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Saying Happy Birthday to an Online Friend



This hub is dedicated to a very special friend on her birthday (today) -


People – humans – need friends; they don’t need enemies. This is an indisputable fact. The challenge is to establish meaningful friendships.

Some profound quotes :

  • A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself. - Jim Morrison
  • A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same. - Elbert Hubbard
  • One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity. - Robert Hall
  • “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. - George Washington

Life Balance Diagram

Stuart Miles @

Stuart Miles @

Stuart Miles @

Stuart Miles @

Question: Do you set a high value on online friends?

My answer:

  • Perhaps because I am a writer, preferring the written word above the spoken word,
  • perhaps because I am more able to express my thoughts and ideas in writing,
  • perhaps because my daily schedule is overloaded with responsibilities and activities of al sorts, leaving me with no decent hours left to socialize with friends,
  • perhaps because I am too lazy to keep myself respectable and receptive for face-to-face interactions,
  • perhaps because most people are too busy taking care of their responsibilities to spend quality time with friends,
  • perhaps because TIME is truly relative in cyberspace - The moment I write a message to a friend, becomes the moment they read my message. The next moment they reply, becomes the moment I read their reply. As if the time in between is non-existing.

I prefer online friendships.

Question: Tell me about your online friendship(s)

My Answer:

According to this quote:

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. - George Washington

I have many online friends, but only a few, and especially one, intimate friendships....

Question: Who is this specific person with whom you are intimate online - or shall I rather ask with whom you share all your personal thoughts?

My Answer:

You should know the precession of our friendship:

When I entered cyberspace for the first time in the beginning of 2010, I - who tend to trust every Dick, Tom, Harry, Joan, Jenny and Ann - immediately became the victim of a con-artist - and let me rather not spoil this special interview with any detail about that particular punk. Fact is I have survived and I have promised myself never to allow any e-mail messages from strangers again, but only interaction on public sites where con-artists and bullies can be identified and eliminated before they get a chance to invade my personal space.

But practising courteousness and discreteness online and not being able to share my personal thoughts with fellow-writers, I felt alone and insecure. I realized that I needed the true opinions of friends – opinions they will never give "in public".

Stuart Miles @

Stuart Miles @

On 8/7/11,

upset because I have lost my temper online for all to "see", I received a message in my inbox:

Hi Martie,

I've been thinking about you and wanted you to know I am always here if I can help with anything. I think we have much in common. I think we are both amazingly resilient as survivors of our own stuff.

All my love & always here for you,

Maria (marcoujor aka Maria Couchara Jordan)

Scroll to Continue

My reply:

Hi Maria

So nice of you to reach out to me like this. Most of us writers have much in common – sensitive souls, inquisitive minds, emphatic hearts, memories of too many traumas...

I am sorry for the ripples I have made in there, but I know I am not unrealistic and not irrational. I know I blew that gasket on behalf of many others.

I appreciate your concern.

Take care, and thanks again for your kindness.


And so Maria Jordan aka marcoujor became my best friend – my online sista. She lives thousands of miles away from me; I will never get the opportunity to hug her. Yet she lives in my computer and boots and all inside my mind and heart.

With Maria in my life I am able to believe in my own convictions. With her in my life I cannot develop crooked perceptions and perspectives, because her opinions keep mine in balance.

Maria Jordan aka Marcoujor

Source: Maria Jordan

Source: Maria Jordan

Maria Jordan aka marcoujor


Today – 27 November - is Maria’s birthday.

My dearest Maria, may you have a wonderful day and only the best of peace, happiness and good health onwards.

My gift to you is 7 Abhanga poems on a staff.

Abhanga Poems

Abhang or abhanga (Marathi: अभंग) is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu god Vitthala. The word "abhang" comes from -

  • a for "non"
  • bhang for "ending" or "interrupting"

Abhang: No Ending.... No Interrupting....


A staff

A staff (or stave) is the system of five horizontal lines on which musical notes are written.

In traditional music theory within the English-speaking world, pitch classes (notes) are represented by the first seven letters of the Latin alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, F, G).


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +


© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser +

© Martie Coetser



Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on May 24, 2015:

Hi Nadine, the 18th is also my mother's birthday. I am glad I accidentally saw your post on FB, as I haven't received a notification of your birthday. I think you didn't put the date in your settings. Oh, in spite of the fact that birthdays only emphasize the fact that we are growing older and closer to our dying day, it is still a special day. I will most certainly meet you whenever I go down to Cape Town again :)

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on May 24, 2015:

Martie I loved reading your post. What a loving tribute to your online friend as well. Also...many thanks for your birthday wishes for the 18th of this month. Glad to have you as an online friend, but one day I'm sure we will meet.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on July 12, 2014:

Hi, my dearest Vicki. Oh, I miss my online friends. Reality is busy to absorb me, and then also more than one new writing project in the pipe line. But I miss the fun we had a while ago. We'll have to do something.... Virtual outings... break aways..... Like the real ones Mar and Gail are enjoying these days.... Let's party!

