Wednesday, May 28, 2008

my newest accessory

My posts these days are usually about logistics, and don't worry this one will be too, you'll just have to wait it out.
When something tragic happens, whether it be loss of a job, a pet, a loved one, we grieve. We go through the steps - maybe in order or maybe we jump around them. Boy, am I jumping these days.
I know we haven't lost Charlie - he is very much with us, so please do not think I feel that way. But when Charlie first got sick, I think that because of my own personal situation, I was one of the first to accept his diagnosis and outcome. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. As difficult as it has been to go from seeing a perfect smiling baby one day, to a deaf boy who works hard to swallow and regulate his temperature a few short months later, I accepted it. I tried to move on and help those around me to accept it too. But lately, I have been mad about it. Questioning the fairness of it. Trying to understand why it was necessary. Crying over the milestones he won't reach with my babies... For the record, I believe Charlie was always meant to get meningitis and be the sweet boy he is now with a brain injury. But lately I have been so wrapped up in myself and my feelings about it that I have had a hard time with the acceptance.

Enter my point: Opposition in all things. We have to have bad things happen to fully appreciate the good. And the good we have seen - we continue to see every day. From family, from friends, from perfect strangers. I don't know how Jimmy Wilson came to know of Charlie and to deeply affect some of us close to Charlie, but he did. We didn't know him until about a month ago. He wanted to be involved in the 5K race and decided to make the wristbands for Charlie as a little fundraiser. Rob and Angel got to meet their family at the race. Jimmy wrote an email to us the other day, and Jimmy, I hope you don't mind me sharing pieces of it. He mentioned that he wanted to help and after much prayer he decided the wristbands would be a way to help. He shared that he believed that there are some elect people who chose to have "challenges" on this earth to benefit others and help others in their progression. And I think he's on to something... I agree with him that Charlie is a "perfect spirit so strong that he must have been something before coming here".
For the record, I believe the Wilson's have helped in many ways beyond the bracelets. The bracelet for me has been a tangible reminder for me of my sweet nephew...of the good of others...that I need to get over myself and serve...to enjoy today...of the way my life has changed in the past 4 months. He made the bracelet's the same colors as the race shirts - silver and burgundy swirled - burgundy represents Charlie's original diagnosis of Meningitis, and the silver represents Charlie's brain injury as an outcome.
SO back to the logistics we are... People have been asking how they can go about donating to get a bracelet. We have about 100 in Large, Medium and small (kiddo) sizes, each in limited amounts. If you would like bracelets, email Charlie's new hotmail account (charliecooperchristensen@live.com) with the following information - Your name, bracelet size, and mailing address. We will mail them to you as close to the sizes you request as possible. You can donate to his paypal account or bank account - that information is on the side of the blog. Thank you to those who donate, and thank you again to the Wilson's for the gift you've given us and your sweet humility... and hopefully for not being too embarrassed or upset with me after this post.
-meghan - charlie's aunt

22 comments:

summergibbs said...

My name is Summer Gibbs and I live in Blackfoot, Idaho. I don't even know your family, but I found your blog through Alyvia's blog and now I have to read it everyday to see how Charlie is doing. I cry every time I read it. I cry for the good things and for the sad things. Charlie truly has an amazing spirit because he has touched my life through a computer screen. You can just tell that he radiates love and his story has inspired so many people. I have wanted to leave a comment on so many occasions, but it's kind of weird to leave a message from a total stranger. Anyway, I guess I just wanted you and your family to know that I will continue to pray for Charlie. He is a lucky little boy to be loved by so many people! Continue to stay strong....I know that the Lord is watching over you and He will continue to bless you.

Anonymous said...

Meg, I'm crying - your feelings mirror mine about our precious little boy! Thanks for sharing!
Mama

Kristin said...

That was a beautiful post Meghan. It's nice to hear the not-so-upbeat thoughts now and again. Those of us who have our own trials to mourn might feel less alone because of it.

Anonymous said...

Meghan, Thanks for sharing your feelings. I can't even imagine how hard this is for the entire family. Charlie has been a blessing to so many of us, and we appreciate you guys sharing his life story with everyone. My prayers are always with Charlie, his family, extended family, and loved ones. Charlie thanks for being such a special, little angel, and touching so many of us. We are so lucky to know you, even though it's through a computer screen. Love, Angie Danowski

Tammy said...

Meghan you are so right....it is so hard for people to understand what it is like for family. You grieve, not because they have passed on but because you have lost something. I remember when my son was diagnosed with Kidney failure and at the time he looked just fine, you could not tell that he had something wrong on the inside that was causing his body to not work. Then when we decided it was time to put in an NG tube because he wasn't eating like he was suppose to, that is when I had a hard time. Seeing that NG tube taped to his face proved to me that he was a sick boy and that there was nothing I could do to change that fact. Today he is now 3 1/2 and running around and things that I never thought he would be able to do. He is growing and developing, but he still has this underlying condition that could ultimately take his life.

