Forever in our hearts

Wow… when I posted my blog last night about losing my cousin I thought that mainly my family would read it. I never imagined that in 12 hours it would have over 330 views and bring 312 new readers to my blog. It is amazing to see the number of people that Cody’s life impacted. Thank you all for the love and support that you are giving my family. I think I will miss his big, warm bear hugs the most. This is definitely not an easy time for any of us. I ask that you keep us all in your prayers, but definitely say an extra prayer for his sweet parents Julie and Lloyd and his beautiful sister Kylie.

I know how deep the hurt is for me, as his cousin… But I can not begin to imagine how deep the hurt must be to lose a child at any age, but especially 22 years. I have only known my daughter for 3 1/2 short months, and if anything ever happened to her, I seriously don’t know what I would do with myself.

Growing up with Cody, it was impossible not to make memories. I shared my funniest memory of him with you last night, but there are so many more that I could have chosen from. Like the time a group of us, including his older brother Taylor ran Paw Paw’s golf cart into a rusted chain (that we didn’t see!) and left a “scar” on the cart. Paw Paw scratched his head for hours trying to recall what he must have done to damage the cart. Cody imitated Paw Paw’s response of “What the world?!?!” for days, each time laughing harder and harder.

One thing I loved about Cody was how great he was at telling stories, whether they were 100% true or not… they were so funny. The excitement would shine straight through him when he had an audience to tell a story to. Now if you grew up with Cody you would know that his stories were usually 70% truth and 30% exaggeration, (or sometimes more exaggeration than truth). I believe that it is why his stories were so likeable. I wish I were as crafty with words as Cody was when it comes to storytelling. Years ago, once again at Grandma’s (where most of our memories occurred), Cody for some reason decided to ride a bike down the golf course. This bike was a pretty sorry one to begin with… It was too small for him, the brakes didn’t work and the pedals were missing, but he rode it anyways. For what purpose I can’t remember. But I can still picture his face when he finally got back to Grandma’s house. His cheeks were red, eyes wide, he was out of breath and doubled over, exhausted. Immediately he began telling the story of his most recent adventure for the whole kitchen to hear. I won’t attempt to tell it because I’ll never get all of the details right, but I’ll leave you imagining the teenage Cody, riding a small bike, with no brakes, and no pedals, down a winding golf course path, full of hills. Pretty funny right? The hilarious stories of Cody are endless and I encourage you to comment at the end of this post with your memories of Cody so that we can all reminisce together.

I think what I love most about our Tibbitts family is all of the funny memories we have made over the years. Living in Louisiana, separated from our “Texas family” has meant that we don’t see them as often. Our Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers are somewhat like family reunions for us all. It is where we share past memories and make more memories to cherish for the years to come. We all have such a love for each other that no matter how little we see each other we still pick up where we left off and catch up on everything we missed. Our family is such a strong and supportive family. When things are going great and we are proud of our cousins’, uncles’ or children’s accomplishments we all rejoice and celebrate together, whether in person or from afar. Likewise, when things don’t go as planned and feelings such as anger, disappointment, heartache or fear set in, we are always there to catch whoever is hurting and to help them get back on their feet.

I remember one Christmas Cody was sitting in Paw Paw’s recliner and stopped me as I walked by. He wanted to know all of the details of how I was doing since we saw each other last. As I was updating him about most everything he asked me, “what about that guy you brought to Christmas last year.” I proceeded to tell him that it didn’t work out and the heartbreaking details of why, and I swear I saw steam come out of his ears. He leaned over, and asked me… “Do you want me to take care of him? Cuz I can drive over there and…” I stopped him,  I told him that it was not necessary, but thanks for loving me. He sat back in the chair and gave me a concerned look and then smiled. But that is the kind of guy that Cody was. He loved his blood relatives very much, but with Cody it didn’t matter if you were blood or not, he loved you. He wanted to protect everyone close to him because he cared so deeply for everyone.

As heartbreaking as this news is, it heartwarming to see everyone unite and carry on Cody’s name. I have read countless stories online in the past couple days of how Cody touched others’ lives. Whether it was making them laugh, or standing up for them, or always making them feel safe, he did it. Please don’t forget to comment below with a memory of Cody that holds dear to your heart. He touched so many of your lives, whether it was in a small or large way, and I know that we, his family, would love to hear about the difference that he made in this world during his 22 years.

Thanks for the love you guys!


Rest easy my sweet cousin…

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