Dear Anderson Cooper


“Forward is the direction of real life”

-Cheryl Strayed

Brave Enough

Thursday, May 19, 2016  6:40 am

Thousand Oaks, California

That Anderson Cooper.

No wonder he’s Anderson Cooper.

I may just write a swoony love letter and sign it “Love Forever, Pearl.”

Or put his picture in a silver (Tiffany) frame and gaze dreamily upon his square-jawed, polished and aristocratic handsomeness.

I wonder what The Dude would have to say about that?

Knowing The Dude, who tends to be a little on the Absent Minded Professor-ish side of life, it would probably take him a good two to three months to even notice. And when he did, I would not be one bit surprised if he joined me in my sophomoric sapioromance as one of the many things The Dude and I share is Smarts Appreciation.

And Anderson Cooper is one lit bulb.

This is not an unknown fact.

Not only is he a standout in his chosen profession of journalism, Anderson Cooper is also a best-selling author, actor and model who looks so good doing all of this he’s made not only national best-dressed lists, but international ones as well. And won nine Emmy awards. And was People Magazine’s 2005 Sexiest Man Alive.

Who’s your daddy NOW?

Anderson Cooper is also a kick-ass son. He just co-authored the New York Times nombre une best-seller  The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss  with his 91 year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Schwink bought me a copy last weekend in San Luis Obispo (knowing me for 100+17 years, she knew it was the quickest and most efficient way to get me out of Barnes and Noble. I can literally spend days without food, water or relieving myself when in a bookstore or a library. It’s called Dromedary Mode and I go there when I smell a lot of books. It’s instinctual. I can’t help it.) (More on this later. More on everything later.) (Promise). Anyways, it’s a lovely read-historical, touching, inspiring and funny. I’m nearly at the end so I am savoring each and every clearly and authentically heartfelt word shared between Anderson Cooper and his mother. And I’m so happy and I’m so glad, just as I was when I saw their simple, elegant and deeply moving documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid”, that both of these filthy rich and priviliged individuals didn’t miss the yacht on the mother-son relationship.

So to speak.

I’m being very serious here. Because money can’t buy everything. If it could, Mr. Anderson Cooper 360 and/or his mother, Ms. Gloria Vanderbilt, would have sent the butler out for an open, honest, close and loving relationship years ago. But they didn’t. They worked on it, together, over their lifetime as mother and son. And, before the opportunity passed to capture what only comes along only once for both of them, they did just that.

And…now I’ve got myself all choked up on Happy Tears.

In an earlier blog (Dia de los Muertos ) I wrote about a life-altering pearl of wisdom I received from Anderson Cooper. It had to do with sharks and how they have to keep swimming forward, filling their gills with water, in order to stay alive.

The pearl of the pearl being the word “forward”.

I got to share this newfound bit of wisdom with The Badass Bunny last night in a phone conversation we had. And, as a recovering wife and mother who is stringing together a strand of pearls of her own, there is nothing more wonderful, I got to learn, than sharing one with your daughter.

For such a long, long-ass time during The Fateful Eight (the years I spent struck and stuck by The Empty Nest Syndrome) I had no idea how to move forward. I moved around a lot. I just didn’t really go anywhere. I created a tremendous amount of chaos, havoc and mess. And basically stayed stuck. Which is a paradox, moving around and staying stuck, if ever there was one.

I’m not proud to say this and I’m really glad it’s over, but I’m pretty sure that I just spent eight years of my life being The Mother of All Paradoxes.

Yay. For. Me.

It wasn’t until I began to move forward, like my new friend the shark, that this life I have to make began to be made. That “The Fateful Eight” Volume ended, found its place in the Encyclopedia Britannica of my life and I began a new Volume, the one I’m now writing (literally, figuratively, metaphorically and in every other gee-dee way).

I’m very full of thankfulness this morning to be moving forward at last.

And to Anderson Cooper for his bit of shark wisdom, which has not only become a pearl on my strand, but has proven to become my very badly needed compass as well.

A strand of pearls and a compass that points in the direction of forward. Not a bad start in this life I have to make. Not a bad start at all.

For a girl who not so very long ago, who weighed 98 pounds and was mostly dead from sad.

So I guess it’s not really a love letter I’d write to Anderson Cooper, so much as it is a thank-you note.

But I’d still sign it “Love Forever, Pearl.”


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