While I Live Out My Dream
"My office is the cab of a Ford pickup. I have no employees, punch no time clock and have no set work hours. The tools of my trade are carried in a bag in the back of my truck and my paycheck depends on my body, the luck of the draw and the will of God. I am a bookkeeper, a mechanic, a navigator and sometimes a consultant to my many friends. I am a rodeo cowboy and I wouldn't have it any other way."
As I stand at another rodeo with this hat held over my heart,
Cold chills run through my body when our National Anthem starts.
I see "Old Glory" waving proudly out there on the arena sand,
Held with honor by one of my buddies on a bay pony he understands.
The tears that stream the faces of fellow riders at my side,
Send a message of admiration and our unselfish cowboy pride.
For like me, they love this Country and stand for all She really means,
And I thank God I'm down here with 'em - while I live out my dream.
The Grand Entry now dismisses, then behind the bucking chutes,
I search there in my riggin' bag for the spurs that fit my boots.
And as I fumble through the memories and the gathered-up supplies,
I find a worn old belt buckle that I once wore for second prize.
Winning second wasn't special, but this old buckle is my joy,
For it was made by a man named Ruddy - I wore it proudly for his boy.
A mile or two it's traveled, now it's shine no longer gleams,
But I carry the old buckle for Daddy - while I ride to live my dream.
Years of memories overtake me, and as I hold it in my hand,
I think of all the Ruddy buckles that I've seen across this land.
Its gold inlay's a message of a craftsman's work of art,
Though it rides now with my riggin' - I still wear it on my heart.
In the rubies on each corner I see Mother's sparking eyes,
And the reflections of her loving hand each time she waved good-bye.
The buckles tarnished silver tells the color of Grandma's hair,
I hugged her neck before I left - I'm so proud that she was there.
I now feel a sense of lonely, while I wait my turn to ride,
But I know my family's with me in this old buckle by my side.
Lord, please watch over all my family and those sisters that I love,
Monday is Kayla's birthday - send her something special from above.
My pony's in the bucking chute - soon I'll ride for another eight,
But God, finding this old buckle made the time so worth the wait.
Lord, should this be my final ride and I depart your Earthly scene,
Ride me spurring into Heaven - while I live out my dream.
Written with love for the family of Chad Ruddy, 1975-1999
Lee Wiley Burch
October 25, 1999