Welcome to The Sunday Scoop, where each Sunday I highlight an Ode and a Commode To Joy from my week. Life contains more than the obvious in-your-face joys, and I’m determined to find them.
Ode To Joy – I finally saw The Greatest Showman. Finally. And OOOH MYYY GOOOSH. So good. So so good.
We’re in Connecticut staying with Mark’s little sister and her family. Her kids are age 12, 9, and 7, and their current favorite jam in the
car van? The Greatest Showman soundtrack. On several occasions we’ve loaded up and rocked out, giving me insights to the show beyond the songs played on the radio.
I’m a big fan of this kind of introduction to musicals. Listening to at least part of the soundtrack beforehand is somewhat akin to reading a book before seeing its movie counterpart. In this case, it’s fun seeing how music and sound effects are brought to life with visuals – choreography, sets, and costumes.
The show gave me that sense of awe and wonder that live productions have given me since childhood. A good story, whether on paper, a stage, or screen, immerses me so fully that I temporarily take a break from my own life. (It’s for that reason that I give a hard pass to any type of horror book, movie, etc…) When a story is thoughtful, inspiring, uplifting, or magical (to name a few), sign me up. This show has elements of all four.
Wild and thunderous applause (from the couch). Standing ovation (in the living room). Why the heck did I not see it in theaters, and when will I see it again?!
Oftentimes my Ode To Joy is a split second. A moment. A flash. This week’s is 1 hour and 46 minutes, and the overarching takeaway is joy.
Commode – I’ve struggled with this one. It’s not a question of whether this is the commode of my week; it absolutely is. But I’ve struggled with whether I should discuss it here. Ultimately, not discussing it feels untrue. Like a slap in the face to this particular young man.
Friday, the family played at a waterpark while I sat in the van with a sleeping Miller.
I saw on Facebook an obituary for a familiar face; a guy I’ve known as a server in our best breakfast joint in Decatur – The Blue Spoon. Admittedly he, Cody, is my favorite server.
He’s whom I hope to get when we dine in, and it’s his voice I hope to hear on the other end of the phone when I call in an order. He’s just plain affable. Nice. Kind. Chill. It’s not just that his (impeccable) smile lights up his face; it’s that his spirit alights him from the inside out.
Sitting in the van, I learned that Cody’s light was extinguished Thursday night…at the hands of another person. Murdered. “Senseless violence” as the Blue Spoon’s Facebook post states. Cody was stabbed multiples times and succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. He was 24 years old.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening checking for updates on his story. As is the case with death, we look for as much information as possible, go over details as much as possible, to try to make sense of the senseless.
Down the rabbit hole of social media comments I went to find..what?…more of Cody I suppose. Though the heartache is raw, the questions aplenty, and the loss great, the response and outpouring of the community is equally great. Because Cody was, to use far too lacking of an adjective, great.
This is the point at which I’d normally ask the turnaround question – How is it a good thing? – to get us from the commode to the ode. But in this case, how is it a good thing? It’s not. Cody’s death is not a good thing. It’s tragic. It’s heinous. It’s the thing of nightmares. But good? No.
The good comes from his life.
To Joy – May it be a testament to Cody that his light was so strong, so pure, that I, an acquaintance at best, have been impacted by his passing. May it be a greater testament to him that this young, hometown, free-spirited man touched the lives of thousands.
I haven’t gone back to read anymore updates surrounding his death. That’s not how I want to remember him.
Instead, I’ll remember his head full of dreds, and the complete change in appearance when he cut them off. I’ll remember his wide smile when I commented on the change. I’ll remember how he never rushed a table, an order, or a check. I’ll remember how I once took longer than usual to look over the menu – Take your time. – because I was going to try something new. When he returned for my order, I admitted to being a creature of habit. That I’d stick with my usual. That’s what most people do, he reassured, criticism and impatience absent from his voice as usual. I’ll remember his grin upon writing down an order, his nonchalant upward nod. Cool, he’d say.
Cool. That was Cody. His cool voice on the phone… His cool presence in all of his tatted glory with a notepad in hand. It’s not just food that makes the Blue Spoon our favorite breakfast joint in town. It’s the likes of Cody.
He brought good into the world. And that is a good thing.He brought good into the world, and that is a good thing. Click To Tweet
Share this or send it to a friend as a reminder of what matters.
Don’t want to miss out on the latest? Enter your email address below to receive new installments directly to your inbox.
Thanks for stopping by.