Just Talk About It
April 7, 2011 § 3 Comments
“Know someone as much as you can. Hold onto the moments that define them. Then when their body leaves, they won’t.” – I Wrote This For You
Yeah, I’m talking about Cody on here a lot more than I used to. There are a quite few reasons why. Its usually not something I feel like people know/want to hear about. Mostly, I journal or write letters to him. Also, talking about Cody is a tender subject for most people, so to save all of your feelings, and talk about things more abstractly, I avoided it on here.
But, I haven’t been around people who easily joke about him and who he was in a long time. I haven’t been home in a long time. I’m not really homesick right now, (even though my sister’s blog almost got me there), but I miss the ease of teasing Cody with my family and remembering him.
I’ve also realized that while I love the new friends I’ve made here, most of them don’t quite know me yet. And I don’t want to hide any of my past from them, or from you, any longer. So let’s just talk about it. Let’s just talk about Cody.
He did the world’s best Ace Ventura impersonation. Fishing and I were in a tight race for his #1 loves; Fishing won out often. He thought it was hysterical to pull up beside you on the highway when he was in the passenger seat of the other car and act like he was running (it was funny). He was incapable of jogging; if we went running he got bored and just sprinted for a couple of minutes, then called it a day. Beer of choice-Bud Light. He kept his anger in until he exploded (usually provoked by me). He was more likely to show emphasis in guttural noises and “well, wooo, let me tell ya”s than he was to actually answer the direct question. The little fart was able to hide the fact that he smoked from me for a whole 5 and a half years (yeah, I caught you. I’m only kinda mad…mostly at myself for never catching you!). His bad posture could rival mine. He’d fight you about putting milk in your eggs. Giddiness ensued for the 48 hours before a ranch trip, a fishing trip, or a college football game. He loved family. Period.
Ok, so I didn’t tell you a whole lot of anything really substantive. But that’s not necessary. Its those little bits of information that might come up in a conversation that are necessary to say. I’m not going to remember him as some larger than life person, just because he isn’t physically here anymore. I’m not going to only remember the good things. I’m going to remember him honestly; as he was. I’m going to remember the Cody I knew, good, bad and indifferent. Because I loved it all.
Sometimes people will tell a story, maybe about fishing, maybe about long distance relationships, maybe about a guy’s participation in wedding plans, and I just want to contribute. But, I choke the words down. Maybe I’m just trying to be a “normal,” non-pseudo-widow 25 year old law student (yes…normal and law student are oxymorons. Bear with me). Mostly, though, I don’t want people to feel burdened by me. I don’t want people to feel like they have to sympathize. I don’t want pity. I just want to talk freely, openly, about a man that I loved, a man that has been in my life for over 7 years and a man who shaped who I am.
Its so easy for everyone to say “Well, my ex and I did such-and-such,” or “Well, I didn’t do that because my ex hated it.” Or whatever it is you wanted to say. I can’t even share those stories.
So now here’s the tough question: Do any of my friends really know me? If I don’t talk about what made me me, where I’m coming from, why I am who I am, will they ever really be my friend?
I’m not scared to talk about him. I don’t cry every time I say his name. I don’t think I’d talk about him to a point of unhealthy obsession (Sorry, Cody, I love you and all, but you know me better than that!). No, its nothing that needs to be discussed on a first date (not that I’d have one of those…that’s another story), or a constant topic. But, I feel people tense up if I say his name. They get uncomfortable, don’t know how to react, start to look at me like they forgot I was an alien. Nope, totally human. I think. Just with an interesting history and a big mouth.
A friend informed me the other day that I get less careful about how I tell stories about Cody when I’m drinking. So, I say something about him, people ask about him, and then they’re shocked if they didn’t know. My friend told me that whenever someone asks, “Did you know Kelsi’s fiance died?” his first response is, laughter and “Oh, Kelsi’s had a couple of beers. Where is she?” He laughs because he knows I’m fine, just more blunt than most people. His exact words about it were “You handle everything great, but everyone around you starts to freak out.” Freak out. That’s probably exactly what they do.
So, yeah. I’m cautious. Careful. Necessarily guarded. But I want my friendships to be pure and true. I want them to know me. I want them to know how my past, how Cody, how’s Cody’s death made me, me. Its become a sign of a true friend if they aren’t scared to ask me a question about Cody or can laugh when I tell a story…and maybe only look at me half-sideways.
I think I most valued the above-mentioned friend when he asked me if I thought he and I would be as good of friends if I were married right now. Honestly, yeah, I do. I had to explain how Cody had gotten quite used to all of my best friends being guys. Same way I got used to all of his best friends being girls. But, this friend’s courage in asking about a person he’d never met meant everything to me.
So maybe I should test the waters a little. Maybe I should be braver. Maybe I should slip in just one little tidbit sometime when I think everyone is ready for it. Maybe that bit of information will help the comfort grow. If not, I’ll have learned my lesson, but only in regards to that one friend. Then, as with everything else, I’ll put my head down and push on, looking for the friends that can handle me and my big mouth.
But, I’ll never share the story of how Cody proposed or show another man the ring. If I ever get married, I’ll probably tell my husband. He’ll understand why I didn’t tell him any earlier.
One day, I’ll meet a man who understands. One day, I’ll meet a man who wants to know about Cody because he knows that Cody helped make me me. One day, a man won’t look at me sideways when I tell him that I’m ready to love, but I’ll also always love Cody. He’ll believe me when I swear I won’t compare him to Cody or Cody to him. One day, I’ll build memories with someone new.
But, I’ll never stop being scared to just talk about Cody.