Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Life is a Roller Coaster

To say that my life is a roller coaster is an understatement. And I'm not talking about just the last 2-3 months. It's pretty much been a roller coaster for.....well, a very long time. I think most people would say their life is like that. Some roller coasters are the little dragon coasters in the kiddie section of the county fair. My roller coaster is like the scariest, oldest wooden coaster with lots of big drops and neck-jerking climbs to amazing heights. I'm not complaining about it. It's thrilling. And scary. And heart pounding. And nauseating.

But never, ever boring with lots of good character building lessons.

I'm not sure what part of the roller coaster my family has been experiencing the last two months. It could be the end where you are sad it's over. You are looking forward to going on it again and experiencing the thrill, but you have to wait in that ridiculously long line to get there. A horrible, long line. Yeah. That pretty much sums it up. But just 5 short months ago we were starting a steep climb when we started talking to Nathan about a business venture. Troy and I found ourselves with an opportunity to make an investment of some sort. There were several options, but Nathan has been wanting to open a pizza restaurant for a long time. He has researched/learned and even created his very own dough recipe. He bought a small table-top brick oven and had some pizza parties until the fateful day it fell off the table and broke.

I talked privately with Troy a few times and brought up the fact his children (especially Lindsay) have encouraged him FOR YEARS to open some sort of restaurant. Anyone who has had Troy's cooking would say it was a solid idea. But Troy has some physical limitations that would have kept him from working that much. Or not work at all for days after overdoing it one afternoon. So it wasn't very feasible.

Until now.

Nathan and Troy with our newly signed lease.

We are now the proud owners of a pizza restaurant.

There's a little bit of back story to how we came about this particular place. It's an old Round Table that has changed hands a couple of times but has always remained a pizza place. When we started toying with this idea Nathan and I were scouring pizza restaurants for sale and this one popped up. We went over incognito to have some pizza. Not only was the pizza pretty bad, the restaurant was lack luster and dirty. But it was cheap so we contacted the broker and were ready to get things underway. We were excited to be opening up a family business that ALL THREE of my children could be involved with to varying degrees under Troy's guidance (due to his physical limitations).

Then we got that awful, life-changing call.

The biggest piece of advice that therapists give after such a loss is not to make any big life decisions for a year. So last week our therapist was shocked when we told her this was in the works. Like, eyes-wide shocked. There was a lot of time spent during that session discussing this, as you can imagine. But from mine and Troy's perspective it wasn't a NEW thing we were making a decision on. It was a decision we had already made that we had to put on hold.

I'm a firm believer in God's timing for things in life. Things will happen the way they are supposed to happen in the time frame He wants them to. Or they won't happen. And that's okay, too. So when the broker called as we were driving up to Oregon to bring Cody home, it wasn't the time. I told her that we would have to put this on hold for now. I remember telling Nathan that if the restaurant was still available once we got through what we needed to get through then it was meant to be. If it was gone then God had something bigger and better in mind and we would have to be patient.

Like I said earlier, we signed a lease yesterday. I'm incredibly sad that we didn't even get the chance to tell Cody we had found this place before he died. But God's timing is always perfect, even if it means perfection without our son. We feel so strongly about it that we are naming it CAPs Pizza and Tap House.  CAP:  Cody Allen Pryor.

God is good.

So is pizza. Hope you can join us in December to raise a glass for Cody.

It's going to be a wild ride!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

2 Months

It's September 3. It's been 2 months since Cody died. And no matter how many times I say it/write it/see it, it still seems somewhat surreal. I have caught myself more than a few times thinking, "I should be hearing from Cody." We talked pretty often. Once a week most of the time, but never more than 2 weeks would pass without hearing from him.

But Cody died.

My son died.

I can write that a million times and it still seems strange and weird and like a big lie. But it's not. Because Cody died and I will not be getting a phone call from him. Ever again. Christmas is coming, but I won't be asking him for a Christmas list. I will never get to shop for his list, which would no doubt include some obscure piece of clothing that had food printed on it, or a skateboard, or some new skate shoes, or some ridiculous article of clothing from Good Will. I won't get to fill his Christmas stocking (serious Pryor tradition) with nonsense, practical jokes, a new toothbrush, storybook lifesavers and sour candy. He will never be calling me to tell me what he's been up to, or which song he was learning on his guitar. No more silly stories about his dogs and the cat that decided to love HIM the most even when he was completely irritated with her. I will never get to call him after I have cued up C&C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" and blast it through the phone the moment he answers. Or after I have cued up Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like A Woman". We will never again recite lines from Napoleon Dynamite or laugh about Portlandia. No more silly texts or messages to him on Facebook with a bitmoji that looks like me. Entire conversations with him would take place with just the bitmojis. He told me I was lame. Then he would laugh.

I will never get to hear him laugh again.

I will also never have to worry about Cody again.  I'm a mother. I worry about my children sometimes. I worried a lot about Cody for many different reasons over the years. But he's gone. There is nothing to talk about. Nothing to give him advice about. No long conversations to have about addiction, stress, drinking, money, darkness, or frustrations of being an adult. No help to give and no more lending an ear or a shoulder. The mother-child relationship as I knew it with Cody is gone. Forever. It's probably the hardest of all emotions to NOT have right now...worry....because it means I have this heaviness that isn't associated with the emotion it normally is. It's different. And difficult. And uncomfortable. And painful. I'm left with questions and assumptions and knowledge about things that hurt me deeply. It's the difference between grief  and stress....the absence of worry.

There are many things I will never do again. But I will get to tell Tristan all the wonderful stories I can about his Uncle. The uncle he will never remember, but who adored him beyond words. I will also get to honor Cody's memory by writing stories, and keeping in touch with his friends, making sure they feel his spirit continue to carry them through their own grief.  I get to spread his ashes all over so that his final resting place is the entire world. And I get to hug, kiss, talk and laugh with my other two children as we tell stories and share memories of Cody. I also get to cry with them and wipe away their tears during the times when they miss him terribly.

I will also get to process this devastating loss with my husband, the other person who intimately knows my sorrow. He knows my sadness. He knows my grief. This damn grief that still comes in enormous waves with little warning. Or no warning at all. We are working through it. Talking through it. And I'm writing through it. And putting together 27 puzzles on that stupid app. I've made it through 2 months. Next it will be 3 months. Then 4.

Then it will turn in to 5 months. 5 months from July 3, 2016.

July 3, 2016.

The day Cody died.

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