So life has been crazy and I have been dying to get back on here and tell you guys so many funny stories that have happened in the last week. I love it when my crazy days can bring you laughter. However today I can’t bring myself to post any of the funny pieces that I have written. My heart is aching. It is broken. For those of you who prefer comedies over tragedies I would stop reading. However if you don’t mind mourning with me then please, continue… and if you believe in the power of prayer, please keep my family in your prayers.
Yesterday, 10:13am, i was sitting on the couch watching the Price Is Right and I got the news… my cousin whom I shared a lot of my childhood with was dead. Not sick. Not in critical condition. Not hanging on and will hopefully pull through. But he was gone. I won’t see him in 17 days at Christmas like I thought I would. I couldn’t believe the words my dad was trying to say through his tears. It couldn’t be true. He was born in 1994, about the same age as me. He was too young to die. What happened is unknown, and cause of death is still to be determined.
Cody Mitchell Tibbitts was one of a kind. His bright smile could light up a room in an instant. He was a jack of many trades, and always was doing something. First it was magic shows at kids birthday parties, then he started TACOCII Apparel, a clothing line that then led to photo shoots, and traveling the world on weekends and before we knew it he owned a cougar! But what I will remember him most for is his dry sense of humor and his huge heart. Cody never had to try very hard to get a crowd to laugh. In fact, he thrived off of it. He could perform magic tricks that kept you thinking for hours. He knew he was good, he knew he was funny, and he was always confident.
Every year growing up, Cody, our cousin Wayne and I would go to our grandparents for “Granny Camp.” It was always so much fun to spend a week together at grandmas! The walls of their old home in Houston hold so many memories of trick or treating, swinging in the back yard, climbing the huge tree in the circle, and walking to the dollar store. Even after our grandparents moved we continued to make memories at their new home. There is one story of Cody and Wayne that will forever make me laugh. If you knew my cousin Wayne you would know that back in the day he was a ladies man! I might also add that our family occasionally joked and called him by an awful but hilarious nickname. One summer when we were at grandmas we were down at the field by the volleyball court and Wayne was sweet talkin’ a cute girl who was also there for camp. Cody, always looking to make someone laugh, leaned over to me, tapped me with his elbow, chuckled and said “watch this…” With that huge smile of his grinning ear to ear he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted loudly across the field “Wiennnerrrrr!!” Wayne tried to pretend that he didn’t know Cody, turned his back and kept talking to the girl. Like I said, it was an awful nickname, but the girl didn’t know that… Cody giggled, stepped closer and shouted again, “Wiennnerrrr! Grandma said it’s time to go home!” Of course Wayne still ignored him, but the look on his face was priceless! I know I’m an awful storyteller because I don’t recall what happened next because I was doubled over in laughter, but I’m sure that it didn’t end with Wayne getting that girls number! (If you’re not laughing don’t worry, you had to know Cody and it probably would help if you were there.)
Cody always wanted to make people laugh. And he was so good at it! This particularly saddens me because I know as a parent of a 3 month old daughter that there is nothing more satisfying for me than making her laugh. Cody was the father of a beautiful sweet 3 month old daughter as well. My heart hurts knowing that she will have to grow up without her sweet dad. Cody was a man with a huge heart, he was a huge teddy bear, no matter how he tried to appear on the outside. And I know that he had a huge place in his heart for his sweet girl.
As the years flew by, distance and life separated us quite a bit. We saw each other once a year at Christmas, and we occasionally conversed over Facebook, but he was always there. It’s hard to accept that he no longer is. No matter how often we talked the memories I have of us will always keep him in my heart.
Make sure to hold your family close this holiday season. Don’t leave any relationships unresolved and make an effort to reach out to those you love. You never know what will happen that will cause you to lose a loved one.