— Chapter 7 —

As he neared the age of 18, Cory knew the time had come to leave Eagle Ranch. He believed that Eagle Ranch had prepared him to take that next step into adulthood.

In the months following his departure, grief and pain over the loss of his father became increasingly difficult for Cory to manage. His struggles worsening, Cory eventually moved out on his own hoping to find a better life.

One Wednesday night, Cory lay awake in his bed. Eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling, his thoughts began to wander.

“It’s not supposed to be this hard,” Cory thought. “I can’t hold a job. I can’t find my footing. I don’t know what else to do…”

He missed the Ranch. It had given him routine, and structure. Things Cory never realized he needed. Without the structure, he was lost. As thoughts of the Ranch filled his mind, so did an image of his best friend, Jimmy. Moments later, Cory called Jimmy on the phone. Their conversation seemed to pick up right where it had left off—as if time had stopped.

“Where are you living?”

“How is life?”

“How are you doing?”

“How are you really doing?”

Jimmy heard the hurt and pain in Cory’s voice. “Cory—I think you should call Bruce,” encouraged Jimmy, telling Cory goodbye. “He would love to hear from you.”

Bruce. Of course! Cory shot up from the bed and quickly dialed the numbers. On the last ring, a familiar voice answered, “Hello?”

Bruce and Cory spoke for what seemed like hours. Cory talked with Bruce about his current struggles, his fears, listening intently to the gentle voice on the other end of the phone.

“I have an idea, Cory,” Bruce said. His voice was gentle, welcoming. “If I send you a ticket, will you come home? Will you come back to the Ranch?”

Cory let out an exhale he had been holding onto for what seemed like an eternity. His heart began to beat faster than normal, as now he had a decision to make. Would he go home to Eagle Ranch?


Cory’s story is one of many children’s stories from Eagle Ranch. Your support goes toward providing a home, counseling, education and spiritual guidance to children in crisis. Consider making a gift at EagleRanch.org/GIVE