Monthly Archives: September 2011

The strength of the Cooper family…

My family experienced a deep loss on September 12th, 2011. My Uncle Gary, my grandparents eldest child, passed away very unexpectedly. This was a test on our family, the first tragedy that we’ve had to deal with. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve experienced our share of downfalls-divorce, illness, financial setbacks, disappointments, broken hearts…but a loss like the death of a child &  a brother, this was a new level of pain. But, my family is strong, tough. God is good to my family.

Uncle Gary’s passing was heartbreaking, but he lived well…really well. He raised an amazing, loving family, who in turn, are raising his amazing, loving grandchildren. He loved well. He loved his wife, Linda, with all his heart & provided her true happiness & rock-solid strength. He was a trusted friend. He was my grandparents first-born, and with that role sealed a spot in their heart that could never be replaced. A best friend to his siblings & a link to their own personal histories. And as an uncle, well you don’t get any better than Uncle Gary.

I’m an optimist. Positivity is my element, so I choose to not reflect on the pain that will forever be present. Instead, I reflect on how proud I am to be a part of the Cooper family. My grandparents remain the epitome of hard-work, love, and faithfulness to God. They’ve prayed for their family throughout their whole lives, in times of trouble & rest. Our family is a testament to how good God is to those that remain in him.

Through this experience, I’ve realized what a privilege it was to be born into the Cooper family. To have a set of grandparents that have so much love for their family it bleeds from them. To have aunts & uncles that care, really care, about you.  They are mentors, teachers, advisors, & some of the biggest supporters. They cheer you on with encouragement during your struggles & are joyful in your victories. They have a way of talking to you, guiding you, that is different from your parents. And cousins…the best part of the family tree. Your second set of siblings. Cousins that you grow with, fight with, cry with, laugh with & play with. Cousins that are forgiving of your mistakes, make fun of you in the way that only “cousins” can, have an endless supply of childhood memories you can share, & a future so wide of time spent together. What a treasure they are! I’m so fortunate to be related to some of my closets friends.

My family has stuck together, pulled together, during this time of hurt & healing. I’m so proud…so incredibly proud…to be part of the Cooper family. God is good.







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Something for all my blogger friends



All bloggers need a laugh 🙂

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Lightning & Fred

I’ve been  sorting through old boxes of mine that my dad found in the attic of my parent’s house. Came across a children’s book that I wrote when I was 12 years old & in the 7th grade. It was dedicated to my cousins-Ashlee, Autumn, & Allie who had just moved to Florida & the story was about a dog and horse (not a big shock!). Pretty sure it could be nominated for a Newbury Children’s book award, has the potential to be made into a screenplay, & has the best illustrations that I’ve ever seen. 🙂

I can’t help that this makes me smile! Enjoy!

Lightning and Fred By Carey Henderson

Dedicated to my cousins Ashlee, Autumn, and Allie Cooper whom I love and miss very much

Once upon a time there lived a farmer and his wife. They had a horse Lightning and a dog named Fred.

One day Fred overheard Mr. Farmer talking to his wife. “I think it’s about (time) to sell Lightning” the man said. “Yes” said

the farmer’s wife. “That settles it I’ll put him in the paper tomorrow” the farmer said. Fred ran off to tell Lightning.

“Lightning, Lightning” Fred cried. “What is it Fred?” Lightning asked. “The farmer and his wife are going to sell you”

The next day a farmer and his daughter came to look at Lightning. “We will take him, well pick him up tomorrow”

Later that night Fred decided to take a walk in the woods. “How am I going to live without Lightning” Fred thought.

When Fred woke up the next morning Lightning was already gone. Fred didn’t eat or sleep for three days.

A couple of months later Fred had a new friend Porky. He’ll never forget Lightning but he still had memories. The End.

About the Author

Carey Henderson was born on August, 19 1980, she is 12 yrs old and attends school at Sailorway Middle School (or SMS). Carey enjoys horseback riding, babysitting, and acting. Carey loves animals especially horses. Carey wants to be a veterinarian or professional horse jumper when she grows up, she also wants to live in a old, old, house in California.



Filed under *SMILE*, All creatures great & small, Book Reports, Family, Memories

Smartest things heard in… August!

