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How Ravens CB Chris Westry Finds Gratitude After Sadness – Reading Eagle

She arrived in his life like a guardian angel and left just as early. That was why it was so difficult. When Chris Westley stood up to speak in memory, he didn’t want to believe she was gone.

Kim Brody was supposed to meet him the day before. That was the plan. She left home in the Jacksonville area and headed to South Florida for the Ravens’ November 11th match against the Miami Dolphins. Westley was excited. His godfather had never been to one of his NFL games. He wanted to see her. He wanted to thank her. He never imagined that weekend would have to say goodbye.

“What hits you when someone dies is that they won’t come back,” Westley, a third-year cornerback, said in an interview on Friday. It’s been a week since he celebrated Brody’s life with friends and family in Jacksonville. Brody died on October 30 after suffering a major stroke. She was 48 years old.. The holiday is approaching now. This is probably the first time Westley hasn’t had her in an adult life.

“It meant a world where I could get out and really express how I felt about her relationship with us,” he said. “And I thought I was tough. Man, I thought I was tough. You are not tough until you come across something like this.”

Westley was 14 or so when he met Brody. At Oak Reef High, a school on the outskirts of Jacksonville where Westley starred in defensive back, she said she wasn’t the mother of the team because she “did everything.” Brody was a natural caretaker and an elementary school teacher who volunteered to handle the equipment of the Oakleaf football team.

In Westley, she could feel sadness. His father was absent for most of his life, but died when he was young. Westley’s family life was difficult. One day she invited him to dinner with his family.

“I don’t even know how I clicked, but I ended up clicking,” he said. “I don’t even know if it’s my mother’s intuition or something, but she just thought I was having a hard time. Personally, I was having a lot of trouble. I’m a single parent. I’m from a family. I feel like she just picked it up. She just offered help and I’m forever grateful to her. For everything she did for me , I could never repay her. “

“KB”, which Westley called her, has become a safety net, driver and provider. She took Westley to a local football camp, where he proved to be a Southeastern conference-level recruit. She put him home. She fed him and helped him get dressed.

Eventually, Brody became his godfather. “I rarely ask for help,” said the self-proclaimed introverted Westley. “And I thought I could trust her …. It was like I didn’t have to explain what was understood. In my relationship, I don’t get in the way to ask people for help. So you can say that from day one. And when I did, she went through. “

When Westley signed Kentucky and moved to Lexington, Brody continued to focus him on the road ahead. According to Westley, the most important was a small gesture. I met him often, 11 hours drive from Jacksonville, with a reminder to complete my homework before the midnight deadline.

“Nobody does it,” Westley said. “She did it for me.”

At the end of his college career, Westley found a new home in the NFL after 51 and 34 games began in the Wildcats. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys in 2019, he finished his rookie season in Dallas before playing two games in 2020.

Westley joined Ravens this offseason, Starring in a training camp We have created a list of 53 people for the opening season of the team. Although limited to three games so far due to a knee injury, Monday coach John Harbaugh called him a “great young man.” Westry’s skill set (fast 6ft 4frames) is unique to cornerbacks. Defense coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale joked “just got off the bus” earlier this season. Westley is “unbelievable.”

“A man so big, long and fast,” Martindale said. “I don’t know how I took him here, but God blesses me. [general manager] Erik [DeCosta] Do it. “

Westley last month was one of the sudden changes. He said Brody’s stroke last month was unexpected and he couldn’t visit her at the hospice facility. “That’s the most painful thing,” he said.

Westley in less than two weeks I was active for the first time in almost 2 months, Playing with Ravens’ prime time defeat to dolphins. On Sunday, he earned his first career start and won his career’s best 56 defensive snaps in the afternoons up and down against the Chicago Bears.

It is more difficult for Westley to separate her life from his life than ever before. His voice quivered from time to time as he explained what she meant to him.

“She meant the world to me,” he said. “She was curious near everything she could do to help me succeed. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have been in this position without her. There are so many things she couldn’t do for me … I’m grateful to her forever. “

Westley still scrolls through old text messages, staring at pictures on his cell phone, reminding him of not only his sadness but also others. Brody left behind his devoted husband, John, and his beloved family. Her other Godson is raising her family in Florida. Westley knows it will be a tough Thanksgiving for all of them.

He imagines what she says to comfort him, and it’s a message from heaven that mixes love and pragmatism: “Hey, it’s part of life. You have to continue. Wherever Westley’s life goes, he will leave space for her heritage and for her spirit. At the end of last week’s practice, he pointed to the necklace he was wearing. Hanging just above his heart was a small rocket. He said there was Brody’s ashes inside.

“I will never take this off,” he said. “That’s just-certainly it’s a KB.”

How Ravens CB Chris Westry Finds Gratitude After Sadness – Reading Eagle

Source link How Ravens CB Chris Westry Finds Gratitude After Sadness – Reading Eagle

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