I also think that there are some elect people who chose to have "challenges". I agree with you 100%. I don't think that we understand why and I don't think that we are suppose to know why. I think that the only person that truly knows is the Lord. That is why we need to be in constant communication with him. Why shouldn't we talk to the one person who knows every and how to take care of everything and ask him to help in since he knows what needs to be done.

I strongly believe that the kidney that my son received was decided on from the very beginning. I personally believe that it was all arranged before my son was even born. I feel like my son and his donor knew each other and that this act of love was preplanned. I look at everything that led up to my son's transplant and there is no way that it could not have been arranged before hand.

I am so glad that you posted this and shared your feelings. I think sometimes as we go through our trials we try to put on the happy face and we don't let others know the inner turmoil that we have inside. We all have it and it is nice to know that there are others out there who know what we are going through and to feel their strength and the love for us as we travel through the hard times along with the good times.

You guys are so strong and I know that over time you will become even stronger and will receive so many more blessings. Charlie is so blessed with the family that he has. He truly has a mom and a dad that love him so much. I also believe that Angel and Rob are chosen parents by the Lord. They were chosen to take care of one of his special children. It truly takes a special person to raise a child with special needs and Angel and Rob can do it and can handle it a lot better than some other people.

I know this has gotten long and I apologize, but remember that you are not alone and to rely on others who have experienced similar situations. I love this little family and check on you guys daily and I have a prayer in my heart for you all of the time. Hopefully, someday we will be able to reconnect again (let's just not make it at PCMC!) and get to know each other more.

Tammy

The Woolstenhulme Family said...

Megan,
I have to agree with you 100%. I truely believe that Charlie made the choice to have this challange to help others. I can not express the many different ways that he has affected my life as well as my families lives. I don't believe that I found him on accident. I know that everything that happens is supposed to happen for some reason or another. I also love the mysterious ways that the lord works and how he know just the right time for us to receive a little reminder of how we need to appreciate what we have. I can't express to you all enough the impact you ALL have on my life. You are amazing people. I didn't even know Charlie before but I still lay awake at night wondering why this had to happen to him and why such a perfect little boy is now deaf and having such a struggle.I feel your sorrow and pain. My thoughts and prayers are always with you and all of your family.
Love the Woolstenhulmes

Ginny said...

Absolutely beautiful, Meg. You really have hit it right on the head: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. It all has to go together for one or the other to be appreciated. I, too, now wear the bracelet and allow it to be a constant reminder of so many things. Thanks to Jimmy for his prayerful, thoughtful, selfless act. He, along with this amazing family, is also making such a widespread difference. I consider myself so blessed to be connected in the smallest way to all of you. Thanks, Meg, for putting into words what my tears and thoughts and prayers have been saying. And thanks to all of you for letting us be blessed by your amazing spirits!

Megan said...

Thanks for the wonderful post!! I do believe that Charlie chose this life and these trials. That just tells you what a strong, valiant spirit he has.

Charlie has blessed so many people's lives and he too will be greatly blessed.

We love you Charlie Cooper!!

Anonymous said...

Sweetest little boy,....oh, he has a mighty mission to complete here on earth, and HE WILL DO IT! He will succeed, and has changed peoples' lives for the better. We love you Charlie, and would love to have you represented on a wristband that we wear to remember you, your courageous battle, and your example to all of us. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yet again, Charlie and his family bless our lives! Thank you Meghan... thank you Charlie. You will never know how many hearts you touch or how much strength you give, but I hope that on the tough days it will help all of you to know that you DO bless us all!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job, Meg... missed you over the weekend. We got kind of sappy as we stood at each grave and remembered the good that each person has brought to our lives. What a wonderful Legacy Charlie has been given and what wonderful guardian angels you and all of your family has. Charlie has become the link that we have with our past, present and futures. I love that little boy for what he constantly reminds of.

Love you, JIll

linds said...

i am proud to wear a bracelet that not only represents charlie and his amazing spirit, but that reminds me daily to truly appreciate all the blessings i have and to focus on things that really matter. it reminds me to have an eternal perspective, always. thank you charlie!

Anonymous said...

Here I sit crying once again! Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts and feelings. I am sure your whole family shares your feeling of grief , but you also know what a blessing Charlie is to all of us! It is hard to imagine how one little boy that I have never mat has totally change my outlook. I treasure my Charlie bracelet. I have it by my bedside and I think of how blessed we are. I am reminded of your strength and the sweet spirit that Charlie possesses. I pray for Angel, Rob and Brit to have peace and strength. I know your family is strong and will do all you can to help Charlie and his family. I pray for all of you that are involved in Charlie's life that you will be able to strengthen each other and be blessed for your service. I am blessed to know a few of you and to be able to read the blog. I hope to be able to meet Charlie one day and just feel of his sweetness. Continue to share with us. We all gain strength from each other.

