Life is full of absurdities, but sometimes it delivers profound, inexplicable sadness. I can make jokes about absurdities because that seems to be the best way to deal with them. I'm a little lacking in coping skills for the sadness quotient, though.
A little red-haired boy and his dad sat next to me in the airplane on my way back from Arizona a few weeks ago. The boy told me his name was Codey and he and his dad were on
their way back to Everett from Hawaii. We looked at a map and couldn't figure out how it made sense to have a connection in Phoenix to get from Hawaii to Seattle. He wore glasses that looked like little goggles and spoke with conviction about mountains and sea turtles, and played his hand-held electronic game. He turned his face toward me after removing his glasses and I was struck by what an angelic little face this delightful, imaginative character had.
People touch our lives every day, and we touch theirs. We may never know who we make an impression on. Codey impressed me; I was sure he would grow up to be an engineer or a designer or a leader of some sort.
But he didn't get the chance. I've been hearing on the news this week about a little boy who died two days after a tragic backyard accident in Everett; it was not until tonight I saw his picture on TV. I felt a horror of recognition and a deep sadness when it finally sank in. My reaction is, "But how can he be gone--I just saw him! And he has so much more to do in this life!"
He did do something profoundly amazing. He told his parents to donate his organs and his body parts so other people could have a chance. At the time of the news story I saw, five people had been saved by the power of his conviction and imagination. More may be touched that way. I don't think anyone who met him could have missed seeing that he was a pretty special kid. But even for a special person, that's quite an accomplishment.
Good-bye, Codey. You did good.