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When He Reached Down His Hand For Me

Dear Cooper:

It is the wont of children to throw a wrench in the best laid plans. I had a whole series of blog posts planned out this month, highlights of Christmas ornaments that meant something to me, and you went and sent me this in the mail yesterday:

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A freaking Christmas ornament. Of your fingers.

Let me just go on the record and say it in front of the billions of people on the internet: you are the best guideson EVER. I am writing through tears, heedless of the fact that my plans were derailed.

One of the best things about kids is this: they teach us not to be so rigid, so uptight, so structured. Because, really, we don’t control a thing. From the moment you appeared, it was up to those of us who love you to figure out how to let you go. Every day is a little rip of the ties that hold you to us.

Here’s what I want you to know.

You go. Run. Experience life, wherever it takes you. Embrace that ribbon of the unknown, no matter where it goes. When life shows you its worst, I’ll be there. When you want to see its best, I hope I can give you a glimpse. Whatever happens, do not ever be afraid of living life.

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photo by Kristen Cronin

I love you, Cooper, and I can’t wait to see you in January. Thank you for another memory that will give me happy tears.


To read more letters to our guideson Cooper:

I Am Superman

He Eats His Hands

The Very Thought of You

This post is part of the series Roll Out the Holly, about the stories Christmas ornaments can conjure. Click here to read the series from the beginning.

And, in honor of your guide father’s Johnny Cash “God” fetish, I am deviating from the Christmas music theme today.

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. man I love me some Johnny Cash!

    December 21, 2012
    • MTM has a boxed set of Johnny Cash – Love God Murder. He likes the God one the best, though.

      December 21, 2012
      • Johnny Cash is the best. The Man Comes Around is one of my favorite CDs of all time.

        December 21, 2012
      • Well, you two should get together and listen to him. Save me.

        December 21, 2012
  2. you know I’m all tearful again

    December 21, 2012
    • But, it’s the good kind, Fiona. :)

      December 21, 2012
      • it is- it shows how you have the power!

        December 21, 2012
  3. Now that’s a decoration with personal meaning if ever there was one, Andra!

    December 21, 2012
    • I hope I don’t break it. I’ve broken so many ornaments this year.

      Very glad to see that I can reply to you today, Tom, and that the world did not end overnight.

      December 21, 2012
  4. Just wonderful, I love the pics that Kristen and Brian post.

    December 21, 2012
  5. mtm #

    Hey, where’s the Little Thumber, Boy? Pah-rump-pah-rump-pah

    December 21, 2012
  6. Ah. The Little Thumber Boy. Thanks, MTM. I needed a laugh because Andra’s words got me all ugly Mom crying this morning. Beautiful wishes for a beautiful boy, Cootchie Mama.

    December 21, 2012
    • When he tries to call Thomas on a banana, you will be the first to know.

      December 21, 2012
  7. So sweet.

    December 21, 2012
  8. Such a memorable ornament to now guide your Christmases, Andra, and sit in a prominent spot on your tree. What a darling little boy and guideson Cooper is.

    December 21, 2012
    • This is one of my recent favorite pictures of him, Penny.

      December 21, 2012
  9. You made my heart stutter. Palpable. Wrenching. Uplifting. Gosh dang it but there’s another word for what I’m feeling but (unlike you) I’m unable to grasp that word, embrace it, caress it and speak it. Payten. There’s my word. The way you feel about Cooper, is the way I feel about Payten. My heart aches for my own loss, but my heart also soars for the joy and love in your heart.

    December 21, 2012
    • I once told Kristen how grateful I was for the role she asked us to play in Cooper’s life. He can’t replace people we lose, but he did fill a Payten-ish void in my own heart.


      December 21, 2012
  10. As with others, I am tearful reading this loving tribute. You and MTM are setting good examples for us all about how to be good guides to the young people in our lives. Hugs to you both for a wonderful Christmas.

    December 21, 2012
  11. The beauty and preciousness of children has been on all of our minds this week with both the poignancy of hurting with those who have lost their precious little ones swinging all the way to the other extreme with those of us caught in the wonder of sharing the Christmas experience with giggly, excited children. I know how you melt with little Cooper and this ornament will always grace your heart with a special beauty. And I love the “guiding” element of how you feel about his place in your lives, too. Your tears are beautiful and the musical accompaniment is simply brilliant! :-)

    December 21, 2012
  12. Awwww. This whole series has made me go awwww.

    December 21, 2012
  13. Best type of Christmas ornament there is, Andra! I have so enjoyed your stories. Many of my ornaments have a story as well, which weaves a wonderful tapestry that is my tree. Merry Christmas to you and Michael!

    December 21, 2012
    • Merry Christmas to you, too, Liz. Hope to see you in the new year.

      December 21, 2012
  14. Lovely Cooper’s fingers. Lovely you to be the willow for him.

    December 22, 2012
  15. *sniffle* beautifully written, Andra. A treasure for Cooper when he is old enough to read and understand. And that picture…..

    December 22, 2012

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