Roxey said...

Wow! I am speechless. Thank you for putting some beautiful words to this beautiful trial. You know I've learned and continue to learn so much from Charlie and especially Angel. I love the constant reminder the bracelet gives me. It reminds me that I, too can have my successes, however small, measured in 'Charlie Steps' each day. It reminds me what matters, and it reminds me to take a breath and relish in taking each precious day, one day at a time. I love you guys. Thank you

Jamie said...

This is such a beautiful and truthful entry. I have not had the opportunity to meet or to know this sweet boy in person, but for some reason he has found a place in my heart through what I have read on his blog. I too believe we "choose" our trials before we come to Earth. What a Awesome spirit this Charlie is. My daughter who is 3 has also found a connection to this little boy. There is something SO SPECIAL about him. I have learned never to take anything or anyone for granted. (this is not always an easy lesson to learn). We continue to keep this entire fam in our prayers:)

Anonymous said...

Meghan, it is so hard to grieve what might have been!! I know this is hard! As you post updates about Charlie who is so Handsome & Strong (both before and after), I can only imagine the wide range of experiences and emotions that all in your close circle family and friends have lived. I am a person who lives withand experiences a disability and I can tell you from experience that I would not exchange my life for another life that may have not included my disabilities. Honestly, the thought is tempting,but thenI always remember that I too have a purpose!! Your Charlie is amazing!! Expect great things fromhim. They May not occur in what is considered the normal way! Set in motion the things that will help him grow and much good will happen! Sometimes God's greatest miracles happen in things that we cannot see or understand. With love Shyla

Anonymous said...

Shyla, that was beautiful, and so true! Thank you.

Jada Rose said...

Meghan... Your awesome! That is a tough post, and you pulled it off with brilliantly as I would expect from a sibling of my Hero.

Neale said...

Hey Angel and Rob, I wanted to thank you all for the t-shirt. I was so bummed I worked that saturday, but from all us in NTU that morning we were thinking of you all!! Make sure to visit next time you are up here -- and make sure it's a day I work or you have to come back!!! Lots of Love, Neale

Charlie Cooper said...

Neale- We missed you at the race too but knew you were helping other kids. We will be coming to the hospital on Tues to meet with Terry at 10:30 and then another appointment with Dr. Jackson at 2:30. In between appointments we will be stopping by the NTU to see everybody. Charlie can't wait---Angel

Anonymous said...

Angel and Rob,
I'm not sure if you would even remember my family, but our son was in the Neuro Trama Unit at Primary Children's when you first brought your son in. My mother spent several nights on the couch in the picu with your parents. My mom and I have so often wondered how Charlie was doing, we failed to get your last names the last time we saw your parents. The day our son was released I came by the picu a couple of times to see if I could get one last update on Charlie before we returned home to Texas. I even called the picu waiting room to see if their were any family members of Charlie around once we returned home. I recently emailed Oprah telling her that I often wondered how you and your family were and I would give anything to know how Charlie was doing. I was hoping someone could help us find Charlie!! I then decided to search for you guys again tonight, searching for Charlie's blog. That is when I came across the story that was done in April on Charlie's blog, I was so thankful! I just phoned my mom to let her know that we have found you guys. I can still see the tears in your dad's eye when your mother was letting us know what was going on with Charlie. I remember him keeping a journal as well. We have prayed for you all for so long, it feels good to finally find Charlie's blog. Please know you have been in our prayers every since we learned of Charlie and you and your family will remain in our prayers daily. Stay strong and keep being the advocate that you are for your son, you are his voice!

Sincerely,

Haley Piatt

The Wilson 3 said...

Meghan-
Thanks for the kind words, you are a sweetheart.
I think you nailed some of my thoughts even better than what I could describe.
For whatever reason I was drawn to Charlie's sweet, perfect spirit and it has affected me permanently. I don't even have words to describe how. The closest way I can think of was a post by Rob after his gas station ordeal in Burley, Idaho, he said "You always hear the cliché don’t sweat the small stuff but for the first time in my meager existence I get it".
The Charlie Bands were a way to not only raise a few bucks to make Charlie a bit more comfortable, but for people to have a reminder of his sweet spirit each day and to not sweat the small stuff. I also saw many people leaving comments on the blog that wanted help but were unsure of what they could offer. I thought the Charlie Bands would give people that opportunity and direction.
I hope there tons of requests by those who want to help Charlie. I can get more ;) .

Finally, I should be the one giving thanks. First to Rob, Angel and Britton, for allowing all of us to share a small part of your lives. I can't imagine how uncomfortable that could be, but you can't imagine how many people you have affected. And thank you to your friends and family, those who I have met and those I have read about, you are awesome examples to me of the type of person I want to be.

Jimmy Wilson