Vickiw on July 11, 2014:

Another Sista - how can I just sit by while you all have fun and frolics here? We're always together - might as well carry on the tradition! Hi Martie, I'll be publishing you know what pretty soon. Haven't forgotten!

Hi sweet Maria! You haven't aged a bit since last year!

Only one of our original Sistas missing now! Shauna, come out, come out wherever you are!! Love to y'all, Sistas . We'd better do a group Hub again!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on July 11, 2014:

marcoujor, I am sending you a bag filled with hugs.... :)

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 09, 2014:

Wonderful as always to see you, Sista Martie and a rare but lovely appearance from Sir Colin as well...

Hope you both are having a great week. Hugs to you too, mar

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on July 09, 2014:

Hi, Epigramman, I am so glad you enjoyed your birthday surprise so much. Maybe I should put it on YouTube, then you can listen to it more often? Well... let me dream on :))

Thanks for your lovely comment. Hugs to you and yours :)

1:10am, S.A.

epigramman on July 07, 2014:

Well one of the nicest birthday surprises that I have ever received in my life at the age of 56 was the one I received from you Martie with the miracle of hearing your 'voice.' I can see how a man could madly fall in love with a voice like that and more importantly the hand which holds the golden pen and makes you one of my all time favorite writers. I always learn something from you and I consider you truly up there in the elite as a writer's writer. Another lovely lady is the amazing Maria on this page. So I am sending to both of you our love and respects courtesy of Colin and his cats on this Monday morning at 10:02am in Canada

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 31, 2013:

Happy New Year, Maria :)) All of the best is my wish for you :))

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 30, 2013:

Hi CrisSp, ChitrangadaSharan, Linda and Martie,

Wanted to swing by to thank you all for your wonderful messages.

May you have a happy, healthy and joyful New Year. Hugs, Maria

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 30, 2013:

My dear Sunshine, what a surprise! You are truly sunshine; seeing you is like opening curtains and seeing the sun is shining after a long dark night. My wish for you is the same, and may you always, in all circumstances, have the strength to shine :))

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 29, 2013:

Stopping by to wish SAA and MM a Happy New Year! May 2014 be your best year yet!! XOXO

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 29, 2013:

Hi ChitrangadaSharon - Welcome in my corner. I am so glad you have enjoyed this tribute to my special online friend, Maria :)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 28, 2013:

What a wonderful way to show your affection to your dear friend!

I thoroughly enjoyed going through this hub. Just brilliant!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 16, 2013:

Oh, CrisSp, the same here - so behind with reading and commenting. But "rather late than never" is another saying to hold onto. Expect me in your corner at least before the end of the year. Lots of hugs from South Africa (mourning the death of Nelson Mandela.)

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on December 15, 2013:

Goodness, I'm so behind with my reading and so sorry to have missed the party! Happy Birthday Maria and thank you Martie for this very touching hub or I/we wouldn't know.

Awesome hub! So very thoughtful!

Cheers to you ladies!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 12, 2013:

Hi, my dear Mar, I am sure you will win the award for Most Adorable Sista in the world :)

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 11, 2013:

Great to see you, nighthag and thank you so much.

Martie, you are adorable. You brag about me ' just fine' whether warranted or not ( LOL), just like Sistas do.

May you both have a peaceful night. Hugs, Maria

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 11, 2013:

Hi nighthag, I am so glad you took the time to visit marcoujor's birthday-hub. She is beyond wonderful and I feel blessed to have her in my life. I think I forgot to brag with her - somehow I am taking her great achievements for granted - like sisters tend to do, not so? Here is a link to her blog, I am sure you will love her pearls of wisdom -

K.A.E Grove from Australia on December 10, 2013:

Such a lovely tribute to someone who obviously warms your heart, I am so glad that you are blessed with having this wonderful person in your life

So happy birthday Maria I hope the gift of friendship keeps you both warm for many years to come:)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 09, 2013:

Dear Genna and marcoujor - so sorry you had to wait 39 hours for this reply. Overwhelmed by the death of Nelson Mandela and all the history and political and social issues of South Africa all of a sudden brought into prominence by the media, I feel almost like a cockroach on a very large hot plate - can't find the end of it....

As I've said, Genna, if only I could turn all my love for Maria into gold - she would be the riches woman in the world. And oh, she would spoil us all rotten.

Mar, you are so special. Even while we are both too busy, or rather too pre-occupied, to share our daily news over a virtual glass of wine as often as before, we are in spirit connected like Siamese twins. Amazing how often we experience the same mood, however instigated by different happenings.

Hugs to you both. I will soon be able to catch up on reading and commenting.... :)

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 07, 2013:

Vicki, Sorry I am just acknowledging your beautiful comment...You are a lovely lady and it feels as though we have known each other forever.

