For A Friend


This past week, a very good friend of mine, Jerry Bolda, passed away. He had been a friend of mine for 26 years, helping me out in so many ways that I would have never been able to repay him back for his kindness and support.

When I received the news of his passing from a mutual friend, I thought back on our friendship and came up with a few thoughts, some of these I shared with others at the wake.

One thing I thought of was this. I thought back on a friendship that my dad had with a Mr. Powers. Mr. Powers was an older man, 15 years of so older than my father. Despite their age difference, they had a good friendship, visiting each other and working on projects at work.  I would often see Mr. Powers (The only name I know him as) talking with my dad out in the back yard or in the living room. My dad would often go to Mr. Powers’ house to visit him, also.

Even when Mr. Powers retired, he continued to visit and my dad and vice versa. IN the early 70’s Mr. Powers suddenly passed away. My dad was saddened by the death of his friend and you could see the disappointment in his face and voice in the following weeks.

History repeats itself. Kick it up to some years later and I had met Jerry through my recruitment for people for a parish group I belonged to; Handicapped Awareness.  A disabled member of our group, Leroy Block, had urged my to call Jerry and invite him to our little group. To placate Leroy I did call Jerry and had a nice conversation with him. Jerry came to the next meeting and found that he liked what he saw in us and stayed a part of the group.

We also got to know each other and soon became good friends. Over the years was worked on a lot of the functions of Handicapped Awareness and I nominated him to work on the Parish Council because I saw that Jerry was one who could handle a challenge and looked forward to solving the problems of the parish.

Jerry was older than me by about 15 years, Yet, that mattered little in our friendship. Except when I teased him as the ‘Old Dude’ and he would tease me back as the ‘Young Whippersnapper.’

Both Jerry and I looked forward in working together when I also became a council member. I was the vice chair and Jerry was the chair at one point and we spent many hours working on projects and learned a lot in that one year.

When I became sick and had the Heart-Lung transplant, Jerry helped me out and supported me in my recovery.  He would have don that for any of his friends and that is what is important.  He treated all of his friends with respect and kindness.

He worked on many things in the parish and his good works are all around. The choir loft, the lights in the church, even some of the benches in the church was all a part of Jerry’s work. Jerry passed away much too soon. In many ways his friendship with me could summarized in one line Jerry was my Mr. Powers.

In the end, I would say that Jerry lived a satisfied life, doing what he felt he should do. And in the end,  isn’t what we all want: to live a satisfied life.

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