Todd's Heart

The story of a young man's spiritual journey through disappointments, a tragic accident and the determination and courage it took to become whole again. Memoir from his mom.(me)


1. Preface

There’s a story in my heart that needs to be told. I’ve told it many times over and over in my mind for the past five years. But there never seemed to be the right time to unleash all the thoughts and emotions, raw and divine and all mine. It’s there in my thoughts and in my prayers and in my waking hours and when I sleep. To be honest, even though the memories bring my tears, they also warm my heart and help me get through yet another day, in his honor.

 Right now, I want to let my oldest son, Joshua, know that his story will be told in the legacy he is leaving each and every day of his life. He is a remarkable son, a wonderfully protective older brother, a loving husband and an adoring father who is walking in the footsteps of those men we admire and stand in awe and aspire to be.

  He knows that on the morning of September 24, 2010, when a piece of my heart was shattered irreversibly and a hole was left where a life should be, that the only reason I made it to the next day was because of him. For what would it say about the one left, if I couldn’t live without the other? I live and breathe and slowly take a step into a new future, where I had prayed all my life that I never had to tread.

               So I begin to tell the story of my youngest son, Todd Clifford Coder, who by the simple quietness of his presence, had the determination that only someone who knows how it feels to lose fights, to let themselves down, to work  against those feelings, then have  the courage to try one more time. How does it feel to be the mother of someone so dedicated, with so much courage and strength to keep putting together the pieces, time and again? Even when it seemed that he could not go any further, somewhere deep inside Todd found the power within himself to try just one more time.

     As a parent who has stood before God and prayed that they never have to bury a child, I have seen that somewhere deep inside their child’s heart is some massive strength and faith to keep going on. From the littlest cancer survivor, to a child who has overcome physical and emotional obstacles; from the soldiers returning home from war to a nation he’s hoping will remember, to the oldest of children who die before their time- there exists some line, some connection to a great unknown that gives them the faith and trust that things will be okay. Parents take care of their children. They should never outlive them. It is not the way it’s supposed to be.

     So here is Todd’s story. My wonderful baby boy who grew up to be a wonderful man and a good human being to anyone who met him. He was private and funny. He could make you smile or sit up all night to listen to you. He judged no one and gave his advice only if asked. Your secrets were his secrets. He was the kind of friend most people wanted and he was our best friend. He continues to be someone of whom I stand in awe.

      As the tears flow down my cheeks as I write, so the memories make me smile. I thank God each and every day that, although I will miss him for the rest of my life, I had this wonderful little boy in my life. How often can a parent truly say their children helped to make them better parents? I can. I’m proud to tell his story and it’s one that needs to be told. As you read about my son, I hope you will cherish those you love. For our children should become a reflection of what’s best in us and we should love them with all our hearts.

    So here is a story of a young man’s heart. I have tried to keep to the truth of the story without much exaggeration. But of course, I am his mother. Names have been changed to protect the privacy of his many friends. You know who you are. Thank you from my heart to your heart to Todd’s Heart.

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