Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Knock, Knock? Who's There?

Angel says I have to post this. I on the other hand have vacillated since Monday whether this blog should be privy to every happening in Char’s life or perhaps we exercise familial selfishness in certain instances and keep a few things to ourselves. Nevertheless, Ang has spoken and since I enjoy sharing her bed I will concede and share a few details from this experience.

Monday while sitting in the examination room of Charlie’s Pediatrician, Dr. Lam, I had the coolest Rob/Char experience since he began his new life. I was holding the little man in my lap having a conversation with him about how I couldn’t care less if Bronco is or isn’t recruiting players while on their missions, allegedly, and patting his rear trying to keep him in a good mood till Dr. Lam came in. For those of you who don’t see Charlie oft here’s a tich of background, when Charlie is in his normal zone he usually has his chin in his right shoulder and his eyes are glaring off to the upper right. Similar to the look you all gave your parents when they just told you that you couldn’t go to Lake Powell w/ the Chilton’s yet you knew you’d go anyway but you had to appear put out. Or if you can’t relate to that, perhaps the look you gave your mom when you got busted sneaking in at dawn after toilet papering a neighbors house for the 6th consecutive night knowing full well all apologies were in vain and you’d be out again the next eve to make it a full week of tomfoolery. And if you can’t relate to those examples or are still left wanting I can’t help you, just know that Char stare’s pointlessly to the upper right w/ one eye aggressively more so.

Enough of this unnecessary delineation, here is the point of this post. While I was looking at Charlie he looked back! Now this was a far different stare than many of you have witnessed where he might move his eyes in your direction for a second or two as you enter his visual field and then gaze off again. This look stuck and after about a half minute he tilted his head to the side just a touch similar to the way a dog does when your yelling at it and it thinks to itself, "Silly human, don’t you know I only speak dog?" It was like he was concentrating on me. I started smiling from ear to ear and then almost instantly he opened his mouth a little and the left corner turned up just a smidge all the while his eyes were focused and searching my whole face. This lasted only for a minute or two but I sucked in every second of it. Charlie was trying to smile at his old man and this was the first time since January 27th that I thought Charlie might still be in there. Know this, before Charlie got sick, smiles were not hard to solicit and I will happily blow air up my own skirt by saying that all he had to do was hear my voice and he’d immediately get a grin that would shame even the Cheshire Cat. Now some of you might be thinking to yourself, "Rob is just a desperate father grasping at straws." But, while I’m in the business of tooting one’s horn I’ll continue, it has been difficult on the highest levels imaginable to accept the reality of Charlie’s situation and with the help of a "swimsuit issue" hot wife, a Infectious Disease Doc who is honest almost to a fault and a Suidae loving Resident I feel as though we have come to grips with our boys woe rather famously. This event in the Dr.’s office was different. Granted it wasn’t a grin worthy of a glamour shot but it was a glimpse of consciousness. And wouldn’t it make sense that if Charlie’s dain bramage was significant enough that he no longer knows how hold up his own head or swallow saliva he’d also have to re-learn things as elementary as smiling? It was surreal but now more than ever I know Char is in there somewhere, and though he may come and go it gives me hope and if I remember right some crazy physicist who figured out what E equaled said, "learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." That’s what I’m trying to do as Charlie’s dad. Hunter’s mom and dad, Emily and Bryson made a comment about seeing progress in their little man, "Don't get discouraged. Sometimes Bry and I are the only ones who notice progress with Hunter." It’s a bit unnerving how true that is.

57 comments:

whitney said...

I don't even know what to write. I just wanted to let you know that I read this post, teared up, smiled and smiled and left this comment. Good work Coop, we smile and nod when your dad talks too.

Suz said...

I remember back several months when Rob called all the family to spread the word of Coops first cry. This news excites me as much as that first cry......and I know that the little man will be passing out wide mouth grins to all the fans in no time at all!!!
XOXO

Trish said...

Wow, what a wonderful pearl of fantastic news! I'm teary with the joy of our little Super Cooper popping back into our reality for a bit to say hello. I love this little man more than words can express and will be cheering him on for the rest of my days no matter what victories he faces!!!
John and I can't wait to see you all tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

I believe with all my heart that Charlie was smiling at you. Thank you for sharing this experience...I think it is a perfect example of the Lord's tender mercies. Love, the Paddock's in CA

Anonymous said...

