We moved backed to Red River in the summer of 1986 and opened our café. About a year later, a man named Jay moved back to RR also. He had lived there before with his wife, moved away, gone through a divorce, and was back in the mountains. It is amazing how people come to the mountains looking for healing in their soul. We became friends with Jay who was tall, handsome, and interesting as only mountain people can be. He hung out at our café and dated one of my waitresses, but she was much too young for him, and I told him so. We had lots of religious discussions since Jay became a Christian at some point. Like I said, Jay was interesting and did everything with his whole heart.
Then one day, I drove over to Angel Fire to get my hair cut by Judy – everyone said she was great. Judy was tall and beautiful and as sweet as they come. While cutting my hair, she asked me if there were any new, single men in RR – tall, near her age, interesting, a Christian…My exact words were, "Well, there is Jay. He is tall and good looking, but a little goofy." We discussed Jay and other RR men, and she finished my haircut. The next day I happened to see Jay on Main Street in RR. I hollered, "Hey, you need a haircut!" He took my advice and ended up marrying Judy. My friend Anny and I helped with their wedding. Jay and Judy looked like Barbie and Ken standing at the altar. They were both beautiful people inside and out.
Through the next years, Judy, who was a diabetic, began to get sick. She lost her kidneys and all that goes with that. She got a kidney transplant, which bought her time. Through the worst of it, Jay was there helping her, standing beside her. When she was not beautiful, Jay still loved her. During a conversation with him one day, I told him that I often wondered if he ever regretted getting his hair cut that day and my part in that. But he said, no, that he would do it all again.
Since we moved away from the mountains, I have kept up with Jay and Judy’s life through friends. Judy has gotten worse and has been expected to die. Last December a friend told me he had given Jay this advice – to live as each day is going to be Judy’s last – to say all the things you want to say to her – to not waste a moment.
Yesterday, I got news on Jay and Judy, but it was not what I expected. Jay was killed in a car crash on Monday coming home from Taos to Angel Fire. Wow, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Not Jay! Jay was strong and healthy! Jay was Judy’s life. There has got to be some mistake. Judy was supposed to die first. What will Judy do now? I have lots of thoughts flowing through my mind, as you can imagine. This I know: Judy and Jay were prepared in every way possible for death. They both loved and served God. They faced death every day. They have both lived a life full of love and some day soon they will be together again – beautiful and whole.
I will miss you my friend. I will miss your big hands being held up in worship. I will miss your goofy ways. I will miss the support you gave to all who needed it.