August proved to be an interesting month. Birthdays’, back to school & end of summer excitement, weird weather, all made for an interesting collection of monthly quotes.

8/1-“Live every week like it’s shark week.”-Tracy Morgan-…”We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours we join up with them in mutual weirdness & call it love.”-Dr. Seuss-

8/2-“Your relationship with your animal will be the most honest & pure relationship you’ll ever have. They’re incapable of deception.”-Big Cat sales rep (never caught his name)-…”Anger, bitterness, and hatred change who you are.”/You need to forgive the people who you need to be free of.”/”Every situation needs a hero.”-Dr. Phil-…”Judge the type of dog you need by what your needs are.”-Columbus police dept. K-9 officer

8/3“God’s justice is sweet; don’t fail to wait for it.”-Joyce Meyer-

8/4-“Use your experience as a teachable moment to prevent others from going down the same path.”-Dr. Phil-

8/5-“I think I’ll pray for him.”-John Hall, in response to him asking me if I voted for President Obama. When I said, “yes, but I’m not happy with the decisions he’s making.”

8/6-“A true friend will forgive you no matter what & love you no matter what.”-Sophia (Golden Girls)-…”You gotta wait until you’re sick of each other, than you’re ready for marriage.”-Sam (I think his name tag read, talking to one of his employees at Jiffy Lube when I was getting my oil changed)-…”I looked at the caged animals in the shelter, the cast offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love, hope, fear, dread, sadness and betrayal. I was angry. ‘God’, I said, ‘Why don’t you do something?’ and God replied, ‘I did. I created you.'”-my friend, Pamela’s Facebook status-…”What we need more of in this world is somebody to forgive us when we don’t need it, show us mercy when we need justice, to love us when we’ve betrayed.”-the girl in front of me at the gas station had this wrote on her notebook-

8/9-“Books, just like people, have a destiny. Some invite sorrow, others joy, some both”-Elie Wiesel-

8/11-“Having kids is the easiest job in the world, raising them well is the hardest.”-Some child advocate lawyer on the news-

8/12-“Sometimes when you make a sacrifice, you think you’re losing something when you’re really just passing it on.”-The five people you meet in heaven-…”It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”-Howard Ruff-

8/15-“Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty-they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.“-Leo tweets, very fitting for my Papa’s 80th birthday today-

8/16-“She made you decent & in return you made her happy.”-in a preview for a movie. Caught the quote, missed the movie title-…”I should’ve fought for you because you never give up on your soulmates.”-Movie, Crazy Stupid Love-

8/19-“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live it.”-Leo tweets-…”Everybody has the power to make a difference in their own life & in somebody else’s life.”-Oprah-…”Even if I never accomplish anything else in my life, I accomplished this.“-police officer’s sometimes say the best things!-…”Carey was talking from the day she started talking.”-Grandma Martinez-

8/20-“Do what makes you happy. Be with who makes you smile. Laugh as much as you breathe. Love as long as you live.”-DT&I-

8/21-“Hunting is not a sport, in a sport both sides know they’re in a game.”-Paul Rodriguez-

8/22-“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”-Leo Tweets (can you tell it’s one of my favorite twitter sites!)-

8/23-“How does one become a butterfly?’ she asked. ‘You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar'”-wrote in my nieces children’s book-

8/26-“We must often first let something go in order to get it back eventually.”-Oprah-

8/28-“I knew at once that you were meant for me. Deep in my soul I know that I’m your destiny.”-Mulan-

8/31-“Sometimes you must serve in order to lead.”-movie Troy-…”The voice of a woman saying ‘I do’ in her mother’s white wedding dress. Not white because of fashion, white because she earned it.”-The Cross Gardener by Jason F. Wright-

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Lessons on living, advice from a dog.

On Sunday, August 28th we lost a member of the Henderson family. My brothers’ Siberian Husky, Skyy, passed away very unexpectedly. One minute she was running around his house and then ten minutes later she was flying with the angels. Skyy was 8 years old, about 60 in “human” years (give or take a few years). Through the course of my life I’ve attended many funerals; relatives, friends, even strangers, but for some reason Skyy’s death affected me in a different way. I think because it happened so suddenly, literally in the blink of an eye. She wasn’t sick, she wasn’t in pain, she was enjoying life up to her very last second, her very last breath.