Rob,
I know that Charlie is there also, as I was working with him on Wed. morn I was just talking as we worked out and towards the end I talked about Gammy and as I did Charlie turned his head toward me and I could swear that he knew and loved Gammy. As you said the look wasn't long but I know that it was there. I love that little man. Keep the faith Rob, it's all we have and the Lord will continue to bless you and your sweet family, especially Charlie.

Love your favorite Aunt

Anonymous said...

A long road is always filled with wondeful glimpses of scenery. Praying that you see more and more all the time.

Missouri

Anonymous said...

WOW ! WOW ! WOW ! I never heard about the vision tests, If Charlie could see or not? I have been wondering what an AWESOME experience. Seems like they do stuff like that to their DAD's first :) That's great! We learn things in life in Baby Steps. Great job little man. Keep up the good work. Smile at Mom and BIG Brother now. Awe I am so excited for you and your family. Did Mom at least get to see him do it? Hang in there you guys give all families such hope with our own trials in life.

Bountiful Family

summergibbs said...

I am so excited for Charlie! That is awesome news and I have faith that you will soon start to see more and more of your little guy the way he used to be. He is such a strong, sweet spirit and I know that our Heavenly Father has great things in store for him. We will continue praying for Char and his continued progress. You guys are the best parents in the world!

kimsuecamp said...

WOW, I am so happy. Every little accomplishment is so huge. Your post made me smile. Isn't it wonderful to learn to enjoy just the smallest things in life???
Keep up the great work and I know Charlie is going to surprise everyone. He has so many people on his side. Thanks for sharing with us all. Kim

Through the Looking Glass said...

It was really only a matter of time before Charlie busted out a grin at something his dad had to say...Magical; you are so deserving of this moment and I'm so happy for you both.

Derek & Kelli said...

That's great for Charlie!! His sweet smile would melt anyone's heart!!
The Rapp's

Anonymous said...

Rob... that is just so beautiful and amazing. Baby steps and all in due time.

Way to go Charlie.

Roxey said...

I completely ditto Whitney's comment; the tears and the response to Rob ;) I had quite the amazing dream about Char last night.....Love and prayers for you all!
Rox

Tammy said...

That is WONDERFUL! I don't think your grasping at straws at all. This is great and your description of it is wonderful. I am crying just reading it. Keep going Charlie!

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful!!! Go Charlie! Where's my Kleenex?

Jada Rose said...

I don't know what is more flabbergasting? This amazing event? Or that one of the finest writers I've ever known spends his working days on the railroad?

HUGE ROB AND ANGEL!!!!! H U G E!!!!

I think this warrants another Rib Dinner?

The Woolstenhulme Family said...

I too believe with all my heart that Charlie was smiling at you. I am however a little questionable about the subject of chatter.(I would have expected a smile at something centered around the U) J/K. I am so glad that you shared this amazing experience with us. Coops amazing smile is the first thing that stole my heart. You guys are AMAZING keep up the great work!!!
Love the Woolstenhulmes

Steph said...

Have you guys heard about Jill Bolte Taylor? (Quoting from a website) "Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor had a massive stroke and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness –- shut down one by one. She made a full recovery and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery"

Anyway, thinking about Charlie slowly coming out of himself reminds me a lot of her research. I totally and completely believe and have faith that this type of recovery IS possible! If you are interested in her research, here is a little snippet:

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229

She also gives a lot of insight into what it might be like to be the person stuck inside himself. She describes it as a very peaceful place to be.

Shannon&Eli said...

that is amazing, and although I have never met you or charlie I had a small inckeling that he was always in there...why else would he be holding on! He needs his parents as much as you need him! He is definately in there!!!

Jamie said...

That is so great! This is something worth 'blogging' about. It is a great 'Step!" Better yet, just one more "Charlie step" right?
Again, I know you don't know me, but I really admire your family and this lil dude! My family really likes to check up on him.
Of course, his smile is the cutest smile ever.

Anonymous said...

wow! way to go charlie :) just another famous charlie step...i'm sure there will be more and more to come. what a blessing for your sweet family :)

Matchbox Mom said...

This post should have had a warning...WARNING::Get tissues::ok, don't say we didn't tell you WARNING::
Such an amazing story! I, too believe with all my heart that he was smiling at you! What a sweetheart!

