The light in this world dimmed ever so slightly last week. On Thursday October 13th, 2022, the world lost Edward Damian Calvitti after a short battle with very aggressive cancer. I feel compelled to honor this amazing and humble man, as he became such a part of my life over the past 7 years.
Ed and his wife Cynthia are the reason we go to Big Corn Island, Nicaragua to help the animals there. They are the ones who took a trip there so many years ago so Ed could go scuba diving (a joyful hobby of his!) After seeing the plight of the animals there and the extreme lack of vet care, they asked me if I could help them to do something about it, and our Big Corn Island Veterinary Expedition Team was born. Cynthia is often their mouth-piece, she is a woman on fire for a cause, but behind her as her rock and #1 supporter, was Eddie. He never enjoyed being the center of attention – he was far more content to help in his quiet way, the background support for making so many wonderful things happen in this world, that would just smile knowing he was making a difference.
He took over the family business with his brothers, that his dad started in 1957, and grew it over the years, learning how to be a successful business man along the way. He personally donated so much to our fundraiser concert every year, from spending weeks prepping for it cleaning and organizing his farm, to hosting 100+ people every year, and manning the grill for the entire event to make sure everyone was fed. He could always be seen tooling around the farm on his tractor, moving something from here to there, with a cigar hanging from his mouth and a big grin on his face.
Ed is the type of guy that we all strive to be. When I think of him, I think of kindness. I think of generosity. I think of love for animals and family. I think of good, warm things…which is what Ed meant to me. He has cooked me dinner so many times, always delicious. Spaghetti and homemade pizzas being his specialty, he was Italian you know….so those foods were in his blood! He has also helped me fill hundreds of syringes with vaccines on a remote island off the coast of Nicaragua to vaccinate dogs and cats in need. All the while, chatting with me about what else we could do – how else could we help more animals here. He has spent hours setting up our clinic there, and once even leant me his strength in a surgery down there, that earned him the nickname, ‘bone crusher’. He always had a kind word for everyone, making sure to ask after your family or parents, and was awesome at remembering all the little ones who came to the concert every year, and commenting on how much they have grown. He would give you the shirt off his back to help, of that, I am sure.
My heart hurts that this amazing and humble man is gone….he was the quiet support that helped to make Cynthia’s dreams come true, and that support is what has helped us to do something that is truly changing the world. I’m so sad that I didn’t have the honor knowing him longer than I did, but I am thankful for the time that I did have getting to know him. He was stolen from this world far too soon, but I think he made a huge difference, in his quiet way, that will be remembered by myself and so many, for the rest of our days.
So, here’s to you Ed – gone, but never forgotten, you will live on in our hearts. Thank you for helping me to save so many lives, and thank you for being my friend. With love, Beth.