By Natalie Bright
This was first posted on Natalie's blog.
Business associates from Pennsylvania were touring the Texas Panhandle with my husband. They asked, “Are there cowboys today that do what cowboys used to do. Are they real?” He explained that they exist and still carry on the age old traditions of working cattle ranches, just as they did a century ago.
One of those real cowboys was buried Saturday.
Even though he was only 54 years young, the impact he had was evidenced by the showing of family and neighbors (I heard over 500). The sanctuary and the fellowship hall were full, leaving some standing when the chairs were filled. He’d dedicated his whole life to ranch work, with outfits from Texas to Colorado to Arizona. He had a boundless work ethic, and he was a testament to the meaning of an unshakable faith in God.
Family and friends shared their stories of his quick wit and love for life, and I was surprised to learn that this rough and tough cowboy had penned several poems. I’m glad they were read at the service, and one man shared a poem written in memory of the deceased. I paraphrase; if you need a fence mended, if you need a horse rode that’s a little rank, if you need hay hauled – call Roy Don.
We don’t claim to be perfect in this part of the USA, and yet I studied the faces at this funeral and found my belief in mankind restored. No matter the mistakes, one humble, hard-working cowboy’s days were done, yet the influence of his life had brought hundreds of us together. The power of one person can—and did—make a difference.
Some parts of the world may find it hard to believe that men like Roy Don Creacy exist. There remain places where folks care deeply for the land and animals, where cowboys (and girls) give a day’s work with honesty, loyalty and integrity, and where a man’s word is his bond.
After a lifetime of effort on this planet, the most any one can hope is that our sendoff will involve an overflowing sanctuary and a fellowship hall with standing room only.
Natalie Bright is an author, blogger, and enjoys speaking about history and story craft. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications. She holds a BBA from WTSU, her husband is a geologist and cattle rancher, and they have two teenaged boys. She’s on the web at Facebook/Natalie-Bright-Author, Twitter @natNKB, Amazon Author Pages, Pinterest/natbright, www.nataliebright.com and she blogs every Monday at http://wordsmithsix.wordpress.com