Goodwin: To Mom and Dad, from Cody

BY CODY GOODWIN | MAY 12, 2015 5:00 AM

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Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m really glad you weren’t mad that day when my future changed. I’m really glad you smiled and said, “That’s great” when I told you the news. I’m really glad you allowed me to chase these silly dreams of mine.

Remember that day? Senior year. I came home from practice and was sitting in the kitchen. Mom, you asked if I had given any thought to the college decision. Dad had just walked through the door. Yes, I said. I had.

But before I told you, I had to ask: Would you be mad if … I wanted to go to Iowa?

It’s funny thinking back now, but in that moment, I was nervous. I told you in second grade I was going to Mizzou. That was the plan. The columns, the Shakespeare’s pizza, the friends — it was going to be perfect.

But life is so imperfect, which is part of what makes it so great. I’ll tell you what made me decide Iowa: It was that first visit I took up here in April of my junior year, with Dad.

Remember that Dad? I set foot on campus, looked at the Old Capitol, and felt at home. I toured Adler and the DI newsroom and was convinced I could grow and learn here. I went to Short’s, ate a Beaconsfield, and knew this was the place for me.

That visit gave me this feeling. It was a feeling of excitement and adventure and mystery. It was a feeling of joy and belonging and home. I felt it whenever I saw a Tigerhawk from then on.

Then it became real. I came here and wrote for The Daily Iowan. I watched Iowa wrestler Tony Ramos win an NCAA title. I sang karaoke with James, Jon, and Tyler on Thursday nights at Blue Moose. I watched Fran McCaffery turn around the Iowa basketball program.

I played Ultimate at Hubbard Park, spent a summer writing for the best newspaper in Maryland, and played Uno with Danny and Tessa on road trips. Kirk Ferentz shot back smart-ass comments sometimes when I asked him questions. Tom Brands appreciated my work. This, Mom and Dad — this was my home.

And now … well, now I must leave home. I graduate on Saturday. My time here is done. But before I go, before I leave and venture out into the real world, I just wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for listening when I called, complaining about whatever bugged me at the time. Thank you for the advice, for the help, for money. Thank you for reading my work, and telling me what was good and what wasn’t. Thank you for visiting me, for teaching me, for being there.

Thank you for these last four years. Thank you for allowing me to live this dream.

Most importantly, thank you for believing in me.

Without you guys, there is a real possibility I would’ve pulled out of this whole sportswriting gig and gone back to the business school. There were days when I wanted to wake up from this dream and reach for something more stable, but you wouldn’t allow it.

You guys see how much I love this dream, this sports writing. You both know how much it means to me, and you know how nervous I am about leaving here without a set plan. You told me numerous times to never let anyone or anything kill that dream, because the moment you think something’s impossible, it is.

There’s inspiration in that lesson I hope I’ve passed along to the people I’ve met these last four years. When they see that in me, they’re really seeing you guys, and everything you’ve instilled in me. When they thank me for that, they’re really thanking you two.

My future is relatively unknown, and while it seems scary, it’s OK. For 10 years, I had a plan. Then suddenly, it changed on an April afternoon. I was scared to admit it then, but whatever happens now, I know you two will support me, no matter what the next chapter holds.

That, Mom and Dad — that’s great.

Love, Cody

Cody wants to thank you, dear reader, for allowing him to share stories with you these past four years. He hopes you got as much joy out of reading them as he did putting them together. Keep in touch with Cody on Twitter @codygoodwin, or email him at codyjgoodwin@gmail.com.

Kelsey, Alec, and Erik, thanks for being the three best friends I'll always have. Grandpa, I miss you. Grandma Gail and Grandma Sarah, thanks for supporting and believing in me.

To everybody else — thanks for the memories. It has been an absolute blast.

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