Years ago I cross paths with this bright eyed girl from Dorchester. She always stood out from the crowd because of her infectious smile, she was part of the younger crew but always took the time to ask how I was. Over the years I would see her at various spots and we would chat it up about typical twenty-something stuff – who was dating who – what music events were coming – ect. Like any Dot girl she seemed to have the pulse of the entire neighborhood.
One night all of this changed on a stroll through Victory Road park (or McMorrow for the translplants). My old friend stood there talking with her girlfriends as I walked up behind her. I belt out, “Hey stranger” she turned around and her face lit up with that familiar smile. I lean over, give her a big hug then we start chatting up like time had never passed. For some reason the convo felt different, she seemed happier than normal, and for good reason. She stops mid-sentence and asks “have I introduced you?” I know had a completely puzzled on my face at that point. She kneels down to the baby carriage I paid no attention to and picks up this little guy. “This is Cody” she said with a glow on her face. Of course I reply with typical Dot Rat response “WTF….you had a baby?” He was a handsome little guy and I couldn’t for the life of me tell you how old he was at that point but his eyes were wide open and I felt like I was staring at a mini version of my old friend. From that point forward Ann Flynn’s entire world was little Cody….
As time went on I would still see her occasionally and catch up. Cody was always at the forefront of conversation and all seemed good for Ann and her young boy. Life tends to make those occasions a bit scarce as we age and children always come first on the list of priorities. So when I lost touch for a couple of years I didn’t think much of it.
One evening, roughly two years back I found out just how precious those moments in life can be when I learned that Ann had passed. Like most young Dot Rats I have seen taken from us too early, I wasn’t too concerned with the details. All I sensed was loss….here was this great young lady that was woven in my experience…who if nothing more…just made me feel like someone was psyched to see me.
As these past two years passed by I always wondered about her boy. How was Cody doing?
As it turns out….a little neighborhood center that has blessed the lives of so many would play a role. Oddly enough it just happens to be across the field from where I first laid eyes on this kid. The Leahy Holloran Community Center was making sure Cody would be ok.
Cody – I doubt you would ever remember me – but I will tell you that Ann’s spirit lives in you and I know she is proud. Keep up the great work!