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October 31, 1987 - September 11, 2003
 
VALDOSTA - James Matthew Coody, 16, of Valdosta, died Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003, at his residence. Born in Lowndes County, he was the son of Charles Robert and Sandra Kaye O'Dell Coody. He was a student in the Lowndes County School System and was of the Baptist faith. He survived by his mother, Sandy Coody of Valdosta; his father Charles Robert (Marie) Coody of Quitman; maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Taylor of Valdosta; maternal grandfather, Wayne Taylor of Valdosta; one brother, Justin Coody of Valdosta; two stepsisters, Pam June of Greenwich, Ohio, Becky Guthrie of Adel; aunts, Kay (Ronald) Coody, Patricia Gaddis, Lisa O'Dell, Karen (Randy) Jarvis, and Buddy (Cathy) Taylor.

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I met Matt one summer day at Wild Adventures when I still lived in Savannah. I was 12 and he was 14. We were on the Boomerang and I had no one to ride with and neither did he, so we rode together. Then we started hanging out for the rest of the day. He seemed so nice and he understood me better than anyone else I knew. So we exchanged numbers and when I got back to Savannah, I called him just about everynight and whenever I was sad. He always had someway to make me laugh. Whenever I came to Valdosta, me and him would go paintballing or 4-wheel riding. He taught me how to ride a 4-wheeler and to paintball. He was like a brother to me. Whenever someone messed with me, he stepped in. From the day we met, he took me under his wing and protected me. He was always there for me. Then, when I was 13, I moved to Valdosta and we started hanging out more. We went to Wild Adentures every weekend and talked on the phone everynight since it wasn't long distance anymore. His friends became my friends and my friends became his friends. September came and one Saturday when I was at Wild Adventures, I was getting worried because I didnt see Matt out there and I didnt talk to him since Wendesday (September 10) and that was only for 5 minutes. I was getting very worried about him. Then, I saw one of our friends, Robert, who worked there walking down to me. Right when I was about to ask "Have you seen Matt?" he said "Katie, I need to tell you something.". He had a very sad look on his face and it looked like he was about to cry. He sat dawn and wiped to "sweat" from his eyes. "Katie, Matt hung himself last Thursday in his attic." I looked at him and started laughing and said "Yeah right! Very funny! Seriously, where is he? He was supposed to be here an hour ago!". Then I saw my friend ,Sonja, who also worked there come walking toward us about to cry also. I looked at Robert tears welling up in my eyes and said "You're not lying are you?!". He shook his head and a tear came from his eye. Then I went crazy. I started screaming and crying at the same time. I normally don't make a big scene in public, but at that point I didn't care. I just wanted Matt back. Robert wraped his arms around me and tried to hold me down before first aid got there. I just wanted to give up everything right then and there. Then, first aid arrived and put me on a stretcher (me still screaming mad at the world and myself) and put me on the golf cart thingy. They took me to first aid place and let me lay down on a bed. Robert left his ride and stayed with me the whole time. He just kept hugging me and crying with me. Robert looked at one of the security gaurds and screamed "Call Jim!". (Jim's my dad). So, they called my dad and my dad came straight there. My dad started crying because he didn't like seeing me in all this pain. I was hysterical. I was mad at everyone. I was mad at God. I was mad at Matt. I was mad at myself. I just wanted to end it there. So, my dad put me in the car and took me to Greenleaf (a mental hospital in Valdosta) because I kept trying to jump out of the car on the interstate. I stayed in Greenleaf for 1 week and when I got out I was a little better, but I still wanted to end my life. I tried to commit suicide several times after that and ended up in Greenleaf 2 more times. I just didn't care anymore. Matt was my life. He was my brother and my best friend. I didn't know how to stick up for myself. It's been almost 2 years since he's been gone and I still miss him terribly. But I know that he is up in heaven watching me. I love you, Matty!

~*~*WeLcOmE tO mY wOrLd*~*~