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Christopher Mason


Liz Giordano






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Today….I hate to say this, but I have reached that age…the double “f” word age. F i F t y!  Ouch. 

I lived with Mom and Dad until I was 21 years old…So now I have lived over half my life out of their nest. As I sit here trying not to feel way too old, I am reflecting on just how much the time I spent in the Cook nest has affected me….or warped me. Just kidding. I have two boy-men of my own. Both are out of the house now and I have given up control…but now that I think about how much “control” my parents have over me still to this date, it makes me reconsider some things I thought I knew.

Jehovah is our father, right?  He has given us guide lines, principles and some very succinct commands about how he expects us to live our lives in order to benefit ourselves. When we ignore him, we suffer the consequences…and yet he takes no delight in our pain; rather, patiently forgives and gives us a hand to lift ourselves out of the muck we land in. As parents, we also want only the best for our children. We try to lead them, guide them, push them and sometimes pull them to do what is best for them and it is VERY frustrating when they do not listen….and we have just a few kids…imagine how Jehovah must feel.  When our children succeed, we stand and cheer. We stand by with proud, beaming smiles as they make wise decisions that enhance their lives and take a little credit for teaching them well. All is peachy keen with the world.  But when they make mistakes or get on a path that might lead to mistakes, small ones and some big ones; we are forced to watch them stumble and we gasp when they fall and get heartbroken when we see their pain. We blame ourselves and feel guilty, because surely we could have, should have, done something, anything, to prevent them from making bad decisions. We want to run in and save them, wipe away their tears and make it all better. Yet we are left with our hands tied, unable to fix what hurts and we hope and pray that they will be okay…and somehow, they usually weather the storm and are just fine.  They go through all this, living their lives as they will, not knowing or caring just how much their parents are affected by everything that happens to them. Everything! …the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think of this now, knowing that my parents have gone through this and continue to go through this, five-fold.  We, their children, have drug our parents through some pretty heavy drama over the years…and if it’s not enough that they worry about just us, we had to go and have kids, and some of our kids have kids. So now they worry about their own five, and then the grandkids and great-grandkids too. We must be killing them. They probably wish they could put us all in time capsules until Jehovah steps in an ends this insanity.

So I hereby, and very publicly apologize in behalf of myself and my siblings for all the trouble we have and continue to throw your way Mom and Dad.

Now on the bright side, and I personally know this to be true…my parents have done a darn good job weathering the storms and have even managed to provide us with some pretty stong anchors to get us through the ups and downs. There is a very strong core-a tough fiber that runs in the Cook clan. We have been genetically programmed to have a stubborn streak that keeps us on our feet. We also have the humor factor that keeps us laughing in the face of adversity. We have also been trained by our parents to know how to pick really good friends…and I boast with gratitude, that I have some of the best friends possible. We choose friends that bring out the best in us and incite us to be better people.  We chose you..the people who read this post…you are our friends, our support, our backbone and our joy. We are thankful for your love and your devotion…we value your friendship so much. Truly.

So I am now another day older and a teensy bit wiser and proud to still be under the control of those awfully mean (wink, wink) Cook parents who I love so dearly. So welcome year 50…keep them coming! Keep them coming for all of us….for an eternity.

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It has been almost a month now since Teri left Mom and Dads to go to some jobs she has scheduled. I spoke with Mom this afternoon and she reports that both she and Dad have been under-the-weather with colds this past week; however, I am happy to report that Dad is doing well otherwise. He is maintaining his weight and Mom says he is “looking good.” 

Good News.  Just what I wanted to hear…which leads me to remember that despite my whole-hearted belief that my parents are basically honest and truthful, recent experience has taught me that they do tend to tell us what they know we want to hear. Hmmm.  So just in case, Teri has put in place a foolproof system to make sure that we have the real skinny on Dad and Mom. She has enlisted several of their local friends to be our eyes and ears and get us accurate information. I know that Dad will probably grin when he reads this, because he knows it is true. When Teri was there, she caught Dad telling me on the phone that he felt great, when in fact his shoulder was killing him and he had a headache….he just laughed when she called him on it. I WANT TO KNOW:  How is it that we get it drilled into us throughout our whole life that there is no room for “little white lies”; that “a lie is a lie”, and “liars will definitely not inherit God’s Kingdom”; and now the rules have changed and it is okay to try and mislead your children so that they will not bug you too much? Really RAY COOK…I am shocked and dismayed at your misbehaving ways. Tsk tsk.

Mom and Dad were thrilled to have Pete and Donna Dover stop in for a visit recently. For living out in the boonies, they sure get their share of visitors. Donna was the one who introduced the truth to our family back in the late sixties in Riverside, California. Pete and Donna still live there after all these years. They have remained very dear to the family and we will always be thankful that they knocked on our door and had the patience to put up with us. What a grand gift they have delivered into our lives. The gift of knowledge. They taught us how to find truth and introduced us to the love that our Grand Creator, Jehovah, had for us even before we really even knew him. Mom and Dad thoroughly enjoyed their visit.

Whenever I have visited Mom and Dad, I am amazed how many people stop in and visit them. I really don’t think there is a day that goes by that they don’t get a call or a visit from their friends. That really is a testament to the kind of folks they are. Mom and Dad have always been very gregarious and their welcoming and hospitible spirit have never waned. I find this fact very comforting seeing as how I live so far away. It’s nice to know that they are so loved and cared for.

So the invitation to visit still stands. Head North on the 101 Highway and Ray and Carol Cook will be waiting with their door open wide and probably something yummy on the stove just for you. Really….I would not lie to you.

October 2008
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