Tomorrow I will post Chapter 2 of Michael Cornell’s novel, Star Wishes.

Today, I want to remember my brother Michael. I am the 2nd of 13 children. Michael is child number 9, boy number 7 of 10. Yes, I have 10 brothers.


Michael McKenzie Dodd

27 August 1983 – 4 February 2003

Michael as a little boy
Michael as a little boy

It’s hard to believe six years ago today, I received a phone call telling me that Heavenly Father had called you home.

Michael, I miss you. You were such a sweet little boy, and a fun loving teenager. I can’t think of anyone who got me laughing like you did. Okay, maybe John.

Remember when I lay on the couch at Mom and Dad’s, seven months pregnant with Craig, and I asked you to play with my hair. Something you always did for a candy bar or a quarter before I moved away. And that day, you started rubbing my legs, asking if you wanted it braided. I still laugh about that. You try shaving your legs that huge, when you can’t even tie your shoes. Heck, I couldn’t even see my feet unless I was lying down.

I have such fond memories of you, granted, not the delusional ones that Mom’s got, I don’t recall you ever being the peacemaker, and you were far from perfect, but you made me smile. Hearing your voice when I’d call home made me smile.

Do you realize how loved you are? Over a thousand people attended your funeral. It had to be broadcasted into the RS room because there wasn’t enough room in the chapel and gym. Coach Jeff Traylor spoke about your dedication to football, your loyalty to your friends and family, and the faith you showed. The 4 F’s, he’d called it. Football, Faith, Family, and Friends.

Few tears were shed, for we truly celebrated your life. Our love. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we did cry, but tears were quickly interrupted by fits of laughter, especially when Jacob stood and told Uncle Lloyd that he thought you’d want him to get something off your chest. J The snickers, mostly from your siblings, were loud.

I have to admit, you were a creative liar. Although Uncle Lloyd knew his bicycle hadn’t been destroyed because it was, what, nearly hit by a car. Was that the story you’d told. How many people can fit on a one person bike? At least three.

Seems you and Jeremy got tired of running and convinced Jacob-who had borrowed the bike since he’d had foot surgery not too long before and couldn’t run-to let all of you ride. Three large teenage boys on a bike must’ve looked like a scene from The Cat in the Hat.

Short of it, bike broke in half and Jacob, who’d been sitting on the seat, rode you down the road. Jeremy, who’d been on the handle bars ended up quite a few feet away. And since you weren’t wearing a shirt, you looked the worst for wear. So y’all lied and said you’d been riding the bike when someone came around the corner real fast and as you were getting out of the way, the bike broke.

Well, Jacob told Uncle Lloyd the truth for you, and he and Jeremy still owe him like $800.00.

Writing you this, I’m smiling with tears in my eyes. I really do miss you. I haven’t been home to Texas since your funeral, and we decided Jacob getting married in May is the perfect reason to return.

I hope to see your grave, go see our million dollar football facility, where Coach Traylor has a framed letter you wrote to Jacob and Daniel after your senior year, expressing your love of football. Go Buckeyes!

I know you’ll be there in spirit, because I can feel you right now.

Maybe I can swing by and give Jared a hug. Remind him that the Lord knows what He’s doing and that you were supposed to go home then. Thank him for being with you when you died. For letting us know that your last thoughts were for your family, and that you knew that it was time, and that you were okay with it.

These six years have been hard on Jared and his wife. I fear he blames himself for your death, and I pray all the time that he will someday understand, as we all do, that you are where you are supposed to be. Doing the work of Angels.

Nineteen is very young to leave this mortal life, but you lived those nineteen years with style. You always had love in your heart, okay, unless you were in a fight, but even then, I think you loved the fight. You were loved by many while you were with us, and that love has not died. Love transcends time and space.

Michael, I love you.

Till we meet again.

Your sister,


Michael winning the race
Michael winning the race
Michael dressed for prom
Michael dressed for prom
Michael with a missionary I don't know
Michael with a missionary I don't know

Here is the letter Michael wrote to Jacob and Daniel, two younger brothers, before a playoff game for Texas Football.

Letter from Michael to Jacob and Daniel 2002
Letter from Michael to Jacob and Daniel 2002

I love you Michael. We all do. And miss you. Thanks for bringing so much joy to our lives.