Ginny said...

Way to go, Char!!! Rob, thanks for sharing what is truly a personal experience. I know having your life a book (literally :-)) isn't easy, but those of us who get to read it sure appreciate it! How else would the majority of us learn to truly CHERISH things like baby smiles?? I've seen my fair share and it took Charlie to teach me to appreciate them. Keep it up!!!

Kami and Erik said...

Yeah Charlie Cooper! You don't know know me but I know you! I've been reading your posts since I found out about you. My name is kami and I live in AZ. I had viral meningitis when I was a year old and when I found out about you, I felt a little bit connected. Let me tell you, charlie, you are one amazing little guy and you have some amazing parents! I pray for you every day. Your story just made my day! Thank you!

The Wilson 3 said...

Way to go Charlie!
Totally made my day.

Kristin said...

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing. And can I just say, "I get it!" Though it was with my mom I know the difference between a conscious look and a not-so-conscious one. Enjoy it, celebrate it, and I'm glad you wrote it down... now it's in the memory book!

linds said...

thanks for sharing rob, i cried my way though the entire post. way to go charlie!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful news!!! I checked on the blog during my work day and burst into tears at my desk!!! My office mate thought I was crazy....until she read the blog then she too started crying. It is an amazing thing to know that your dear, sweet charlie is still in there, just waiting for the right moment to come out to play.

Congrats on the tender moment and thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing it with all of us in blogger land.

Your friends in Erie, PA

Anonymous said...

I am wearing my Charlie bracelet and crying! Thank you for sharing such a sweet and personal moment with us! I hope you know how much strength and joy you give to a lot of people when you post about Charlie. I feel so blessed to have held that sweet boy and to have felt his greatness! It is an experience I will never forget. He is making Charlie steps all of the time. What a joy for you to witness a major step! Keep up the great work. thank you for sharing with all of us.

pirate ride said...

We are so glad that you had that special moment! It's moments like that you cherish forever,and we can only imagine how special it was for you. It will be in our prayers that you have many, many, more!!

Love, Audra & Kirk

Anonymous said...

What great news! Angel, I happened to be staking out JFF's office today (imagine that) and came across this article in Neurology Today, and AAN publication I think. ANyway, found the link and thought you might be interested. It talks about brain plasticity and reorganization.
http://www.aan.com/elibrary/neurologytoday/?event=home.showArticle&id=ovid.com:/bib/ovftdb/00132985-200806050-00008

With love,

Kara

Megan said...

I am so happy right now!! I am so glad you got to see that sweet part of Charlie. That part that is in there waiting to come out.

Thank you so much for the updates. So, so many of us check this blog and laugh and cry and cheer along with you guys. I feel like, along with many others I'm sure, that Charlie is a part of my life.
I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't check this blog everyday!! (;

Anonymous said...

This is the highest most delightful point of my awful day and it makes the stuff I was stressing about seem very trivial.Thank you again Char, for keeping it real..Love JIll

Anonymous said...

I am overjoyed!! This is a true manifestation of "Charlie Steps"! Thank you for sharing. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Perfect!

B

Karen van said...

THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!!
This primary song has taken on new meaning for me.

If you chance to meet a frown
Do not let it stay
Quickly turn it upside down
And smile that frown away.

That was what little Charlie was thinking as he looked at his awesome dad and shared his smile.
A wonderful new milestone for sure.

Anonymous said...

great news!!!

Aimee and Hardy said...

Very cool news. You have no idea how much hope we get from watching you with Charlie. If Rob can figure out how to feed Charlie through a tube and survive all you've been through, Hardy and I just might manage it with our little guy as well. (We already knew Angel could step up to the plate no matter what :)

Allison said...

Wow! Way to go Charlie! You rock kid! Thank you for sharing this moment. We will continue to pray for your sweet baby boy. I am so happy I am crying! Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Of course he is in there! He's just "busy" with some other very important work right now :) I was SO happy to read this, keep fighting little man! He is one amazing little spirit here to teach us all.

Anonymous said...

