There are many things I could say about our dear friend and neighbor:
- I could tell you about his sure-fire ALL in ONE day horse training program.
- I could tell you about the necessity of having your chair within ear-shot of his around the campfire because he will share some of the stories of his time spent in the saddle all over southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado. Fascinating, Louis L’Amour type – yet true – cowboy stories.
- I could tell you he was my LEAST favorite person to get behind in no-passing zones on the highway because he did NOT speed! EVER! I’m not even sure he actually attained the speed limit most times! And, when he told me “a deer hit me,” rather than he hit a deer, I absolutely believed him! And still do!
- I could tell you about the time our idiot cows took themselves on an adventure in the Cahone Canyon. Several people said they would come help round up. However, Eddie and Jake Cruzan were the only ones who showed up to actually do it! I made Cy miss school that day and go. He was quite young at the time. More points for my fabulous mothering skills….BUT – at the end of the day, I asked Cy what he had learned. He learned that Jake and Eddie are true friends to us. He said he also learned from Eddie that “even when you’re REALLY old, you can still yell loud, move FAST, and work REALLY hard!”
- I could tell you about the time Cy’s primary teacher made a point of finding me after church to tell me how awful Cy was and Eddie was right on his heels to tell me how wonderful Cy was…saving Cy from unknown amounts of maternal wrath!
- I could tell you about the time he and Glenna came with their own equipment, their own time, their own fuel, and their own great expense to cultivate hundred of acres of beans for us while my husband recovered from a terrible horse accident.
- I could tell you about the time I came home from being at the hospital with my husband to irrigate and before I could get my irrigation boots on I heard a sideroll motor firing up because Eddie was already there, moving our siderolls. No one asked him to do that. He just knew it needed to be done and did it!
- I could tell you that today, the Sunday before Christmas, is heart-breaking for our family because it’s the first one we can remember where Eddie is not coming to our house. He and Glenna have come almost every Sunday before Christmas (or some Sunday in December). Eddie would read Christmas Doesn’t Come From a Store, even in recent years when his cough was bad, he would still read it to us. They would walk through the door with a bag of his beans or some yummy deliciousness Glenna had made and gifts for the kids or other treasures. BUT what made it so special, was just the time spent together as friends. True, treasured friends.
- I could tell you so many many things. Mostly, I think I will miss having someone so much like my dad, equal parts skilled cowboy and tremendous farmer with incredibly quick wit, here in this little corner of the world.
I could tell you even more things about our friend, Eddie. But I think what I love most is the legacy he leaves:
A couple of years ago, our son was held hostage by his parents at a church Christmas dinner. He was hanging out with some of the other teens there (fellow hostages…who actually wants to be at something like that in their teens??). Eddie and Glenna’s grandson, Jake, had come with them to the dinner and was with our son. One of the other boys put his cap on inside of the church and noticing that Jake had his cap in his own hand, the other boy expressed that it was ok for them to wear their caps inside the church.
Golden-hearted Jake didn’t miss a beat when his beautiful blue eyes cut to that boy and he said simply, “I don’t disrespect my grandparents like that.”
It is this legacy of honor, commitment, incredibly hard work, independence and truth that Eddie leaves (and to be fair, Jake’s parents and other grandparents too!). It is what we should all strive for! It’s what I’m striving for!