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Mixology of Friendship

Much like a good cocktail, friendships also require the ingredients to complement each other, to make them memorable. When a friend passes, the cocktail (friendship) is never complete. So all that remains is the intoxicating memory. Such was the “spirit” that will always be Jay Kenney, beloved friend, gentle philosopher and veteran.


I met Jay when I joined I AM ALS Veterans Affairs team. We were co-scribes. We became fast friends. There was encouragement, tears and a LOT of humor!

August 7, 2022

(Text Thread) 


Good morning to two strong, intelligent, handsome men!💚 Hope y'all have a good day!💚🙏


THANK YOU Katrina! (Hey Juan my brother--why'd She leave out SEXY??? I'm just a little offended. But l'll get over it. Ok, I just looked at myself in the mirror--I'm over it!!😂)). Have a wonderful day you two!💕


....and SEXXXY!!!!!


I'm sure because it's implied due to our ALS... Always Looking Sexy.

You two have a fantastic day!


OF COURSE! An accomplished writer such as Katrina would never waste words stating the OBVIOUS!!  My apologies! 😍🙏🏽💕


As you can see from the exchange above, we had a healthy sense of humor to accompany the pain we carry, due to ALS.  There were many more that took place during our brief friendship with Jay. Katrina and I remain in touch as our lives move forward, respectively. 

Jay was a modest man, and as our friendship grew we learned of Jays' accomplishments as a veteran and community leader in the field of aging population services.  What stood out to me, personally, was his grasp of world philosophies and faith’s. This was often instrumental in helping us, his fellow ALS advocates, to be cognizant of the sensitivities of communities, cultures and individuals. Ensuring we always provided balanced and equitable support to our ALS community. 

His philosophical acumen was often pointedly apropos to many instances, more so when applied to the painful reality of a terminal condition such as ALS. For example a time we both experienced difficult periods, he shared the following with me…

“He said, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Given the title of this piece we have included our favorite cocktail. Each ingredient coming together, a composition of ingredients melding together to warm the soul, just like a great friendship. 

Jay In Manhattan

Each jigger is 60ml

1 jigger:  your choice of bourbon

1 jigger:  Elderflower


1 jigger:  Dubonnet Rouge Wine

Iced and stirred

With maraschino cherries

Juan Spicy Mule

Glass of Ice 

Ginger Beer

Cinnamon Rum (to taste) 

Splash of Sprite 

Katrina Angels’ Envy

1 shot Angels’ Envy bourbon


A few days before his death, Jay asked, “Katrina, do you believe in angels?” “Yes,” I replied. 


This may seem silly, or divine, depending on your beliefs. The day Jay passed the New York Times Wordle fIve letter word was SAINT. That struck me, and has stayed with me. Jay would definitely have a chuckle at the inference I'm making. I just wonder about the universe sometimes, don't you? 

You are missed my friend. Life, just isn't the same without you. You are the missing ingredient in this friendship cocktail. 

Juan A Reyes & Katrina Byrd 

AKA: TJO & The Boa Flouncer

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