all this when Dad passed, quite a few years ago. Jeff, would you be able to provide us with pallbearers?”

“We can, but that would require additional staff, and would considerably add to the overall cost of the funeral. How old are the grandsons? And are the ones in California planning to come for the funeral?”

“Damion and Brandon are 21 and 19, and they are flying out here from LA in the early morning. DJ is 20,”

“We’ve had similar situations before,” Jeff said, “If the grandson’s are informed, that it would be the last thing they could do for their grandparent, they will often accept the task. There are three grandson’s and if Jamie feels that close to your Mom, he would likely accept the task as well. We would still need two more, is it possible that DJ and Jamie might have a couple of close friends that may be willing to be pallbearers?”

“I hate to even ask DJ to be one,” I said, “we can see how he feels about it when we get home, I’m quite certain Jamie would agree to be one.”

“I’ll get hold of Damion and ask him and Brandon, I think they will accept the task,” Joe said. “Jeff, thanks for the suggestions, and I’ll call you in the morning with the details.”

Jeff took us to the display room, and Doug and I chose a nice casket. We all shook hands, and Joe and I headed back home. I drove, and Joe got on the phone. He called Pastor White and she agreed to officiate.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel and had some lunch on the way home and then stopped by WAWA and picked up a large Italian Sub on wheat to take back for the boys, feeling that they can’t live on just soup.

When we got back to the house, DJ and Jamie were sitting quietly on the sofa in the den, both of them with long faces, and Jamie’s arm was around DJ’s shoulder. DJ seemed to be doing a little better but was still far from normal. Joe and I entered the den and both boys looked at us like “Are we in trouble?”

“We have something we need to discuss with you guys,” I said.

Jamie, with a slight smile, “We didn’t do it, Dad.”

“I know that,” I said, grinning, “but we’re hoping you will, Joe?”

“We had a meeting with Jeff Saunders at Lynches today,” Joe explained, “trying to get everything arranged for Mom’s funeral service on Friday. Pastor Evelyn White, the minister that married us, is going to officiate, but when Jeff asked us who the pallbearers were going to be, we were stumped.”

“Jeff suggested,” I said, “that we ask the grandsons to do the final last thing they can for their Grandma, by being pallbearers. Jamie, he said he couldn’t list you in the obituary as a grandson, because you’re not an actual relative. We know you loved her as much as any grandchild would love their grandmother, and you could do that final task, helping to lay her to rest, along with the other grandsons.”

“Did you ask Damion and Brandon?” Jamie inquired.

“I’m going to ask them tonight.” Joe said, “In talking with them last night, they’ve impressed me as being quite outstanding young men, and I’m quite sure they will accept the task.”

“Aren’t there supposed to be six pallbearers?” Jamie asked, “Even with me as one, I’m only counting four.”

“You’re right, Jamie, we’re still lacking two.”

“Bryan and Phil knew Granny quite well,” Jamie said, “I think they would be willing to help, should I call them?”

“Go ahead, Jamie,” Joe replied, “It won’t hurt to ask them.”

Jamie left the room and went into the bedroom for some privacy, and called Bryan. Bryan told Jamie that they were definitely planning on attending Granny’s funeral, and he was quite certain that Phil would be willing to be a pallbearer, along with him. He would ask Phil that night, after Phil got home from work. He told Jamie that both he and Phil are scheduled to work Friday night, and they needed to be home by 2:30 Friday afternoon. Jamie then returned to the den and relayed Bryan’s acceptance to us.

Joe, writing, “Okay, I think we have the pallbearer list, Damion and Brandon Whitlock, Douglas J. Kendall, Jamie Seldon, Bryan and Phil. What are Bryan’s and Phil’s last names?”

“Bryan Hopkins and Phil Raish,” Jamie replied.

“Dad,” DJ said, sadly, “I don’t think I can do this.”

Jamie, pulling DJ close, “C’mon baby, grow some balls, you can do it, and you know I’ll be right by your side! You’ll be fine.” DJ smiled weakly. “I think we need to warm up some of that soup, I’m getting hungry.”

“Joe and I stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home, but there’s an Italian Sub on the table,” I said, “with DJ and Jamie printed all over it.”

Jamie, smiling, “C’mon DJ, let’s destroy it!” Jamie pulled DJ off the sofa, and pulled him görükle escort to the table, and they went to work on it.

* * * * * *

About 4:30 Joe made a call to Karen, and she answered.

“Hi Joe,” Karen said, “We’re all really sorry for your loss, have you made final arrangements yet?”

“Pretty much,” Joe replied, “Have you got a few minutes?”

