Not only was he the “world’s cutest nephew,” this little boy with the big brown eyes was the “world’s greatest grandchild,” “Mommy’s little man” and the first for everything in the Wilson family. For me, CJ’s was the first diaper I changed, the first spit up I experienced and my first country music buddy.
I wasn’t “Nancy” to him, but “Ditsy.”
When we shopped at “Mower” (Meijer) during his “Toy Story” phase he would plead with me to take him to the toys because he needed a Woody toy “real bad.”
CJ was (and still is) a big Tim McGraw fan. Around the age of 5, his favorite song was “I Like It, I Love It.” He played it over and over and over and over as he screamed, “yee haw cowboy hat!” He was very excited when I took him to Tim’s show at the Nutter Center, until we went backstage. Then he shut down. Tim tried to talk with him, but CJ just stared at him. Of course, when we were leaving, he couldn’t stop talking about his “buddy Tim.”
CJ was the “ring bearier” at my wedding. When I explained the concept of “something old, something new” to him and that I didn’t have anything borrowed yet, he gave me his beloved Woody toy. I carried it in my bouquet.
Over the years, CJ literally became big brother to three others: Derrick, Matt and Andy. He also became 6-foot-6-inches tall. The Wilson family thought he would be the next Larry Bird. That was not to be, as CJ took a different direction in his life, attending Clark State Community College, where he met Emily.
Those two couldn’t be more different physically, but they are a perfect match where it counts the most. They dated several years before welcoming baby Payton William in June. His blond hair and blue eyes are like his mother’s, but he takes after CJ when it comes to length. At six months old, he’s wearing clothes meant for babies twice his age.
On Saturday, CJ and Emily took a walk down the aisle, surrounded by family and friends. CJ’s beloved Grandma wasn’t there physically. She left us too soon three years ago, but my Dad clutched her picture as the couple exchanged vows and poured three vials of sand into one container — a family.
At their reception, their first dance was to George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart.” And when CJ twirled his mother, my sister, around the floor to Garth Brooks’ new song “Mom” — there wasn’t a dry eye in the hall.
My first little nephew is no longer a boy, but a man — a husband and a father. It was hard to let him go, but I’m proud of all he has done and will do. Your Aunt Ditsy loves you, CJ.