It was a beautiful celebration of Cody Botten’s life yesterday afternoon. The high school gym was filled with probably 1,000 people who all shared some connection to Cody’s life. The journey forward began yesterday for our kids at Mt. Si High School….
Pastor Monty Wright lead an amazing, peaceful service. As a parent, I appreciated his effort to help the kids move forward – while remembering and honoring Cody at the same time. He was honest and spoke of depression – to help the kids understand. He acknowledged how hard it is to move forward living in the dark place of “what ifs” and “what I should have done.” Pastor Monty used eloquent words to ease our kids’ pain, answer their questions and help them inch forward.
The theme of service was love. Pastor Monty reminded us all that the reason we can hurt so much is because we love so much. He told us the message of Cody’s life was love. It was evident in his love and passion for family, friends and life. To truly live you need to love…. and Cody loved. His years were just cut short by depression.
There were wonderful speeches by friends, coaches and family. Annie and I loved Anthony McLauglin’s “bat story” which summed up Cody’s love for his friends. Anthony recounted the story of needing to take a phone call outside of Cody’s house late one night while sleeping over. When he finished the call he jokingly texted Cody that the call was done, but some guys were giving him a hard time. Seconds later, before Anthony could send another text to say the last one was a joke, Cody came sprinting out of the house bare-footed, wearing only boxers and swinging a baseball bat. Annie says that was so Cody…..
There was a vivid and emotional video montage of Cody’s life. Cody’s father filmed hours of family moments over the years which enabled him to create an absolutely beautiful video. Starting with a newborn in the hospital and ending with a 16 yr old leaving a Georgia airport the week before his death. Included in between were all the memories we parents hold in our hearts of our own kids…. simple bath times, first steps and holidays, birthday cake covered faces, naked babies running in their backyards, sporting events, first car photos. It had it all and moved me deeply. I watched and realized I don’t take nearly enough pictures… something I need to improve upon.
I wished I could have hugged all my daughter’s friends…. but they didn’t need my adult hugs. The kids did a wonderful job comforting and supporting each other yesterday…. just like they have during this whole process. They came together to celebrate and honor their friend. They will always miss him, but after yesterday’s service I believe they can remember him always with love.