MENTOR, Ohio — More than four decades have gone by, but Nancy Langtry can still remember the moment.
“His eyes just bright as ever,” she described.
The night she saw her baby brother with the ‘curl-scattered hair,’ she fell in love.
“He just had a smile that you couldn’t say no even if you wanted to,” Nancy remembered, laughing.
Nancy was a senior in high school in Mentor when baby Eddy stole her heart.
“We included him in everything. We took him wherever we went; if our friends went, we took him,” she said.
Soon the family realized something was wrong and little Eddy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It was hard for him to walk, speak and use his arms and legs.
“Everybody started staying home a little bit more,” Nancy said.
Now at ages 62 and 46, the siblings are each other’s confidants.
“When you look at this woman, your sister here, what’s it like?”
Eddy began to cry. “Uh oh, that’s all right,” Nancy says. “We’re best friends; we’ll put it that way,” she continued.
Without knowing at the time, little Eddy pulled at the heartstrings of his four older siblings back home.
“We’d even go outside on a rainy day and hold him so that he could stomp in the puddles,” Nancy remembered.
Eddy’s weakness became his strength; difficulty speaking made his personality shine.
“His smile is always there and he has a positive attitude. I’ve never ever heard him complain that he couldn’t do something. It was always like we will figure this out.”
Nancy and Eddy held together through a crippling disease.
“Going through the day with him and watching the adversity and he just doesn’t even acknowledge it, it doesn’t matter to him.”
Together they celebrated achievements and success. Eddy graduated college and is a computer programmer.
“He’s just been there. He’s the one person in my life that’s been there all the time and every time I need him.”
Eddy has received countless awards.
“I think he taught us all perseverance because there wasn’t anything that he tried that he didn’t work on it ’til he got it.”
As a little boy, Eddy was always determined to try new things and succeed at them. His determination became an inspiration to Nancy and the rest of the family throughout their lives.
“I was on the brink of, you know, trying to get disability and I thought, ‘I can’t do that,’ and it was him that inspired me to hang in there and work through it,” Nancy said.
At the age of 19, Nancy wrote an article about her brother for a Chicago newspaper. Decades later, she secretly wrote a letter called, ‘For the Love of Eddy’ and sent it to FOX 8.
Despite being camera shy, Nancy agreed to an interview.
“I said, you know, she kind of wants us to do an interview and he was like, ‘yeah, yeah!'” Nancy told us.
Eddy never met a challenge he couldn’t face and always met each one with that wide smile and those sparkling eyes Nancy loves so much.
“He loves whatever he does and he loves whoever he is with and I guess that’s why I titled it ‘For the Love of Eddy’ cause you know how much he cares,” Nancy said.
But just maybe he cares so much, for the love of Nancy.