June, 2017 – Tribute to a Young Friend

June, 2017 – Tribute to a Young Friend

I would never have dreamt in a thousand years that I would be using this space this month for the following:

      Jesse Diauto – Born January 21, 1977 – Died unexpectedly May 22, 2017

I feel as if my stomach has been ripped out.  The grief is deeper than I could have imagined for this young man.  Our families have been friends for nearly 35 years.  Jesse and my son, Todd were best friends all through Christian High School – and remained so ‘til the end.  They did body building shows together, talked by phone, mostly, through many of the years; talking shortly before Jesse ‘left us’.  Todd’s grieving process for his buddy has been sad – beyond sad.

I loved Jesse from a child.  For three or four years, I sat close beside him once a week at the Christian School teaching him piano lessons.  You get to know someone pretty well when you work one-on-one with them.  I would try to glance at his face from the side once in a while without his knowing it.  It was precious!  But, I think that he was thinking, “Do I really have to do this?”  :)   Regardless, he was so smart and caught on so quickly.  And he was far too sweet to ever say anything negative about it.

He even came to my rescue once.  I had somehow dropped my keys in the trunk of my car along with groceries I had just gotten.  There was not one family member to help me at the time.  Todd was working, but when I called him, he said, “Let me call Jesse.  I know he’ll help.”   Sure enough, Jesse went to my house, got another set of keys and drove to the other end of town to ‘rescue me’.  That was Jesse.

When Todd was graduating from high school, I wanted to throw him a surprise graduation party.  I called Jesse, asked him if he would pick up Todd around noon, and to ‘don’t dare’ bring Todd back to the house until 7:00p.   He did exactly what I had asked him.  And, when he ran out of ideas of what to do with Todd, Jesse took him to an elementary school to get on the swings.  Do you know how odd my son thought that was?  But they were buddies, and Todd never questioned him – seeing after the fact, exactly why Jesse had done what he had done in keeping him out all day.

That was this precious young friend.  In spite of Jesse’s making some wrong decisions, he was kind, loving, giving, and precious to all who knew him.

I grieve.  For myself.  For Todd.  But for none greater than his Mum and Dad, wife, and his two sisters.  Jesse learned his wonderful attributes from his parents.  They were (are) givers – kind to all.  His dad, Frank and I used to sing and do concerts together.  We have been like brother and sister.  My prayer is deep, heart-wrenching, filled with anguishing tears, and often for this family whom I love.  I love them, dearly.  I have told them that frequently these past few days.  I guess I would ask you, too, if you would pray over this family (the Diauto’s) – for God’s grace to be manifested to them in a powerful and miraculous way.  He IS able to repair, restore and give ‘hope’ a-new!

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (that’s you, sweet Jesse)”   – Psalm 116.15