His name was Cody. And I’ve always liked that name. He wore his baseball uniform, his chubby legs dangled beneath his chair.
His mama ordered two eggs over easy, bacon, sausage, and cheese grits. They have good cheese grits here.
When the waitress turned to Cody, he answered with, “I’d like scrambled eggs, please, ma’am. With pancakes, please, ma’am. And some orange juice, please. Ma’am.”
“How about bacon?” the waitress asked.
“Yes ma’am. Please.”
The waitress — a woman with a few years on her, who didn’t mind being anybody’s ma’am — grinned at the boy like he was a life-sized honeycomb.
The food came out quick. It usually does here. Mama thanked the waitress. So did Cody.
Then, Mama and son clasped their hands together to pray, the old-fashioned way — as opposed to holding hands.
Mama said, “Dear Lord, help Cody at batting practice today, and let the coaches see what a great hitter he is. And thank you for this food, which provides nourishment to our bodies…”
Then she grew silent.
“Dear God,” added Cody, eyes closed tight. “Thank you for everything, for Uncle Lou, Aunt Jennie, and for this sunny day, without rain, so we can practice. And for doing good stuff like you do.”
I’ll raise a glass to that.
Cody’s mother cleared her throat and whispered, “The food, Cody, thank God for the food.”
“Oh, yeah. Thanks for the food. Help me to hit good at practice. And please tell Sissy we love her today, and that we miss her, until we can all be together again, in heaven. Amen.”
Sniffles from mama.
Sniffles from me.
Then, my plate came out of the kitchen. Two strips of bacon, three eggs over medium, three biscuits, jam, butter, cheese grits, black coffee, and a blood-sugar nap.
I clasped my hands. The old-fashioned way.
Dear God, thanks. For my wife, my friends, my health. Thanks for making life short, so I’m not tempted to get bored with it. I’m sorry for being a horse’s hindparts sometimes. Help Cody to smack the hell out of that baseball. Make his coach’s jaw drop open a whole foot. Help Cody’s mama make it through today. And tomorrow.
Please, God, take good care of Sissy. Whoever she is.
Thanks for the food.