“I may not walk the straight and the narrow, but I sure in hell try to cross it as often as I can!” -J. Golden Kimball
Dustin Cooper… now this man right here is one of my brothers, best friends, and my cause of and source of resolving most of the stupid crap I’ve gotten into whenever he was around. He has been the choice definition in what I think a real brother should be and I would have lost my life a few times if not for him. If it wasn’t for his and his wife’s graciousness, patience, and love I don’t think I would have ever embraced the Gospel; they are one of the biggest influences and causes of my conversion and I could never repay them ever. But more on that later.
I met Cooper back in 6th grade, right from the start we hated each other guts; we ended up fighting every single day of school for that year and every day we would get kicked out of class for it (a real blessing I can tell you that). After a while we warmed up to each other thanks to Mrs. Call being who she was. So we came up with a plan where we would stage our fights to get kicked out of class. And that is how we started our almost 20 year friendship.
We didn’t associate much in middle school mostly because we ran in two different circles both having friends neither one of us cared for. We did talk a little every once in a while and would dog each other but it but it wasn’t until late into High School that we would become tight.
So I can thank Jesse for this one as well, he had came over to my house one day with Cooper in tow in 11th or was it 12th grade? Anyways I remember when he walked through the door thinking “what the he– is going on here”. But to make a long story short we three became the three amigos and drove, partied, and did a variety of all sorts of stupid things. He really did come in as a best friend at the right time; I just had my heart broken by Rebecca Daughters and was stupid enough to let that effect my life in all too much in a negative way and had gotten on a way dark path to self destruction and confusion. If it wasn’t for him I would have honestly ended my own life by hook or by crook. Like I said I owe him a lot. Man do I have too many memories about him, lets see how many I can put on here off the top of my head.
After a while of constantly being at my house he got to a point with my parents that he had free rein of the house. He came and went as he pleased, he ate what he wanted when he wanted; heck he used to come over just to sleep (at those times it was after H.S. when Jesse and I lived together and we would blow “smoke” in his face, he always did end up waking up really hungry and giggly).
I remember one time he and I had a huge argument about where Syracuse was, I will now fully admit that I was wrong and he was right but back then and for years after I never would; but it was a great argument that ended up in a road trip all over that area that lead to finding his Mustang “Lilly”.
One time after partying hard all over I ended up jumping into the driver seat drove his Purple Barney Neon into a bush in front of his house while he was inside; it was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life. I still don’t live that one down.
I remember one year on Christmas eve I was so depressed that I didn’t want fight the fight anymore and I decided that I would drink a whole bottle of Korn Apple Liquor and a bottle of wine, by the time he found me I was so completely drunk, so completely broken down in tears, and over all a complete and sad mess. So what does he do? He grabs me, throws me in his dads truck, drives down to Roy Christian Church, Throws me out in the snow and a slush puddle (literally pushed me out of the truck as hard as he could), and told me: “pull your head out of your a–, get in that church and find God”. Well maybe it wasn’t that verbatim but that was the general theme, I think….
Speaking of depression, I don’t know how many times he came to succor to me when I was at my worst, how many days would he come over and forced me out of bed when I didn’t think I could? How many nights he forced me to a party and be social in order to help me feel better and to forget my troubles, even if it was just for a couple of hours? How many times did we just go do something random in order to not feel lonely?
I remember when he got married and when he was sealed, when he had all of his beautiful children. I remember when he settled in here in Roy to the home I am always welcomed to, the home I’ve helped repair and remodel and will miss when they move to Hooper.
To slightly backtrack speaking of marriage. I remember when he meet his wife Lu. I was instantly jealous because I knew right off the bat that she was the one for him and I hated her for it. I hated her because I was so lonely and depressed and with everyone getting married (A.J. and Jesse where already and freshly married) that I would be losing him soon too. I was such an a–hole to her. I would spend our time together spouting off all of my hate filled Anti-Mormon propaganda and being generally rude to her every chance I got. As a natural response and being the strong woman she is, she didn’t put up with it and because of that and my immaturity I almost lost Cooper as a friend; I am happy to say that she is now a friend and someone I consider a sister, and I am thankful to have her in my life. She’s had my back just as much as Cooper when she didn’t have to and she especially had a big part of one of my biggest and best decisions I’ve made in my life.
I remember when I was looking into the LDS church; again as before Cooper kicked me in the butt to go to church, but this time it was his Stake Conference. I was super uncomfortable because I was burned out from partying the night before, still had all of my piercings in, and wore all black, hey I at least had a Led Zeppelin tie on and a dress shirt. Because Cooper knows me too well, he ended up hustling me into my first missionary lesson with the Elders.
I will always be thankful to Lu and Cooper for totally opening their home (and fridge) for my conversion and the lessons that their love and kindness brought and I can NEVER repay them for that no matter what I do and how hard I try. They let me and the Elders have whatever we wanted to eat, Lu especially bent over backwards and rearranged her life around at times making it easy for the Elders and I to see each other for lessons. When I was baptized they paid for everything and held a BBQ for me in their back yard. I wouldn’t have wanted it anywhere else. I also remember shortly before I was baptized they took me to Temple Square so I could see the Joseph Smith movie and grab a bite to each; that day is still one of the best days I have ever had in my life. I’ve been there before but I had never seen it the way I did that day and they made it so much fun. My conversion is a special time in my life and many people had a hand in it, but I am so thankful that Lu and Cooper not only was apart of it but played such a big part.
I will always love them both more I could show or tell them. They are my family, they go beyond blood and always will no matter what. Even to this day they still go out of their way for me when they can which is hard when raising a family. I always fill like I don’t ever do enough and I know I’ve been insanely selfish in the past when I came to paying it back, I often wonder why they still want anything to do with me. But I am glad they do.
I have a lot of good people, best friends and brothers but Cooper’s been with me through thick and thin and I couldn’t be happier about that and that it had to start by beating the crap out of each other as kids for it to happen. I love you man!
|Back in High School 2000|
|Back when we worked at Convergys together|
|I don’t remember when this was|