“Not really,” Karen replied, snickering, “Carl’s at work, I think the boys are at your house, Phil and Bryan are both working, and I’m busy twiddling my thumbs! What’s up?”

“Karen, I hate to ask these kind of things but, I’m wondering if you might have a vacancy at the Seldon Hotel for three nights?”

“Can I presume that your sister and brother-in-law are coming for Mom’s funeral?”

“On the contrary,” Joe said, “I think you would find these guests much more desirable than my bitch sister and her homophobic husband. She has already stated that they would not travel this far for her funeral!”

“The room your Mom stayed in might be available, you said ‘these’ guests’, so I’m assuming it’s more than one?”

“It’s my nephews, Damion and Brandon, they’re 21 and 19. Damion reached out to me last night, and told me they are coming to pay their final respects to their Grandma. They’re flying in from LA, and Jamie and DJ are going to pick them up at the airport tomorrow afternoon.”

“I think the aspect of DJ meeting his cousins, that he didn’t know he even had, is helping to bring him out of the doldrums. These boys are straight, but when we were all on speakerphones last night, Brandon said that cousins are the best kind of friends, even if they are gay!”

“That’s cute,” Karen said.

“These boys are nothing like their parents. Damion told me that, growing up in the suburbs of Frisco, gay people were about as common as ketchup on french-fries. He said that their parents are homophobes.”

“I think I like these boys already,” Karen said, “Joe, now I have something to do, I need to wash the sheets on that bed, and make a triple batch of cookies! I think you know that Carl and I will welcome them.”

“Thank you so much, Karen,” Joe said, “I think you’re an angel. Oh, about the funeral, we are having a visiting time, at 10:00 AM Friday, just before the service at 11:00 AM. Pastor White, the minister that married Doug and me, is officiating, and we plan on all the grandsons being pallbearers, along with Bryan and Phil. I haven’t asked Damion and Brandon yet, but I think they will be agreeable to that.”

Joe, after completing his call with Karen, “Doug, I need to go to the GASC and gather up Mom’s personal stuff, will you go with me?”

“Of course,” I replied, “DJ, Jamie, will you guys be OK for a while, Joe and I are going to the GASC (Golden Age Senior Community) to get Granny’s personal items, we should be back in a couple of hours.”

“We’ll be fine, Dad’s,” DJ answered, and Jamie agreed.

* * * * * *

I drove Joe to the GASC and arrived about 5:30 PM. We approached the receptionist,

“Gentlemen,” the receptionist said, “visiting hours aren’t until after 6:00 PM, the residents are all eating dinner right now.”

“We didn’t come to visit,” Joe said, “my mother, Agatha Reynolds, was a resident here and we just came to pick up her personal items.”

The receptionist, a somber expression on her face, “She is one of our favorite residents, she’s not returning?”

“Mom passed, about 11:30 yesterday morning,” Joe stated.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said, “we hadn’t been informed, if you know where her room is, I guess you can go on in there. If you need some boxes, the kitchen usually has some hanging around.”

Joe, as we went to get some boxes, “Doug, I see no reason to take her clothes, let’s just pick up about three or four smaller ones.” We grabbed four boxes and went to Mom’s room.

Joe opened one draw and found her important papers, Social Security information, her Birth Certificate, Victor’s Death Certificate, her insurance policy, banking information, and a sealed envelope. Joe, with tears in his eyes, handed me the envelope. Printed on the envelope was ‘Last Will and Testament’ and, in Mom’s handwriting, ‘Please don’t open until after I’ve gone to meet the Lord, Agatha Reynolds’. Joe placed all of those papers in a box.

On the dresser were four photographs, one was a young Victor and Agatha, and Joe believed it was taken the day his parents got married. One was of Joe and I, with Mom in between us, taken at our wedding. One was the photo of our handsome DJ, that Joe had sent to her, and the last was one of two young men.

Joe, handing me that last photo, “Doug, this is Damion and Brandon, taken when they were about Ten and Twelve years old. They’ve aged a bit since then.”

“They’re very nice looking boys, Joe,” I commented.

“I’m so glad they’ve decided to come out,” Joe said, “I can hardly wait to see them. Doug, I think you’re going to like them. Please remind me to call them tonight, I still have not asked them to be bursa escort bayan pallbearers.”

Joe and I spent the next half an hour, scouring the apartment. Joe picked up her prescriptions and threw them in the trash. We only needed two boxes for everything, including a scrapbook, two photo albums, her jewelry box, and three or four other memorabilia, and her handbag. All that was left in her room was her clothing. We each picked up a box and headed out.

