Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Speechless

My name is Susan and I am emotional. I don’t want to be but I am a mess. You see, over the past few weeks I have witnessed the kindness and generosity of family, friends, and complete strangers that is (in the words of Charlie’s grandma Kathi) just beyond beyond.
When Rob and Ang asked me to work on the scheduling for Charlie’s Angels I was a bit skeptical. I had no doubt that I could create a lovely spreadsheet that would organize names and numbers but I was pretty unsure there would be names to fill the spaces. The proposed therapy for Charlie requires 114 man hours each week….EACH WEEK. We have an enormous family and Rob and Ang have tons of friends….but 114 hours?
Between those that are obligated by shared DNA, and those that are obligated by some unbelievable high school lore we covered a bit more than half of the shifts. Our (Char’s grandma’s and aunts/uncles) In-laws and neighbors, co-workers and friends signed up to help our grandson/nephew by filling even more. We even have a new blog friend (who has a full plate) that wants to help. Angel was thrilled and grateful and anxious to start a few hours each day and maybe, hopefully, eventually work up to the desired 5-6 hours each day.
When Angel said the ward was willing to help I didn’t expect much. See, Rob and Angel were building their house when Char got sick so the people in the ward didn’t really know them at all. They never watched Angel and Rob serve and love the youth (Ang was the YW pres and Rob was the most popular Course 17 teacher in the church) or saw Charlie smile with his whole face . They didn’t know what the therapy entailed or how disabled Charlie really is. Boy did I underestimate the members of the WB 5th Ward! Over 40 people of all ages have committed their time to help a complete stranger who drools A LOT. Speechless.
I ran across a talk on the blog of one of Charlie’s purest friends that was given by James E. Faust in 1984 titled “The Works of God”. I cried as I read it and realized that 108 people are performing “the works of God” with Char every week. Elder Faust said “The care of those who are diminished is a special service rendered to the Master himself, for “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these … , ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40.)
Over the past 1 year-9 months-and 6 days, I have been blessed to be a part of Char’s life. He is a tangible reminder to me of ‘the plan’ and how important families are. My children have learned compassion, kindness, and acceptance that will make them better human beings. Char soothes my soul, and when I am with him I KNOW he is going to be just fine. My faith and testimony of the Saviors love for each of us has increased, and I have seen kindness and charity I never imagined. I have seen Rob (kind of) and Angel accept their circumstances with humor and grace and hope. Elder Foust said “Those who are close to the handicapped can frequently feel the nobility of the spirits who are confined in differently shaped bodies or who have crippled minds.” He is right.
Charlie is making progress already. Last night he smiled and kind of coo’d while watching the flashing lights on Jared’s ambulance. Angel smiled too. THANK YOU for your sacrifice and service. THANK YOU for giving Rob and Angel hope. THANK YOU for giving our little man a chance. Exploring Char’s potential would never be possible without you.
Thank you!,
Susan-Charlie’s oldest (and wisest) auntie
Click HERE if you want to read more of the talk by Elder Faust....

16 comments:

linds said...

sitting at my desk at work, surrounded by 16-18 year old boys and crying my eyes out. great. it is such an awesome experiance it spend any amount of time with char. we love him and the lessons he is quietly teaching. it sucks when other peoples trials bring us such strength, but there are days when that is the only way i make it, knowing that there is a plan. char reminds me of that. he takes me out of my own head and puts it all into perspective again. thank you rob and ang for the oppertunity to serve. we need it, we look forward to it and love every second of it.

Trish and John said...

Wow...how awesome is everything in and about this post and more so, this amazing little guy. Char we love you so very much. I am blessed to get to be one of your aunties and Emma is so lucky to have you for her closest-in-age cousin! Love you all!

Kelly said...

How amazing is this! I looked at all of the photos and I am just in AWE. I didn't realize that so many people would be so PRESENT in the time frames. I don't mean just being a body in the room, but actually participating and Loving every minute of it. I wish that Texas was closer to Utah so that I could be there to help this beautiful soul recuperate and regenerate. I'm sure my thoughts and prayers for this darling boy are reaching those who are his caregivers as well. I have faith that they do.

Suz - you are an amazing woman for taking on the scheduling. Little Charlie Cooper is lucky to have you! His mommy & daddy too!

Angela said...

wow that was a wonderful talk thankyou for sharing. My son had a brain tumor and lots of surgeries and I really enjoyed this talk..

Jolene said...

You know what I noticed, everyone is smiling, and not for the camera. Char makes you happy. I leave Charlie and I feel as if I've had a spiritual experience, well, because quite frankly, I have. Being with Charlie is a blessing in my life. Thank you for sharing this angel with me.

Suz said...

Jo-I noticed that too. I am sure Rob will try to tell us that his wit and charm were entertaining but we know better don't we!

Erin said...

I wish I had the gift of writing that so many of my siblings have... but I don't so bear with me. I have just come home from my Charlie time and I too am emotional! I used to chuckle when my mom said that Charlie soothed her soul but there is no other words to explain it. He is truly an angel... my sweet Charlie is a choosen spirit who was sent here to work miracles. I too am amazed at the outpouring of service being provided by so many. It may be therapy for Charlie but it is mine as well. Words can not say what i am feeling right now... I am humbled and beyond blessed to be sweet Charlie's aunt. Love you... Thank you!

TravandNat said...

Thank you, Charlie!! You have given me so many reasons to count my blessings, and recognize the Lord's hand in our lives. I love you, and the time that I get to spend with you!!!

Anonymous said...

So now I am an emotional mess!!! I just spent time with Charlie this morning. I was tired and a little grumpy, but the minute I walked i sweet Charlie smiled his big smile and my heart melted! I LOVE the two hours a week I get to spend with Char. He does soothe my soul and I always come away with a peaceful and spiritual feeling. It is difficult to express the sweet and vibrant spirit that I feel in that home. Anyone who works with Charlie says the same thing. Charlie is working miracle for me and I know there are miracles ahead for him.
Thank you for allowing me to be with Charlie and those friends who I work with. My life is greatly blessed. Yes, Jolene, we are all smiling because of the way Charlie makes us feel!
Connie

Anonymous said...

Missouri is still keeping up with Charlie and praying for him and all his angels. Keep up the great work, and the smiles on your faces.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting an update on how things are going with sweet little Charlie. I have been wondering! If I was closer I would have loved to help out with Charlie's therapy. I also noticed how everyone is smiling and I loved that so many young people are there helping! Everyone seems to be so fulfilled with love in all the pictures.

You still have friends in Erie, PA praying for you and for dear little Charlie. I love that his smile is back!

Ginny said...

not even rob on his best day could elicit such genuine smiles! my time with char fills my soul and makes me a better person for it. funny how on the surface it appears char and ang and rob are receiving service when, in fact, they are giving it. 114 hours a week.

Harris Family said...

Wow! Loved the photos! I am so... excited to be a part of the team. He is one sweet boy! Char you Rock and make my heart smile. I will see ya tonight!

Love,

Tamara and Family

Grandma Cheryl said...

I've had a crummy cold so missed being with Charlie last week. I'm looking forward to this new week so I can feel of his strength and spirit again.
I'm so grateful for and impressed by the multitudes of busy people who give of their time to help my precious grandson reach his potential. May you all be richly blessed for your unselfish service to this little boy and his family. Thank You!

Jay said...

Impresive Susan is emotional!

Chelsea said...

I don't cry hardly ever nor do I like to cry...but, I'm crying now. I love Angel more than words and I wish I were there. Thank you to everyone...every stranger and every loved one. Love you Charlie.