|Name at birth:||Joseph Edward Crowley|
|Date of birth:||November 10, 1884|
|Place of birth:||Leesville, Louisiana, USA|
|Date of death:||December 24, 1972|
|Place of death:||Paris, Texas, USA|
|Resting place:||Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens, Paris, Texas, USA|
|Submitted by:||Norma Renfro (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
THEY SAY THAT ALL YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU WHEN YOU DIE… IS WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN AWAY…
If that is true, then Eddie had a wagonload to take with him when he went home. At this writing, he has been gone 27 years and I am 54 years old. Wouldn’t you think that the pain would be numb by now? He told me again, the day before he died, “Child, if I didn’t have you, I wouldn’t even want to live.” Knowing how deep his love was, is the reason I am glad that God took him instead of me. If I had been taken, he would have grieved himself to death. I had much rather this pain be mine than to think that he would have to bear it for even a day.
I met Eddie when I was 22 months old. I have no memory of that day but he has told me about it so many times. He and his wife, Delia, were already in their sixties when I went to live with them. They had already raised a little black girl for about 16 years.
Then here I came, a pitiful little white child. They must have been colorblind when it came to children in need. I have read letters from the other little girl that they raised, written to Eddie when she was a middle-aged woman. They are full of love, and thankfulness, and appreciation. They mention over and over how good Eddie and Delia were to her. I would have known that, without reading the letters, just by seeing how good they were to me.
For several reasons… death, desertion, and lack of family love and support, we two little girls needed a home. More than just a home, we each, in our own time, needed to have a family. We needed to be loved. God blessed us by placing us in the Crowley home. Bettye Jo stayed sixteen years and I stayed only seven… Delia was diagnosed with cancer and had to return me to my reluctant relatives. After her death, Eddie continued to care for me in every way that a Father could. Even though I did not live in his home any more, he made sure that I had everything that I needed for the rest of his life, and then made sure that I had all he could give me, for the rest of mine.
He was a most generous man with money. He was, I suppose, very wealthy even back when I went to be with them. He owned hundreds of acres of land, raising cotton as his main crop. He owned his own cotton gin, grocery store, and raised many other things other than cotton. He said that he had people working for him by the hour, the day, the week, the month, on the halves, thirds, fourths and on shares. People that had worked for him became his friends, some of them until his death. He was a fair man. He was an honorable man. He loved people.
He also was loved… By so many…
Eddie stopped on the highway for people hitchhiking and gave them money. He bought gifts for young people in church that were going regularly and doing well. He helped several young couples make payments on their homes. He bought homes for several others. He gave away his own beautiful home fully furnished with many expensive antiques, located on a hundred acres of land, and moved into a small apartment that he had built. Eddie gave another relative seventeen hundred acres of land. He bought many automobiles for people through the years. Eddie knew nothing of being selfish. He loved the joy of giving. I remember once he invited two pastors to eat dinner with him and discovered he didn’t have silverware for three people to eat with. He had given all of his away.
When Eddie died and I had to make an inventory of his personal belongings for the trust officers… all of the contents in his small apartment would have fit in the back of a pickup… and no one would have even wanted them.
But I still keep his hat hanging on the rung of his favorite chair where I can see it every day. I still wear the ring that his parents bought for him on his 21st birthday in 1905 with his initials on it. He gave it to me the last year of his life. I still walk past the pictures I have of him displayed… everyday. He will never die so long as I keep his memories strong.
I asked Eddie one time what he would do different if he had his whole life to live over. He got a pained look on his face and said, “Child, I wouldn’t want my life to live over. I worked too hard… but if I did, I would start living for the Lord sooner. I wasted my youth not living for him.”
The Bible says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of Heaven…
I don’t think that applies in the case of Eddie Crowley. I think God was just waiting for him to get through here, and come home.
(Written by one who loved him very much) “Candy”