There must be something really, really cool up and to the right, it seems like the popular spot. Most people think I am probably the most anti-social person around. Every night I get home from work, and get into the 3-4 hour routine at home, and dont leave the house. Meds, shower, clean button, breathing treatment, and then snuggle on the couch for a minimum of 1 1/2 hrs with Hunter. Unlike some guys, who need to read the paper, go play ball with friends or golf. I spend hours every night looking, for that one look back. It may not always come, But I am there just in case, and Hunter knows it. I have to admit I am selfish, that is the way I relax, but Hunter never falls asleep as deeply, anytime he misses that 9-10PM show with his dad, and occasionally the news, depending how much time Mom is demading from Dad. When we were told under the harsh white lights in the ER at Primary's, that Hunter would probably not live past 2, I developed a sense of urrgency to grab everything I could. I can say, this day, that I have. Sure there are always the thoughts, do I work too much, should we have more kids to take away time from him, is it ok to leave him with babysitters. All those questions still pop up in my head, but I can say, nothing comes between me and my snuggle time with my little man every night. Life is so simple sometimes, if we let it be.

Bryson

PS Hunter has some really cool toys if Charlie ever wants to come play. We live in Orem, my email is bryson@hunterdevelopment.net

Shani said...

Yahoo for Charlie!

Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer. ~Author Unknown

Anonymous said...

This made me think of another quote I really like:

Things of quality have no fear of time.

Anonymous said...

Great news Rob!! I once left you a blog post that said something like the greatest job you'll ever have is being Britty and Charlie 's dad.!!How True on that day and any other. Happy Fathers Day!!Shyla

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to start a Monday morning -- and while I feel you are all perfectly entitled to keep stuff to yourselves as a family, know that there are those of us out here who are THRILLED to hear anything you care to share. Love you, Charlie!

Likes Chocolate said...

After 45 comments, I do not even know if you will read this. However, never give up hope. I used to work for a family that was counceled to abort their baby because she was missing the bottom have of her brain. They were told that she might not even live after birth. They didn't listen to this advise. Then when she was born the doctors said she would be vegetable and never walk. She proved everyone wrong not only did she walk, but she learned to talk. So, never give up hope. I have heard of stories where the brain can sometimes heal itself. So who know? Maybe Charlie will prove all the doctors wrong and grow up to be something really amazing. One of my favorite quotos is miracles happen all around us, we just don't see them.

BaxterFamily said...

THAT ROCKS! I'm so happy!

Nicole said...

I don't even know how I stumbled onto you blog, but I'm glad I did. What a beautiful little boy you have. I guess I should say what beautiful boy's you have. What an amazing family you are, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet and tender experience he shared with his dad. Our prayers are for many more. Best wishes little man Charlie.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet and tender experience he shared with his dad. Our prayers are for many more. Best wishes little man Charlie.

loulou said...

Thanks for sharing that perfect moment! We still pray daily for that sweet little guy.

Megan said...

Hey, it's Alyvia's mom, Megan, again. I will be in Utah this weekend and still want to meet you guys...I left my phone number on Charlie's email. (I didn't really want to leave it on the public blog, haha!)
Anyways, hope we can meet up!! Let me know! (:

Allie said...

How wonderful!! Thank you for sharing this, Rob.

rakal said...

You can do it, Charlie!!!!
What a cute little light you are!
Shine Baby! Shine!

whitney said...

ok, update, even if it is that he cried in his sleep. you can come up with fancy words to say that Rob.

keysha said...

Friends referred me to your blog...They are huge Charlie Cooper fans! What a neat blog you have. I haven't had time to read through it yet, but just the pictures I scrolled through brought tears to my eyes and a smile too!

From a mother to a mother--you are amazing! What a sweet little boy you have. I will be back to visit often, and I keep your family in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

How tender...oh my goodness, you are a wonderful father, and you must never give up the hope that Char is "in there," and that he FEELS more than you may ever know. He has a little Spirit inside his body that I'm sure, is just waiting to jump out and smile for you and hug you and tell you that everything will be OK. Just hold on to that, hold on to your hope, and ONE day, that will happen. If not in this life, then in the next, and it will be a glorious day. Look for those little moments, cherish them and hold on to them, and one day before you know it, you will have your Charlie back. Oh, I know it will be so, and I cannot wait for the happiness you will encounter when that day comes. Until then, never lose faith and hope and cherish EACH day and each little progressive step...sounds like you already are doing that. You are wonderful parents, and I love and admire you both!