I have always loved music, in particular, country music. But once I had my kids, life got busy and I didn’t have time to listen anymore.
A couple of years ago Ben walked in and said, “Mom you have to hear this song! It’s us!”
It was Mama Song, and it was definitely us!
I had seen Cody’s videos and been sharing them for quite sometime before that day, so I was surprised I hadn’t heard it before. But, it was the perfect song that described this mother and son relationship.
A year or so later I would lose my beautiful tortured boy to suicide on Thanksgiving Day 2017.
For a few months I was in a fog. Hell, I may still be. But, a couple of months after his death, I started listening to Ben’s music. Ben loved music, in particular Texas country and rap. Yeah, rap. Ugh. I can’t do the rap but I dove into the country!
At Ben’s funeral we played Alan Jackson’s “Drive” because it reminded him of his uncles.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. That had always been our song since the first time we watched “Remember the Titans” together.
Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again”. He Loved Wiz Khalifa! When he was a freshman, the principle had to tell him to quit writing Wiz on everything!! No, he didn’t get in . The principle loved him. Hell, everyone loved him!
His girlfriend, Ashton, had told us his favorite song at the time he died was Chris Young’s “Neon”. So we played that as well.
Sadly, we lost her the next week, the same way. She wanted to be with Ben.
I wanted “Mama Song.” That had to be played! The pastor wouldn’t let us play it in the church, so we had it blasting at the graveside!
On his headstone we had the words to Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” inscribed. Ben had also been the one to play that for me.
That was the night I knew I would lose him. That was the song playing when I picked his pallbearers a year before they were needed. I knew that night. But, that’s another story.
It has been Cody Jinks that has brought me through these last months. His songs could easily be talking about my Ben. “I got an angel on my shoulder, but I got the devil too.” So poignantly perfect!
Ben’s quick wit, and bright smile disguised the darkness he was fighting. Yes, he fought hard to stay here. He told me he didn’t want to die. He told me that he loved his life. But the pull was to strong.
In Cody’s music, I hear that battle he fought! I wish I could have understood it better. When I hear, “Last Call For The Blues”, I picture Ben. I can hear myself saying those words to him.
“I’m Not The Devil.” I can hear him saying that to me. But, I never thought he was. He was harder on himself than those of us who were fighting for him were.
“Loud and Heavy.” Holy crap! That song is perfect!
“Bad news surrounds me. It’s always found me. Creepin’ up when things are good. Yeah, the dark days find a way!”
That was Ben’s life. Nothing came easy for him.
“No Guarantees”, “Been Around”, “David”, “Heavy Load” and finally, “Head Case.”
“Sometimes it takes a thin white sheet to put things into place.”
Since Ben’s passing I have seen Cody twice. Once in Witchita Falls, then at Loud and Heavy this last weekend. I have cried through “Mama Song” both times. Yesterday, I placed a guitar pick, given to me by one of Cody’s friends on Ben’s headstone .
Thanks to the man who is helping me get through this!! Helping me to understand what was in my kids head. Damn.
Someday I will meet Cody and tell him how his music is bringing me back.
If you are going through what I am, give Cody’s music a listen. The understanding it brings can comfort you through the hard days.
Ben left me a great group of boys who I can call on anytime and I know they will be here for me! That’s what Cody is. He is one of my boys who I call on. He never lets me down.
National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255