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by Steven D. Diamond

My name is Steven. I worked with Cody Parrick at the Wal-Mart in Okmulgee. I am sorry to say that I did not know Ben Baber, but our thoughts and prayers are with both families and the loss and heartache you feel now, you do not endure alone. I ask only that you look around and realize that both young men are loved by so many people. The untimely departure of Ben and Cody will leave a space in our lives that we must fill with the memories of these two special boys.

After Cody and I first met it did not take long for he and I to realize we both had an affinity for cult films, similar taste in music, and a love for comic books… even though he was a DC guy and I myself am a Marvel man…we soon became fast friends.

Cody was amazing in many ways, the one attribute that kept me in awe of Cody was how open he was about his Cerebral Palsy and the physical distress he endured daily and yet at the same time he refused to let it define him as a person. He somehow managed to accept his condition without accepting any limitations. He insisted that CP would not and could not hide his keen intellect, fantastical imagination, and prodigious (if not eccentric) sense of humor.

I am happy to say that Cody is my friend. I say “is” because although he has “shuffled off this mortal coil”, he touched my life in a way that only Cody could and in a way that leaves a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of everyone he came into contact with. Any young man that could leave an indelible stamp on this world in only two short decades cannot be relegated to the past tense. I know that it is cliché to say that Cody and Ben will live on in the hearts and minds of all those who knew and loved them, but in this case it is well deserved.  

In John Chapter 14 Jesus Comforts His Disciples

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

My friend Cody had a mountain of faith and if anyone at all deserves to be in the presence of his maker, Cody is that soul whose physical limitations are no more and when we see him next, he will be the perfect spirit we all knew, loved, and appreciated.