Tag Archive | Friendship

Yes, YOU!



Because you make me laugh, you make me think and smile and be a better me. You comfort me when I’m down, you lift me up and dry my tears. You celebrate my achievements, share my joys and all my triumphs.

You’ve given me a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and been my rock in sinking sand. You’ve never judged, you accept me for who I am. You make me brave and make me bold, you let me fall apart and help put me back together again.

You listen when I speak, you let me know you’re always there. You know my weaknesses and give me strength, you’re never jealous, never careless with my heart. You believe in me and help me to do the same. You walk beside me, you catch me when I fall.

You show me kindness, you show respect. You don’t pretend to be anyone else but you and I thank you, with all that’s in my heart . . . I thank you for being my friend.



One is silver and the other’s gold.


I’ve been a silent observer of life and its many fascinating facets since the moment I was given eyes to see. One of the most intriguing, and I must admit confusing, aspects of it all is friendship, at least for myself. I’ve come to the conclusion having a small, if not very small, close-knit group of like-minded, yet diverse friends is a satisfying and healthy alternative to the dramatic realm of all that comes with maintaining a rather large grouping of friends.

I’m not what you would call a social butterfly, I’m not even a social caterpillar. I’ll stay right here in my cozy little cocoon thank you. It’s not that I don’t desire friendship or that I shun it when it is offered, I simply don’t seem to fit into many of the molds people think friends should fit into. I don’t care to talk on the phone, I don’t care to go shopping and I don’t care to go out with anyone but my husband or an occasional date with one of my kids.

Many of the women I meet have younger children, my days of parks and play dates have passed. My children face challenges a lot of people either cannot or do not want to understand. Being an autism mother sets you apart from the crowd much of the time. I don’t mind, they say good friends are hard to find, and they are, especially when your life is filled with the trials and triumphs that come along with having special needs children.

Throughout my life I haven’t had many friends, just a select few, including my mother, the best friend I could have ever hoped for. The treasured few friends I have in this life are far in distance, but close in heart. I have mostly memories and mementos I treasure, remembrances of the friends I have been blessed with in this life. Truthfully, I’ve always kind liked it that way. I never thought I needed anything more.

I wasn’t looking when new friendship found its way to me, I was hesitant at first to open myself up to a group of new people, I will forever be thankful I did. Before I met them I used the internet for research, for fun and distraction, now, it is my lifeline to old friends and new.

Like I said, being a mother with special needs children makes for difficult connections sometimes. I found myself in an online group, an autism support group. I thought if anything, I could help others who were following the same path I had traveled since my children were born. I never expected to find support or encouragement for myself, I only wished to give it.

What I found was unexpected and amazing. They embraced me and drew me in, we became a family as we pointed and clicked our way forward. I will never have words enough to thank them for being there for me when I didn’t know I needed them to be. That was years ago, they are still there for me as I am for them. It’s a different kind of friendship, we don’t hang out or have weekend barbeques. We don’t power walk at the mall or go for coffee in the afternoons, but we are always a click away from each other. In recent months, I have found myself immersed with and surrounded by another bastion of new characters I think safe to call my friends.

For me, this beautiful, distant connection is perfect. I am not like most women. I do believe friendship is a wonderful thing, in moderation.

I am not one of those women who have a phone directory filled with names and numbers of people I like, don’t like, tolerate, get the good gossip from, always asking for favors or any of the other unknown reasons women flock together for. I’d blame it on my years of being a military wife, seeing people come and go in and out of our lives, but I know it has nothing to do with that. I was like this even as a small child. I wasn’t anti-social, I just preferred my books. I would rather sit down and write a story than go out and ride bikes on most days.

I’ve always held tight to my beliefs and stood strong on my convictions and that hasn’t changed, but it has changed the people who choose to stay in my life. I have high standards when it comes to the people I allow in. I’m not referring to social status, financial brackets, looks, background, race or religion. I am talking about character and I have found a lot of people just don’t have any.

