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She’s had this ongoing story of loss and recovery and resilience.” Near the end of the trial, Gloria’s mother had been outed for having a lesbian relationship, which essentially cost her a victory in the case.(This fact particularly fascinates Cooper, who was in his early 20s when he told his mother he’s gay but did not come out publicly until 2012.) Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, eventually won custody and raised Gloria through most of her adolescence.But what they had not done, Cooper began to realize, was talk to each other at length about the past, without restriction.
“Like the movie title says, I really didn’t want there to be anything left between us unsaid,” Cooper explained.
She was happy to let Carter and Anderson make trips with their father to his home state of Mississippi, where relatives were plenty and the family lore was all about someone else.
“There was so much that had happened to me,” Vanderbilt said about her past and why Anderson grew up knowing little of it.
Both have spent their lives imagining that their late fathers each left behind a letter, addressed only to them, explaining everything and reassuring them of a father’s love.
The letters never came, though Vanderbilt insists hers may yet miraculously arrive, after nearly a century of waiting.