August 17, 2018

Open Tribute Letter To Ed Gulley
By John R. Greenwood


"Ed's Field of Dreams"


Below is a letter I began a few weeks ago. I wanted to document my thoughts about my friend Ed Gulley. Ed was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year. His battle was hard fought. He passed away on August 13, 2018. Ed and his wife Carol along with their entire family documented the story of the their journey so that others might benefit from their strength. Their goal was to be real and honest, a path they never strayed from. Ed faced the end like he faced every day on his farm--full steam ahead. He was a giant among men and I feel privileged to have known him. I am devastated by his passing but I vowed to him one day near the end that I would carry his generous spirit with me and spread it like seeds in a fertile field. I have attached a link to the BeJosh Farm Journal, Ed and Carol's Blog. I urge you to visit and soak in some real-life. I also attached a voice recording of me reading the letter. 

John 

Bejosh Farm Journal Link 

Here is a link to the letter below recorded in my own voice:
A Open Letter Tribute to Ed Gulley


Dear Ed,
I'm rarely at a loss for words, but I knew I had to put my thoughts about your bravery in light of your diagnosis down on paper. I've spent my life observing the people around me. I've been surrounded by supportive mentors and role models for as long as I can remember. It's been sixty plus years of sorting the good and bad advice that has been placed in front of me by personalities of all shapes, sizes, and values. When I stop and listen to people, I do my best not to jump to judgement about their words or actions. Of that long list of personalities that have crossed my path I have a separate column where I list the treasured ones I call, "Characters," and you my friend lead that list. One morning a six years ago you walked out of the Bejosh Farm milking parlor and into my life. I knew from that very first handshake that you would have an impact on me. From that day forward you and your personality have rarely left my side. It was your bear-hug approach to each day that captured my attention and admiration. Watching you confront the ultimate enemy with such bravery has cemented you and your courage in my daily reflections. As I witnessed the strength of your family over the last few months I've learned volumes about what real wealth is. It's not something you store in a vault, it's something that emanates from our hearts. I've known people with bigger bank accounts but not one with the richness that your voice has placed upon the world. To savor what you and Carol have shared with us all over the past few years has been an experience that will stick to our insides like a bowl of oatmeal. Anyone who has been lucky enough to enjoy just a sip of your personalities can understand why your journey as a family has resonated so strongly in your neighborhood and across the country.
Ed, I will miss your physical presence but your voice, your outlook, your love of your vocation will carry with me and others who knew you. Every time I enter a milk-house I will see you smiling in the shadows. Every time I pass a family farm I will see you standing next to the barn, cornstalk straight, your farmer-chest puffed with pride. Every time I pass a tractor crossing a freshly furrowed field I will see you in the driver's seat waving your strong and calloused hand back at me. Every time I see someone sharing an unselfish act of kindness, I will think of you and the spirit in which you lived your life. You are not gone. You will not be forgotten. You dwell deep within all you touched. You gifted your children, your grandchildren, your fellow farmers, your friends, and even those on the other side of the fence with something invaluable and rare.

They call it authenticity.

You were draped in it.


Thank you for sharing it with me, and with the world


Peace to you my friend.
John Greenwood



No comments:

Post a Comment