To the community from the Eby's
Eby family writes to the community
Island Park News
July 22, 2005
To the hearts of Island Park and Ashton, Idaho
To friends and family far away
With the deepes sincerity, we express our love and gratitude for all you have done for us this past week. As a very good friend of ours Colonel George “Cotton” Gililland always says, “Never leave your wounded.”
I am truly wounded. God knows I wanted to lie down beside that baby in that grave and not get up and my life would have been easier. With every look in my eyes, each sympathy card, each heartfelt expression, the beautiful plants and flowers, the donations that were a huge sacrifice, the hugs and hand squeezes, the food driven up from Ashton, the wonderful meals from neighbors, the all night searching from volunteers and the tireless search and rescue team, the people who volunteered to help at our lodge, the employees who went above and beyond the call of duty, the poems, books and candles that were sent, the people who drove hundreds of miles to be with us, and the people who attended the services. We have put faces to every one of these expressions of caring and love, and it was the same as all of you extending a hand to a wounded dying solider in action. Each expression has pulled us along step by step.
Dalton was sunshine. Everyone was his friend; he knew no strangers and wore his heart on his sleeve. We could see him excelling in sports in high school and we looked forward to those years. He wanted to be a professional baseball and football player and buy me a new car. He also wanted to work with handicapped children.
Dalton played a game he didn’t know to be deadly. He had seen and heard older kids doing it thinking it was a mysterious and funny thing. To think of a game taking away a child’s life is the extreme definition of inconceivable. I believe we have all played games we shouldn’t have as children. Dalton just got caught and for some reason that we may never understand, didn’t slip away from the game unscathed as most of us do. To all parents we pray that all games hidden will be known.
Dalton came down to this earth and has known no sorrow, or pain nor had to take a job. Every day was the best day of his life, and he told me that often. His only worry was how many snakes or frogs he was going to catch and with whom. He rode his bike as fast as it could go, he swam and water skied as hard as he could, he followed his brothers’ cliff jumping as high as he could go. He raced snowmobiles, had crushes on the pretty girls at our lodge, fished, hunted, and floated the river every day. He ate and slept just as hard as he played, living every little boys dream. We do a lot of weddings at our lodge, and Dalton always wanted to be in the weddings and dance with the bride. He finally got his wish when his cousin got married the first of July and Dalton was the ringbearer. He danced with the bride and when his cousin got up from the head of the table, Dalton quickly sat in his chair to see what it felt like to be the groom, if only for a few minutes.
He rode all the extreme crazy rides at the fun parks, learned to do back handsprings, and standing back flips, and was just starting piano lessons. Dalton came down here and played as hard as he could for ten years without knowing any grief.
His brother Zack said, “He’s got it good! He is up in heaven with Uncle Cody and Grandpa eating Fat Boys and riding horses, while Preston and I are doing garbage dump runs and painting the deck”.
A Navajo friend told me that people who have passed will come to you in a rainbow, that’s when they visit us here. I didn’t get my hopes up or think much of it because there has been no bad weather or chance of rain. One day I was standing in the kitchen feeling one of the deeper times of my sorrow after some articles had come out in the newspaper. My little three-year-old nephew came in and said to me “Look Aunt Dede, a rainbow!” The sun had hit the kitchen door window in such a way that when I looked down there was a rainbow clear across my shirt.
Dalton ran as hard and as fast as he could into the arms of Jesus. We are getting by one second, one minute, and one day at a time. We just wanted each of you to know you have lightened our burden in a huge way with all you have done. We know you all grieve with us and we know that God answers each of your prayers. Your prayers are like medicine to us and they ease our pain.
Revelations 21:4: “He will wipe away every fear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
All our love,
The Eby Family
Dave, Dede, Zack, Preston, and Savannah Close