Saddle Up with Tom
I want to tell you about my friend Tom. Actually, he’s not just a friend.
Tom’s Grandpa and my Grandpa were friends.
Tom’s Dad and my Dad are the best of friends. Oh the stories they tell!
Tom’s Mom and my Mom are the very best of friends. When I was 7 or 8 years old I decided one night, that if anything ever happened to my Mom and Dad, I would go and live with Bob and Sharon. They were my back up plan. I’m not sure that they knew that but it sure helped me fall asleep.
So, you see Tom isn’t just a friend. Tom is family.
Tom grew up, with his big sister Brenda, in the Pedro Mountains, one of the prettiest spots you’ll ever find. They were ranch kids and grew up doing what ranch kids do, riding, roping, gathering cattle, feeding cattle, playing in the dirt and the mud, raising bum calves and having so much fun doing it.
One day they came home from school to find a bear in the tree right in front of their house. So they jump out of the car and wrestled it to the ground with their bare hands. Actually, Sharon wouldn’t let them out of the car until help arrived with more firepower but if she had only let them, I know they could have done it.
Some boys grow up to be cowboys because they grew up on a ranch and it’s all they know. They might have, just as easily, grown up to be teachers, bankers or scientists if they had been born somewhere else.
Some boys grow up to be Cowboys because it’s who they were born to be. It’s in their DNA. It’s not just what they do, it’s who they are, and they couldn’t be anything else. Tom could have been born on the east coast, the west coast or anywhere in between and he would have still grown up to be a Cowboy. It’s just who he is, a Cowboy and a Cattleman.
Tom has worked on his family’s fifth generation cattle ranch, rode saddle broncs and barebacks and worked on other ranches in other places. Then he came home and married a beautiful girl named Heidi. Then they had a beautiful baby girl named Bristol. They started up their own cow calf operation and began preparing to welcome a new baby this summer.
Six weeks ago life was humming along just as it should. Tom was taking care of his cattle and his family. And then life turned upside down…..upside down and inside out.
Now he’s recovering from surgery and getting ready for chemo. This was definitely not on the spring round up schedule.
But here’s the thing with Cowboys, they don’t back down, ever. Trust me, I’ve known a few and it can be a very frustrating quality. But in this situation it will serve him well.
The other thing about Cowboys is, they’ve got grit. Webster defines grit as a firmness of mind and spirit, an unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.
And the thing about Cowboys friends is, that when they know he’s got a long, hard ride ahead of him, they saddle up. They saddle up and ride, right along side. They ride right along side no matter how long, how hard, how cold or windy it gets.
True Cowboys, true friends and true grit. That’s what will help Tom kick Cancer down the road and out of town, for good. So that he can get back to what he does best, riding, roping and taking care of his family. Cancer is about to figure out that it’s messing with the wrong Cowboy.
If you’d like to saddle up with the Cardwell Family check out their Facebook page, Saddle Up with the Cardwells and Help Tom Kick Cancer. You can find out more about upcoming fundraisers planned for May 11th in Lusk WY and May 24th in Casper WY and leave Tom, Heidi and their family some words of encouragement.
Let’s Saddle Up!
Do get the latest updates on fundraisers for Tom go to www.saddleupwithtom.wordpress .com