I want friends who are not afraid to disagree with me and still stand beside me regardless of our differences. I want friends who will give as much as they receive and I want friends who will accept me for who I am just as I would accept them. I want real friendships, friends who do not pretend to be one person in front of me and then another in front of someone else.

It seems to me, through observation, people tend to change ever so slightly (some not so slightly) when in the company of varying friends. I find it odd to watch the dynamics which take place within large groups of friends. Too often I see underlying jealousy or subtle sabotage taking place. I see heartache and desperation when one is wronged and the others are left not knowing which side to cling to. It’s all a bit too much for me.

I do not easily open up and trust, when I do, it is wholeheartedly. I have been hurt because of this, but I have also been blessed with the purest of friendships because of it. I don’t know when or where my next friend will cross my path, I do not know if it will be a forever friendship or a wonderful passing gift. I am not in a hurry to welcome new people into my heart, but if someone comes along who can measure up to those who have come before her, I will with open arms. She will have big shoes to fill for they have been well-worn by angels.

Crystal R. Cook

.coms and avocados

My Favorite Sites and an Avocado


I was 27 the first time I used the internet, I was a stay at home mom with four young house trolls and a husband too often far from home in service of his country. I had a computer, I got my first one In 1993. It was a beast of a machine, a wonderful machine, really not much more than a glorified word processor, but it allowed me to print my words to more than scattered notebooks and scraps of paper, it didn’t stop the notebooks and scattered papers from piling up though, it never will.

Fast forward to 1997 and we were dialed in the World Wide Web of Wonder. I was in point and click .com nirvana. I searched out and soaked up so much knowledge. I emailed friends and family everyday, at least I attempted to. I found places to write, to mentor, and learn, I became part of the online community.

Internet friends started talking about Facebook, encouraging me to join. I didn’t. I wouldn’t. I checked it out, but my usual non-judgmental self became judgmental and I concluded this Facebook thing was for attention seeking, over sharing, drama addicts and bored housewives.

I figured it was probably much like MySpace, which I thought was simply dreadful. So, I refused to take part . . . but then . . . my family members joined the Book of Face and I realized it was actually a pretty cool way to have more of the interaction with them I so desperately desired. One day and I was hooked like a fish with a juicy worm on a hook.

I re-connected with old and dear friends I never thought I would see again, I made amazing new and fabulous friends, something I am generally incapable, or maybe just unwilling to do in the real world, and my life actually felt fuller. I kind of love Facebook.

Then there was this invite for a beta site called CafeMom. Pfft, dumb. I was bored though and the idea of being among the first to check out a new website and offer insights and suggestions sounded intriguing, so I joined. Life changed for me. It truly did. The life altering change happened when a stranger, a beautiful, fantastic, and wonderful stranger invited me to a group she was building there, an autism support group.

Historically, I have always steered clear of support groups, I never truly found much support within them. Something just felt right though. I have two boys on the spectrum and thought, if anything, I could offer support, advice, and encouragement to other moms blazing and tumbling along the same path. I never expected to be the recipient of any of those things, but I was.

The friendships I forged there transcended the group, they became more than my autism support group friends, they became my true, real, and lasting friends.

Then this thing called Pinterest popped up. Ha! Waste of time for sure! No way was I getting sucked in to that nonsense. I suppose you can guess what happened, the vacuum that is all things positively pinteresting sucked me right in. I can truly say I am addicted to Pinterest, to pinning and re-pinning. This may sound silly, but it’s therapeutic for me and quite calming. I kind of love Pinterest.

I write. A lot. When people would find out, they would always ask where my blog was, what blogging platform I used, and why the heck don’t you have a blog? You should totally start a blog.

Honestly, I used to think of blogging in much the same way I felt about avocados and I didn’t like avocados. I’d never actually tasted an avocado, but I knew I wouldn’t like them. In truth, I didn’t really know what a blog was. I had no idea most of my favorite places to visit online were, in fact, blogs.