Joe, stopping by the receptionist, “We have everything of any importance, Miss, would you be kind enough to contact Goodwill and ask them to pick up her clothing?”

“Yes, sir,” she replied, “we’ll take care of that tomorrow, I’m so sorry for your loss, she was a wonderful lady, and we’ll miss her too.”

Joe and I arrived back home around 7:00 PM, and carried the boxes into our bedroom. We reheated the remainder of that soup and ate it.

* * * * * *

About 9:00 PM Wednesday Antonio and Maria were finishing up cleaning the pizzeria, and Fernando was just finishing his homework. His phone rang, it was Liz.”

Liz, excited, “Guess what Fernie, I just got a call from Ron! He wants to take me to a movie Friday night, and then to the pizzeria for pizza. What time do your parents close on Fridays?”

“We close at 9:00 PM most nights, but not until 11:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, “Fernie stated, “I’m so happy for you, Liz, you don’t have a basketball game Friday night?”

“Not this week,” Liz said, “we’re going into the playoffs, and they’re scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, and Ron is taking me to them also, but I will also be cheerleading. I told you that you would be the first to know if Ron asked me for a date. Thank you so much for giving him my number.”

“I hope you know I’d do whatever I can for my best friend,” Fernie said, I guess you’ll tell me how it works out.”

“You know I will Fernie,” Liz said, “I just wanted to let you know, I’ll see you tomorrow at the bus stop, Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Liz,” Fernie said, “Thanks for letting me know.”

* * * * * *

“Oh!” Joe exclaimed, “I need to call Damion and Brandon, it’s almost 9:30 and they’re planning to head to LA about 10:00.”

“Dad, can you put it on speakerphone,” DJ asked, “so we can hear what they say?”

“Sure,” Joe said, placing the phone on speakerphone and dialing Damion’s number. Damion answered on the second ring.

“Hi Uncle Joe,” Damion said, “I’m sorry we didn’t get back to you, regarding the flight times.”

“Is Brandon there with you? I hope you guys are packed and ready, I know you’re planning to leave at 10:00, and its almost 9:30 now.”

“We’ve been packed!” Brandon remarked, “I packed right after I got home from class, and Dami picked me up about 3:00 this afternoon. Uncle Joe, I think you’ve forgotten about the time difference, it’s only 6:30 here! Dami and I are so ready to make this trip, we are so anxious to meet DJ and Jamie.”

“Did your parents give you flack, about coming out here?” Joe asked.

“No,” Brandon said, “we fibbed a little, Mom and Dad think we’re going on a road trip to Vegas for the weekend, and we told them we wouldn’t be coming home until Sunday night.” Joe and I couldn’t help grinning.

“I need to ask something very serious of you guys,” Joe said, “we would like for the grandsons to be the pallbearers for your Grandma, DJ and Jamie have already agreed, are you guys willing?”

“I’m not sure,” Brandon asked, “exactly what do pallbearers do?”

“They’re the guys that carry the casket, from the funeral parlor to the hearse, and then from the hearse to the grave, “Joe explained.

“Oh,” Brandon said, “aren’t there supposed to be six? Dami and me, plus DJ and Jamie only makes four.”

“Brandon,” Jamie interjected, “two of our closest friends, Bryan and Phil, offered to fill the gap, and be the other two pallbearers, they both loved Granny a lot, too.”

“Boys,” Joe said, “It would be the very last thing you could do for your Grandma, can we count on you?”

“Brandon,” Damion said, “I know it’s a heavy load, but I want to help, are you with me?”

“Uncle Joe,” Brandon said, “you can count Dami and me in. I guess we’ll be seeing you tomorrow, after our plane lands.”

“What time is your flight?” Jamie asked, “and what time is it supposed to arrive in Charlotte?”

“We leave LA at 6:00 AM, and arrive in Charlotte at 1:00 PM,” Damion said, it’s a seven hours flight.”

“Is that arrival at 1:00 PM your time or our time?” Joe asked.

“Let me check,” Damion said, “that’s our time, it will be 4:00 PM Eastern time.”

“Thanks for clarifying, Damion,” Jamie said, “I’d hate for us to be hanging around the airport for 3 hours waiting for your plane to arrive, do you have a flight number?”

“United, 842.” Damion said, “where will we be sleeping tomorrow night?”

“Jamie’s parents have come to our rescue once again,” Joe said, “Jamie’s Mom is awesome, I know you’ll love her. They have a spare bedroom, and she is planning for you to stay with them for the whole weekend.” Jamie grinned.

“How will we find each other at the airport?” Damion asked.

“I think maybe you should all exchange phone numbers, so you can contact each other, and then you can hook up,” Joe suggested.

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