....which means two years ago I was having the last day of my old life. I was happy. My kids were doing well and everything seemed to be in place. We were getting ready to invest in a family adventure. Life was good.
Then it wasn't.
I miss Cody. Still. After 2 years. My heart still aches to be able to hear that infectious laugh just one more time. To have him bolt through the front door yelling, "Mam!" But if I'm also being honest Cody was an up and down test of my emotions for years. The ups were wonderful. When the sober, clean Cody was around life was balanced. But the downs were serious and during the ups I was constantly worried for his health and safety knowing the downs inevitably would come. He was in rehab twice and struggled with alcohol addiction. But he was happy and sober the last 6 months of his life.
Until he wasn't.
I will never know what thing set him off and sent him down the path of self destruction. Just 4 days before he died by suicide Troy and I had seen him in Oregon. As we hugged and said our goodbyes my heart was calm. He was happy. Seemingly at peace. But that's the lie of depression and mental illness. While Cody was thrilled, happy, and grateful that we made the trip to visit him he was struggling. I'm forever grateful that the last days I had with my son were filled with laughs, good conversation and fun. Certainly the upswing that gave my heart that calmness. That peace that perhaps my son had finally found his inner happiness. That maybe the down wouldn't be so overwhelming for him next time.
Until it was.
The worst kind of down imaginable happened on July 3, 2016. I still remember that call. That horrible, unbelievable call followed by days of horrible, unimaginable grief. A grief that still resides within me but has become something different. My life changed forever that day. I changed forever that day. Some pieces of me have been restored but other parts have been forever altered. I'm still learning which is which and to be okay with all of it. I'm embracing all the good and wonderful changes life has brought since Cody's death. The restaurant we opened to honor him gives our entire family purpose and the strength to push forward. It can be hard and trying....similar to life with Cody for so many years...so it seems appropriate that the very place named after him would have ups and downs. It's stressful. And rewarding. And trying. And fun. And tiring. And fullfilling. But even with the ups of the restaurant and seeing my son's picture everyday I was there, there was still an absence of joy.
Until there wasn't.
I have a new, beautiful granddaughter. A lovely little bundle of joy who shares the initials of the uncle she will never know. Carly Ann Pryor has already wrapped her little soul in all our hearts. She brought joy back to my life and I am forever grateful for God's blessing at just the right time. My sweet grandson is completely enamored with her, too. It is a beautiful thing to see him interact with her, give her kisses and ask to, "hode Cahwe". These tiny humans fill my heart and make me look foward to future events with Pa and Mae. Last week we had Tristan overnight on the boat. Oh, to have such joy in my life over something so simple. It was a treat for sure! The anticipation and excitment of having those grandchildren spend a weekend with us on the water as they grow up truly gives me something to look foward to.
So tomorrow will still be somber. The one day of the year that is the hardest for me. For my family. Life changed that day. But life has continued to change. It gets better. Not easier, but better. Joy has returned. Hope exists. Happiness surrounds me and I don't always struggle to see it.
And that's a very good thing.
1 day ago