One day, I accidentally ingested a bit of guacamole. Taste bud heaven opened up, I loved avocados. Loved them. I figured if I could love the vegetafruit called an avocado, maybe, maybe I was being wrongly stubborn about other things.

I started a blog. I love blogging. I love blogging and avocados and Facebook and an online support group and Pinterest. Love them.

I just know ya’ll were simply dying to know my history of all things internet, (you didn’t know you wanted to know, but you did and now you do). Then again, I may have just bored ya to tears, which was actually my inspiration for writing this all down, not to bore you to tears, but because I was bored.

I shouldn’t be bored because I have tons to do, other things I should be writing, and laundry and getting dressed, which is precisely why I am doing this instead. I don’t wanna do those other things . . .

Crystal R. Cook

Serendipitous Prestidigitonium!


In 1774 Horace Walpole coined a wonderful word, one of my favorites, and to best illustrate the intent of this new word, he wrote of a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, these three princes had a habit of “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

Serendipity, a fortunate happenstance, a pleasant, unexpected surprise. I love serendipity.

Serendipitous in an apt description for a relatively recent discovery of my own. I had the fortunate happenstance and I dare say sagacity, to point and click my way to a wonderful little corner of the cyber world called considerings.

The particular link which caught my fancy was titled, I’m not writing about not-writing, but I #AmWriting. Writing about writing, or not writing, but writing, is among my very most favorite things to write about, so I was compelled to see what bloggy bit of written wit was behind the title.

I was pleasantly surprised and definitely delighted as I read, it sounded like something I would have written myself, I loved it and said as much in the comment box. I decided to stalk follow the writer. She stalked followed me back, kismet.

This particular blogger, Miss Lizzi, is witty and real and funny and her writing reflects these things, I admire and appreciate that. She says what she feels as she feels it. I must say, it’s refreshing. You should follow her if you haven’t found her yet. There are so many cut and paste, formulaic and, I’ll just say it, fake, superficial, and all around abysmal writers/people, trying be something they simply aren’t, it’s disheartening. She is most certainly not among them.

By the way – If I blog-stalk you, you are not among them either, I love the blogs I follow . . .

Now, the ultimate purpose of this post is to thank my new-found Lizzi for making my heart smile, not just with her words, but for an unexpected, thoughtful and perfect gift.

For my silly comment she wanted to send me something, I said no, but the idea someone should go out of their way and make such an offer made me feel all tingly inside. As we continued to stalk talk, we came to realize we have more than a love for writing in common, and because she posted about her spiders I told her about mine, I had to then talk about my snake, Archimedes, which naturally ended in a discussion about Disney’s The Sword In the Stone. Natural for us at any rate apparently.

Being the charming weaver of words she is, she continued to urge me to accept the previous gift offer, and so strangely out of character for me, I consented.

imageFast forward to two days ago – I checked my mail and prestidigitonium! A package containing one of my very favorite Disney classics, The Sword In The Stone, was waiting for me. Is it weird that I actually got a little choked up? Well, I did. I felt a little mushy in the heart region.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me, yet twice this year I have been blessed to receive a thoughtful gift from a faraway friend I’ve not had the honor and ultimate privilege of standing face to face with, so I guess it does happen to me.

I haven’t the words to express just how it feels to be given the blessing of a friendship, a connection that bridges distance and social norms, whatever those are, and touches your heart.

I don’t quite now how best to say thank you Lizzi . . . are there any movies or books you’ve been longing for? For the moment, my words, my gratitude, and my friendship are yours. Thank you, so very much.

Social Anxiety or Self Defense Mechanism?

My Anxiety Is Not Disordered by Cynthia Kim 

The article above provides some thought provoking insights regarding social anxiety and those on the Autistic Spectrum . . .

