Tuesday, January 28, 2014

'A note to my friend, David' by Justin Ungs

When I first made "Loving David" public, I invited all David's friends and family, or anyone who felt inspired, to author and share a guest post. It's been a few months now and last night I was sent my first submission. Like many things lately, this came at the perfect time. While it is therapeutic and rewarding for me to process, write, and share my thoughts and feelings, I feel a great sense of relief when someone else shares theirs with me. Without any further introduction, I share a beautiful reflection from one of David's wonderful friends.

A note to my friend, David.
By Justin Ungs

I had known David since about 7th grade, starting as small-town baseball competitors. We became friends in high school, and closer friends in college where we lived, worked, and learned together. We took spontaneous road trips, he tried to make me a better tennis player, we both worked at the local hardware store, and very much looked forward to the weekend activity.    

Most recently, I had lived just minutes from his new place in Minneapolis. I was eager to once again be close to David, beyond our routine Skype updates.

I recall one of the very first of his Sundays in Minneapolis; we grabbed lunch then headed to the lake for a stroll. We talked about a lot of things, about everything; chatter that took us the 3 miles around the lake. Because it was such a nice day, there were lots of people swimming. I remember David saying he wasn’t sure if he would fit in since seemingly “every guy” had a 6-pack. I then reminded him who he was standing next to, disqualifying his sentiment.

During the walk he talked about all that he was looking forward to; how excited yet nervous he was for class, how he was looking forward to starting something new and meeting loads of new people. And I spoke how I was so looking forward to having him around again.

In the course of his short tenure in Minneapolis we had done a lot: rode bikes, went to clubs, watched Iowa football games, bonfires, spoke politics, tried new cuisines, went to movies, the fair, and laid around on Sunday afternoons while he did laundry at my place. It was like we were back in college, just getting back from class, not having even a single minute pass by. We were always able to pick up right where we left off.

One thing I'll always cherish, no matter what life sends, is the memory of us just being friends.


A broken shadow
How I can sometimes relate
Life is hard
For you, it just could not wait

That night of darkness
It shook us all
Although the first end for us
For you, an earlier call

I am sad to no longer see you
Your walk. Laugh. And zest
While you were here
It was the best

And now we move on
With new forms of you
You’re no longer with us
How we once knew

Your physical being
No longer here
But your energy and spirit
Still everywhere

We’re somehow closer
And live through your spirit
You brighten my day
And bring strength to it

I often ask
What would David do?
It brings me joy
And memory of you

I still sometimes cry
Because you’re no longer near
We had so much to do
You just got here

We need your help
Continue to guide us
Stay by our side
With hope, we progress

I cannot wait
To see you again
You will always be
My great friend

Until the day
We meet again
Let’s stay connected
This is not our end

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