In three days, we buried three cowboy friends.
It is depressing to attend services day after day for cowboys who always seemed immortal.
Many have been to memorials when it was a “stranger”described by the eulogist. These were all “good funerals,” if there is such. Each cowboy was represented like we knew him.
Strong faith was obvious, perhaps not in church attendance, but in the way they lived. Each had long, worthwhile lives with family and friends and was beneficial to others.
The cowboys overcame traumas earlier that probably lead to “fuller and better” lives. One had been a prisoner of war, another survived a brain tumor and the other experienced unrealized hardship.
Our friends were patriotic, doing their part for freedoms many take for granted. Each served in the military, supported servicemen and was recognized with honorary services at gravesite.
“Funerals are more for the living than the deceased.” They make us appreciate every day and express gratitude while living it to the fullest knowing our final time will come.
We are all mortal, no matter how we operated the bulldozer, raised our family, rode that bucking bull and did everything “just right.”
As an announcer at rodeos, we open them with a prayer from our deceased announcer-friend. Pastor at one of the memorials recited that Cowboy’s Prayer:
“Heavenly Father, we pause, mindful of the many blessings You have bestowed upon us. We ask that You be with us at this rodeo, and we pray that You will guide us in the arena of life. We don’t ask for special favors. We don’t ask to draw around a chute–fightin’ horse or bull or to never break a barrier.
“Nor do we ask for all daylight runs or not to draw a steer that won’t lay. Help us Lord, to live our lives in such a manner that when we make that last inevitable ride to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear and deep, that You as our Last Judge, will tell us that our entry fees are paid.”
Reminds us of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”