I found I could relate well to her assessment of certain individuals with social difficulties. If you know me, you obviously know I have social peculiarities. I don’t often care to be around people, I prefer talking via typing rather than gabbing on the phone. I don’t mind going for coffee with a friend, but I don’t particularly care to go to their barbecues, the nights out on the town, the movies, or the mall with them. I don’t know if I necessarily have social anxiety or if I am simply teetering on the edge of some misanthropic cliff, deciding whether or not to jump.

imageI find spending time with others to be draining, emotionally taxing, and generally uncomfortable. Even with people I love dearly, I need breaks. Decompression. I often feel I should say to them, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

The difficulty comes in explaining why. I just do. I am not afraid of people, well, most of them. I simply do not care for the vast majority of them. I don’t understand them. I love to watch them, study them, dissect them in my mind. I liken my people watching to the desire to take apart a clock to see how it ticks.

Social pretenses are somewhat lost on me, expected norms of interaction don’t come naturally whether it is within a group dynamic or one-on-one, I often feel a certain discomfort. I like being alone, I relish my solitude, but I also enjoy the company of loved ones, I just can’t seem to enjoy it for extended periods of time.

I am not anti-social, selectively and cautiously social is a better descriptor. There was a time I suffered through it all, when my fight or flight triggers were tripped I ignored both options and forced myself to muddle through, seeking and finding release and relief was not something I allowed myself.

Now though, I say no when I know it will all be too much. I steal away and take a few minutes to regain my center when I find myself in a situation involving others, only returning when I know I am able. I feel a certain level of comfort simply knowing I can do so, sometimes just knowing I can is enough to keep my composure.

As this blog article says, it is a self-defense mechanism for some of us. It’s a way of maintaining balance to a fragile portion of who I am. I know what anxiety is, I have social obstacles certainly, they can lead to anxiety if I do not address them, but I think the anxiety is a consequence of the social quandaries I face, not a cause . . .

Crystal R. Cook

An award, a gift & my gratitude

I have a small confession to make. I started this blog anticipating utter failure. I was quite certain it would flounder and float aimlessly in the realm of blogdom until I simply gave up and deleted the whole thing.

I’m not entirely certain what makes a blog successful. I tried to research what to do and what not to do, everyone has an opinion and there are plenty of them to choose from. After reading advice from many bloggers I decided I would just forget it all and simply go with my own randomly unorganized way of doing things.

It suits me. I still have no idea what makes a blog a smashing success or if mine will ever be considered as such, but I no longer fear its inevitable demise. Well, perhaps a bit, but that too is in my nature.

Self doubt is a nasty intruder, it paid me a visit the other day and almost had me convinced I was wasting my time, I was ready to delete it all and go back to my journals, hiding my words from all eyes but my own.

God has a way of quelling my doubts in the most unexpected of ways.

I awoke to a sweet message from a fellow blogger, awrestlingwriter.  She nominated my blog for an award. I’ve seen them posted to various blogs I enjoy following and I must say, I secretly wanted one to decorate my page with.

One Lovely blog Award

I know the magic of these awards shared throughout the community of bloggers has worn off for some of the more seasoned among us, but as this is my first, I celebrate it. It renewed my resolve to continue, but my doubts still lingered, they never go away willingly.

Later in the day I arrived home to a package. It was from CafePress. It was addressed to me. Weird. I hadn’t ordered anything. I figured it was a mistake I would have to repackage and return.

It wasn’t.

It was a gift. A thoughtful, encouraging gift from a beautiful friend I’ve not yet had the privilege to meet face to face, she is as dear to me as any. I’ve felt her friendship and love from a distance and it’s real, a blessing in my life. Opening that box scared away the doubts still lingering within me.


I have so much to share, so many words longing for release, so far I’ve been clinging to the wall like I did when I first put on a pair of roller skates, maybe it’s time to let go. Baby steps . . .

Thank you my friends. Thank you.