Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Remembering Josh "Pup" Cherry's Dash To Life: 1984-2005 after five years!
Poetry by Joshua Eric "Pup" Cherry
Born September 16, 1984
Present With The Lord April 4, 2005
There are many times that one may doubt
But take the good with the bad and don't pout.
Always look ahead to what is to come
And try to do good which is a good rule of thumb.
The times may grow dark and look never-ending,
But just look towards the light and know your time is pending.
There is so much good that is never seen
That it is the norm to be unclean.
One day everything will come to an end
I just hope you tell your next of kin.
One day, happiness will be forever
Me, you and God will all be together.
---Poetry by Josh Cherry, read at his funeral service by Ben Hogue, best friend, rodeo buddy and bearer of his pall today
Beaty Funeral Home was packed today: April 11, 2005. "Such a gathering of family and friends I have never seen," observed Tommy Boyd, Josh's grandfather, as he gazed outward from the chapel pulpit, gathered his emotions and steeled his nerves to prepare for what must have seemed the impossible task of paying personal tribute to a 20-year-old grandson who had charmed his heart and captured his admiration many times over.
Singers of songs, mournful and magnificent, sprinkled and seasoned today's service, more a celebration than a requiem of the brief candle that was Josh's life, well-lived, well-recorded and well-remembered: Forever and Ever Amen and Knocking on Heaven's Door, by Lanham Olive and his exquisite guitar; I Can Only Imagine by Autumn Hinkle.
Cowboy Poetry. A Real Cowboy: an original poem, written and delivered for the occasion by Helen McLain, Josh's great-aunt.
Cowboy Photos and Paraphernalia punctuated Beaty chapel: "You can understand what Josh loved just by looking around this room," said Brother Richard "Nub" Brown, pointing toward a host of western-oriented floral motifs, a large tooled-leather Christian cross, several bronzed cowboy boots, custom-made leather chaps inscribed "Pup" and decorated with Christian crosses, a hand-tooled saddle inscribed with a champion bull rider award from 2003 resting atop a plain, leather-trimmed pine-and-cedar coffin, appropriate for a young cowboy's last ride to the richly rural Smyrna cemetery, east of Winnsboro, Texas.
A Cowboy "Pup." "I gave Josh that nickname several years ago, when some of us riders were staying at a motel during a rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma," recalled best friend Ben Hogue. At that time, Ben says Josh had a decidedly baby face, big hands, big feet and a playful penchant for threatening to "whup" somebody: "But I could see that Josh was just like a young pup that growls a lot, but isn't about to hurt anybody, so I started calling him 'Pup,' and the name stuck."
A Cowboy's Code: Brother Brown, the youth minister from Josh's church, said that he knew what Josh Cherry was all about--- "He was about honesty. He was about being good to all. He was about giving. He was about being tender-hearted. He was about being loyal." Brother Brown called death a comma, rather than a period, in the story of Josh's life: "This is not goodbye; it's see you later. " He paraphrased the Promises of Jesus: "Let not your heart be troubled; I've got you covered; all will be OK, and we can lean on that. Jesus said that He would go to prepare a place for us, and that He would come back for us. That's our Promise. That's our Hope. That's our assurance. That's our guarantee. And what a day that will be!"
At the graveside ceremony today, Brother Brown read a poem: How Do You Measure The Dash? This poem celebrates the importance of that relatively tiny, but distinctive line that we call a "dash," usually inscribed between a person's date of birth and date of departure from this life. An entire life story is symbolized by that tiny dash, but only those who love that person can know the meaning of it.
A Brief Account of the "Dash" in Josh's Life:
On Monday, April 4, 2005, Joshua Eric Cherry, was called home to be with the Lord as he was traveling one of life's many highways. He was born on September 16, 1984, to Mr. Eddie Herbert Cherry and Mrs. Robin Boyd Cherry in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.
Josh was a member of Pine Street Baptist Church.
He was a 2003 graduate of Winnsboro High School, where he was active in many areas, including FFA, baseball, basketball and football. Josh worked hard and played hard all his life. Some of his accomplishments include numerous awards as a champion bareback and bull rider while being a member of the Lone Star High School Rodeo Association, Four States High School Rodeo Association, United Professional Rodeo Association, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Wills Point Rodeo Team and the Northeast Texas Community College Rodeo Team.
He was employed by Cavendar Dozar and Excavating, as a heavy equipment operator, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Those who did not know Josh missed a blessing. His passion for life was infectious to all.
This world is an emptier place without him, but you can bet he is entertaining angels with his laughter and stories in heaven.
A Conversation With Josh
Written and delivered today by Tommy Eugene Boyd, Josh's maternal grandfather
As I try to write these words, I feel your love for me
You are so easy to love, it feels so wondrously
I feel your love for the whole family
It feels as if you are singing these words to me
It is in Heaven that you have gone
You walked with Jesus across the Jordan
And in Him there is no loss
Everything I have gained, and none of it is loss
The tears, as they flow from your eyes, is only Love from me
I will Love you always, and the tears will flow eternally
I am here in Heaven where Love has no end
It is a perfect Love where there is no doubt
It feels so wonderful that it makes you want to shout
I can see all my family, they are so precious to me
I know that someday we will all be together in Eternity
I am the one God chose to come home with Him
It should be no other way, He has the perfect plan
It is in Him that all Love is shown
And it is in Him that I have grown
I know you are hurting, and you feel torn apart
It will get easier, and you will have a mended heart
That scar that is left is the one you paid for me
That is the Love that flows eternally
Do you hear the chimes as they softly ring
That is me telling you I am free
I am not bound by the things of the earth
I am home in Heaven where there is new birth
My Lord loves me so, it is with Him that I want to go
All things here in Heaven are new
I have this perfect body in a robe of white
It is so wonderful to see it gleam in the Light
That Light comes from Jesus and goes from East to West
It goes from North to South, and covers all the rest
It is never-ending, and it shines for me
I follow it to my Savior, it always shows the way
It is not as if He is ever gone, He is always here with me
It is a wonderful place, this Eternity
It is forever, and I will always be
Waiting here for you and all the family
There is no hurry to come here, My Lord will call you home
He knows your time of arrival, and will be waiting here for you
I will be here waiting for you, too
There are so many friends here, the numbers I cannot count
We are all family here, this don't ever doubt
Just remember I Love, and our Savior Loves, you, too
We will all be waiting here just for you.
----Poetic prose by Tommy Eugene Boyd