So we are moving along with the restaurant. We had a major roadblock yesterday (thank you, state of CA and taking forever to get through the application process for a liquor license). Feeling the sting of a potential delay, we decided to focus our attention on the food and quickly (understatement) organized a taste test of various recipes for different items we will be having on the menu. Also included were an array of beers and wines from a vendor. If I'm being honest, I think we wanted to just focus on testing the beer and wine after the bad news we got. But we are forging ahead with FOOD and DELIVERY and if that means we have a soft opening without a liquor license and a huge grand opening once we get it? Then that's what it means.
Welcome to the fun of owning your own business.
Troy and I ran around town getting specific ingredients for pizza dough, wings, sauces, etc. A few invites went out and a small, intimate group gathered in our kitchen. As the beer and wine tasting began, the room was filled with laughter and chattering. The wings came out a couple of samples at a time. The pasta came. The pizza never did. Epic fail not allowing enough time for the dough to rise. But we'll fix that with taste-testing number 2. I think we'll plan it a little further in advance.
The excitement of moving forward with this endeavor was not lost on me. As the evening moved along the laughter got louder, the conversation lighter, the kitchen messier. At one point I looked at my son and daughter, both intently writing and reading something in a journal that documented what each of us liked or didn't like about all the things we were testing. Someone made a comment, to which they both burst out in laughter.
And it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. Like it does without warning.
Cody is not here. My family of five is now a family of four.
Oh, how I longed for him to be there in that wonderfully perfect family moment. To hear his infectious laugh. To read the nonsense he would have written about the taste of the wings or the epic fail of the pizza dough. To see the excitement in his eyes about the family adventure we are on.
Cody loved adventures.
But he is not here. Not in the physical sense, anyway. So I can't see the sparkle in his eyes. I can't hear that perfectly infectious laugh. But like so many other times since July 3, I got a clear sign that my son is here with me. Today as I was navigating through some pictures I came across a folder full of pictures from a vacation that I went on several years ago with my mom and Cody. I looked in this folder a dozen times when I was preparing for his service. But today I noticed there were videos. Several of them. And the first one I clicked on to play was this one.
We were sitting in a hotel room one morning while the staff was unclogging our toilet (that's how things normally go during a Pryor vacation) My mom was always a good sport when it came to my children taking pictures or videos of her. This is no exception....visually annoyed but still humoring Cody.
Thank you, God, for giving me this gift today and reminding me that my son is still here. Cody knew exactly what I needed to hear today. I'm forever grateful I have this video so I can listen to his laugh whenever my heart aches to hear it.
We are still five.