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David J Bielenda, Age 32
Author: Shiloh

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Thirty nine years ago
a young man left us,
and I lost a very good friend,
a brother, if you will.
He was a year younger than I,
and he was more than
a bit of an eccentric,
but that made him
all the more loveable.
He had a heart of gold,
he cared about others,
very much,
and he did as much as he was able
for others.
He had his problems,
his own personal demons,
and he suffered these
with dignity.
He walked some lonely byways
as he searched for answers
to questions I could not give answer to.
Misunderstood by many,
written off by others,
but loved beyond measure
by those of us who were fortunate
to have truly known him,
he was our David.
A minor musical genius,
he installed an old church-grade
pipe organ in the back of his house,
removing half the upstairs floor
to accommodate it.
He first had to disassemble it,
then repair it,
then put it back together,
and it worked!
There were so many things he did
that shocked, amazed, fascinated
and allowed us to appreciate,
with humour,
some of the damnedest things
any one man could attempt.
And not only attempt,
but he accomplished things,
with impact.
He was an accomplished
and self-taught
pianist and organist,
being able to build, repair,
and tune any musical instrument
that had a keyboard.
He was able to play these instruments
with ease, by ear,
with the touch of a master.
He was, in effect,
an amazing individual,
and I was fortunate to have known him,
and to have called him my friend.
And he was so very much more than that to me.
I have missed him all these last 39 years,
and I feel cheated, somewhat,
that I lost him to Death,
all those long years ago.
I can only pray and pray some more,
that he did, indeed,
go to a better place when he left us,
because that would merit the fact
that his leaving left us in a lesser place.
My world has a void from his leaving
that will never be filled,
but that is honor, indeed.
David, you sorry son of a bitch –
I wish you had not had to go.
A friend, if he is a friend
in the truest, most loving sort of way,
is such a person
that, should he die,
you wish that you could have taken his place
in that great adventure,
and had been the one to leave, instead.
Go with God, David…
Vaya con Dios.

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