Tuesday, February 21, 2017


I really like Facebook.  I mean, I REALLY like Facebook. I have a zillion friends (I actually have 652, but who's counting?).

Facebook has allowed me to keep up with family and close friends that live far away, to see their kids grow up through pictures, to keep abreast of big and little news, to rejoice and sorrow and pray with them, even though I am nowhere near, and may never even see them in the flesh again.

I like Facebook because it has allowed me to reconnect with people from my past, both distant and near. This includes people I met on the first day of kindergarten, as well as my former tenant.  I have learned so much about these folks that I may have known only superficially before, and have become close with a few. Facebook has fostered the growth of these relationships.

I like Facebook because I have met new people through it. Yes, I know that I haven't REALLY met them, at least not in the flesh, but I have met their ideas, thoughts, jokes, ideals, needs and photos of their life. People friend me and I friend them, mostly because we have something in common, be it our faith, our musical or artistic interests, or, a common friend.  I have met choir directors and singers, clergy, iconographers, knitters and spinners, chefs and down home cooks, gardeners, readers, Orthodox and non Orthodox, crafters of all sorts.  I have learned so much from these people, enough that my life has been enhanced.

I like Facebook because it has allowed me to meet and follow people that I admire for one reason or another; people with skills and gifts that I admire or aspire to.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


Facebook has a function where you see all your posts over the years for that day. Today, I was brought up short by the one I've quoted below. I'm saving it here, because as I read it, I understood how far I've come, and I think to be reminded of that from time to time. Putting it here will keep it safe for rereading when I think the sky is falling. I don't really want to repost this on Facebook, so here it will go. This post is from 2013:

Age I was given: Bev. Cooke gave me 35
I lived in: a fog, but otherwise, in San Jose, CA, around the corner from the Winchester Mystery House. I lived with my daughter and husband and our little lhasa apso named Harry, as well as my parents, Ed and Bea who came when the baby was born (of course), and stayed after the baptism (the happiest day of my entire life) for my mom to have very delicate open heart surgery which she nearly did not make it through. Once she was nearly recovered, the year of hell commenced. Thank God, and I really mean it, that my parents stayed and were there to help and support during that year.
I drove: a red Nissan Sentra, and Jerry drove a white Ford Escort
I worked at: maintaining equilibrium during this most difficult year in which I went from supreme joy at finally becoming a mother after 11 years of trying, to dazed fear of losing my daughter to cancer. In between, I attempted to maintain my medical transcription business which did survive - barely. I worked at becoming knowledgable about childhood cancers, nutritional support and being a strong advocate for my daughter's medical care. I worked extremely hard at forcing my insurance company to pay for my daughter's treatment which they tried to skip out of. And to think that some people say we have the best medical care in the world. Not.
I wanted to be: Living a different life. Anywhere other than where I was. I wanted to take my daughter and my dog and run away which I did do six years later, and learned that running away changes nothing but the scenery. But really, when I was 35, it was what I didn't want that stands out. I didn't want to be the one that everyone relied on - I wanted someone to rely on. I was exhausted from carrying the weight of our life. I didn't want to be the mother of a miraculous child who had cancer. I didn't want to watch my daughter change from a chubby, happy baby to a hairless, emaciated, solemn gnome. I wanted to be at rest and peaceful, but there was little of that to be found, except during liturgy, but I couldn't attend every week due to my daughter's health.
I feared: Breaking, and I came so close... My daughter's death - I used to have nightmares of her in her little wooden casket. Once in a while, I still do. I feared that everything I had built my life around - God - wasn't real. I feared that my husband and I would never recover our relationship after this, and we never did. I feared my own weakness and sinfulness, since I felt that every aspect of our family rested on me. I feared making a wrong decision. I feared that I would never be able to forgive the weakness of some people that I depended on during this time. I feared that life would never again be the same, and it wasn't. I feared that my faith and my love would not be enough, but I was wrong. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief was my prayer. Also, Isaiah 40:30. Mostly, I feared not surviving intact, no matter the outcome of that awful year of 35, when every aspect of my life blew up. But I did. I really did. And it was only through the grace of God.
And that is more than you EVER wanted to know about me, Bev!
"Like" this status and I will give you an age!

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Elizabeth Winkelmeyer Much, much love. ((((((((hugs))))))))
Don Fausett I am not asking for your age. I just liked reading this. I hope it was cathartic for you to write it.
Carol Wetmore It's a gift to have your insight. You survived!
John Plummer Thanks for sharing some of your story. Isn't it amazing to look back at life and everything which has brought us to this moment? Wishing you every blessing --
Rebecca Magaziner Matovic Thank you for sharing this, Denise. Words fail, but thank you.
J. Max Sullivan I love you, Denise. God bless you.
Karen Rubino Wow God bless you<3 span="">
Anna Bennett Thank you for sharing this!
Kathy Pieracci It is amazing when you think you are alone, He is always by your side....thank you for sharing
Shanna King Thank you for writing this... Hugs...
Denise M. Babineau Thank you everyone. I just want to say that my life is good, and even though I've hit bottom a couple of times in my life, and 35 was one of them, I think that it was necessary for me to understand what is important in life, to get my priorities strai...See More
Peter McGurrin I've come to realize I don't even know 'how' to put aside my own strength. When I do, it feels like someone other than me doing this...thanks Denise
Maha Adranly Love you Denise. I remember all of that!!