Sue, Dave, and Jake,
It's been far too long since I've seen you, and it is with great regret that I am writing you under these circumstances. I hope that during this time of incredible grief that you may find the strength to be able celebrate the astounding life that Cody lived. He certainly lived every day to the fullest and with the brightest smile on his face. I know he's somewhere watching over you, just hoping that he could do something, anything, to see you smile again and take the pain away. He always did everything he could to put smiles on the faces of everyone he encountered. It is so difficult to believe that my best friend of 12 years is no longer gracing the earth with his presence. Cody was a rarity. There was something so special about his existence that cannot fully be captured in words, though this is how I remember him:
He was color, laughter, the beaming spotlight on stage.
He was harmony, art, a warm cup of chai tea.
He was motivation, passion, the rolling waves at the beach.
He was compassion, personality, a splash of color upon the canvas.
He was friendship, diversity, a warm and inviting hug.
He was positivity, energy, the shimmering pavement after a calming rain.
He was an old soul, a leader, and truly one of a kind. The world, through his eyes, was something that I could never even fathom. He saw things in people that I never could see. He found beauty in the most unexpected places and captured it in so many different ways. He believed in himself, and he believed in others. He was blessed with so many gifts and talents, and everyone will always remember him for how truly special he was. He was a beautiful human being with so much to offer the world.
I had the privilege of knowing him, of sharing incredible memories that I will never forget. He left a handprint on my heart, and the hearts of many others. I always assured myself that we'd meet again after parting ways a few years ago and reminisce about times passed—memories and inside jokes that only the two of us shared. I never stopped loving him or remembering him as a profound influence on my life. I have the great privilege of being who I am today because of the person Cody Dylan Petzold was. He'd call me his sister, and I'd call him brother. There was rarely a day that Cody and I weren't together, conquering this crazy world and living life to its absolute fullest. Your home was my second home growing up, and I am so grateful for the many, many great memories that were made there.
Petzold family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Though I am unable to attend any of the services honoring Cody's life, as I am abroad, I am there with you in spirit—sending positive energy and infinite love your way. May you find comfort and peace knowing the many, many lives that Cody influenced and the hearts that he touched.