When Skyy passed away she took with her a lifetime of memories. Memories of the beginning of my brother & sister in law’s marriage, the start of their family, the ups & downs that they went through. She was a beautiful part of our whole family, every member has a special memory with her. She was so very loved & will be very missed.

This isn’t a tribute to a dog, although I’m a dog-lover & Skyy’s certainly deserving of the highest tribute. I truly believe that animals go to heaven & I know that one day I’ll be greeted at the pearly gates by my own childhood dog, Pappy, and others that I will love over the course of my life. Working in veterinary clinics I’ve been witness to dozens of euthanasia’s, held the hands, hugged, and wiped tears away from many pet owners that have made the tough decision to end the life of their beloved pet. I’ve listened to stories and been moved by how much love humans have in their hearts for the four-legged (or two-legged, winged, slithering, swimming etc) members of their family. You will never be able to convince me that God doesn’t have a special spot saved for them until they can one day be reunited with those that have loved them so dearly.

Dogs’ have so much to teach us, the last few days I’ve thought about what humans can learn from dogs. What we can learn by loving them and allowing them into our hearts to love us back. My Grandpa Henderson, for example, was a tough man to be around, he was at times a tough man to love. But he had a Dalmatian mix named Dottie, and that dog loved him and he her. He’s been gone for almost 5 years and my aunt now has Dottie. Dottie sleeps on the corner of the couch that my Grandpa favored, she lays there, for her that’s where the memory of my Grandpa is strongest. That’s love. One look into a dog’s eyes and you know they’re so much smarter than we could ever give them credit for.

Skyy’s life-lessons, advice for all humans

10. Be rebellious!–You know the rules, but sometimes they have to be broken. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be on the couch, but it helped me to see out the window. Sometimes you have to break the rules to see the “bigger” picture.

9. Run!–Every chance you get go for a nice long run. Stretch your legs. And if you can’t run, walk! Just get up and get moving.

8. If you get lost, turned around, or off-track STOP & wait! —you’re loved, you’ll be found.

7. Watch out for skunks!–They look like they’re fun to play with, but beware get to close & you’ll get sprayed. This could result in a cleaning up process that could take a long time.

6. Learn your place!–Dogs are pack animals, there’s a hierarchy for a reason. If you’re at the bottom, obey those ahead of you. They’re wiser & have earned the right to be listened to. If you’re at the top, be a wise leader, always be a servant and look out for the best interest of your pack.

5. Be gentle with kids!–Let them dress you up in princess tiara’s, lay on top of you and fall asleep, chase you around the yard with squirt guns. You may be annoyed, but they love it, it gives them positive memories. Kids grow up so fast & before long you’ll miss the days when they wanted to do that.

4. Love!–As a dog its pre-programmed that we’re man’s best friend. That means you absolutely, no strings attached, until the ends of the earth, love unconditionally. You greet everyone with kisses when they come home after a hard day, or after they walk outside to get the mail. You never leave their presence with them questioning your love for them. It’s that simple.

3. Smile, be happy, & show joy!–there’s so much to be happy about. The world is full of laughter, things that taste & smell great, fields to run in, faces to kiss, balls to chase…how can somebody not be happy everyday!

2. Forgive!–Human’s aren’t perfect. Sometimes they leave you outside in the rain, sometimes they forget to feed you, sometimes they yell at you when you don’t understand why. But you always forgive them, no matter what they ever do. You forgive them because you love them (see #4) and the two always go together.Then  forget the mistake & move on.

1. Be loyal!–Your #1 responsibility. You protect and never desert those in your heart. Listen & obey and  put your trust in others because they put their trust in you. Always remember, God gave us loyalty so that we can escort those we loved into heaven when their time has come. They’ll be nervous, they’ll need a guide. We posses the qualities that God wants humans to strive towards. Dog spelled backwards is God.

*R.I.P. Skyy Henderson. Enjoy running and chasing chickens in heaven until your called into duty again*


Filed under *SMILE*, All creatures great & small, Faith & God, Family, Memories