Sunday, November 18, 2007

Remembering Cody

Cody, this would have been your 34th birthday, but in my eyes you will always be nineteen, or three, or twelve years old.

I have done numerous things over the years to celebrate your life on November 10th, your birthday. The first year I took the train all the way out to Brighton Beach and had a picnic by the water amongst the russian immigant families and mob bosses with their speedos and gold jewelry and watched planes fly overhead with banners advertising strip clubs. The next year I brought champagne into the Crystal Bar in Alpine and made the cowboys drink a toast to you. In subsequent years I fed the homeless in Manhatten, drove around the hill country in Texas, had dinner with friends, bought lunch for down-on-their-luck young bronc riders in truck stops that reminded me of you, and more than once drowned my sorrows in my favorite Irish bar. My favorite thing to do when I finally moved back home was to do what you and I did together, take a drive through the mountains and drink Big Red soda and listen to Tejano music.

Now I have two children, your nephew who is three and your niece who is 19 months old. I watch them fight over the same things we did, play the same silly games we invented, tell on each other, defend each other at the playground and hug each other at bedtime. They have our family's blue eyes. More than once they've looked up at me and I've seen your face and had to catch my breath. During that moment I realize that words cannot describe how much you mean to me and a book couldn't hold all of the memories of our life together, but having my kids to tell stories to will be what preserves your memory for me.

Today we're going to put in a Marty Robbins CD and drive around the ranch and look for deer, I'm going to give them a Big Red soda and immediately regret it when the sugar high sets in. I will spend the rest of the day chasing them around, watching them fight over toys and defending myself against tickle monsters. I hope you enjoy the show. I miss you everyday.

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