Genna, Hoping you had a lovely Thanksgiving and trip...your remarks are as lovely as you.

Martie, Indeed you are a survivor and make me stronger all the time with your faithful friendship and support.

Hugs to you all, Maria

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 07, 2013:

Happy Birthday, Maria! (I'm so sorry I’m late.) The best gift one could ever wish for is to have the kind of friendship that you and Martie share. Martie, this is such a clever and heartfelt tribute to this wonderful friend! Hugs to you both. :-)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on November 29, 2013:

Thank you, Vicki. I am sure our Mar is also a very special friend of yours; she is an angel meeting all our expectations apparently with ease. She is the epitome of honesty and discreetness :) You, too, has a special seat in my heart, Vickey :)))

Vickiw on November 28, 2013:

Dear Martie,

What a beautiful tribute to our Sista. I feel so privileged to have your friendship. Lovely work. May you both have ongoing beautiful events during the next year and beyond.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on November 28, 2013:

Marcoujor, facing a new year on the day after my birthday, I tend to feel nostalgic, mourning the past and realising that in spite of all the best wishes I have received, the year ahead of me will not be all moonlight and roses. Then I have to remind myself that I am a survivor. May you, too, never forget that you are a survivor. Lots of hugs to you, my dear sista ;)

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on November 27, 2013:

Dear Sista,

Wow, what a party...just sitting down to listen to my musical selections and express so much gratitude at all of the lovely comments that are in this stream today from some of our favorite friends in HubVille.

Oh that Adele could sing the phone book but you selected a powerful ditty I must say. Now Miley Cyrus is new let this ole lady ease into that one...but I love the title.

You have made my day so sweet and I thank you. Special thanks also to Ruby, femme, Nellieanna, drbj, Alicia, Sannel, Kimmie and Susan for your special birthday wishes to me.

Hugs to all, Maria

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on November 27, 2013:

@ sallybea – I feel blessed, having a friend like Maria. Take care, dear Sally :)

@ Becky Katz – Maria is such an example of generosity; she never hesitates to support and motivate her friends. We all benefit from knowing her.

@ marcoujor – If I could buy joy and peace, I would buy you enough to share with all your beloveds. When it comes to kindness and compassion, you are the best. Another song especially for you -

@ always exploring – you were my first true online friend. I remember how weird I felt, communicating (in my inbox) with the kindest woman living on the other side of my world, and ‘feeling’ her kindness as if she was sitting right next to me. You have opened the gates between my real world and a virtual world where there are, just like in reality, people of all kinds with tremendous power to make or break us. Thank you so much for all your support, dear Ruby. You are a ‘maker’ :)

@ femmeflashpoint – if I win a couple of thousand dollars, sitting across the table from Mar, sharing smiles and laughter in person while Chef Geoff serves appetizers, will certainly be a wish I will realize. And maybe I can see you as well :)

@ MsDora – the wonder of HubPages: We all become friends spontaneously. The few who are not able to bond simply fade away.

@ My dearest mother in cyberspace, Nellieanna, “I am simply more myself in writing.” I feel like writing an entire hub about this. Why is it that our true thoughts and feelings find it easier to escape through our fingers than through our mouths? Even the most polished speaker finds it easier to first write his thoughts before speaking it. If he doesn’t do this, he always realizes afterwards that he had forgotten to mention some of his most important thoughts/feelings. I am so glad you came to wish Maria a happy birthday :)

@ drbj – what beautiful compliments coming from you! You just made me remember a very old reaction on a compliment: Wetting one’s finger with tongue, touch shoulder with wet finger and say “Psstt!”. You are such a great spirit! I feel blessed with you in my circle of friends :) Happy days to you, always!

@ AliciaC – Thank you so much for your lovely wish. A friendship with Maria is worthy to treasure forever. She is one of the most wonderful kind.

@ Sannel – So wonderful to see you! You, too, are like Maria - a friend worthy to treasure – one of the most wonderful kind. Love you, Sannel!

@ Darling Kimmie, friendship is such a phenomenon. It happens spontaneously. Some friends are diamonds, others are pearls and others are gold. All of them so beautiful and worthy to treasure. You are most certainly a piece of gold in my bracelet of friends.

@ Susan Recipes – Welcome at Maria’s birthday party. Have a seat and enjoy the music.

One of Maria’s favorite singers -

Susan from India on November 27, 2013:

Wow... Sweet hub. I wish Maria a very Happy Birthday.

Kimmie on November 27, 2013:

Oh how I loved this hub and the fact that you honored such a darling of a person Maria. She truly encompasses the word friend as do you. On line relationships are much like other relationships, always needing to be nurtured and cared for or they fizzle. A true friend will seek one out when they hit the lows, offering to help them, making them feel cared about. Martie you are an amazing writer, able to get your thoughts to the page with much ease and blessing many as they read. Sending much love and of course a big happy birthday to dear Maria whom we are blessed to call friend,



Sannel on November 27, 2013:

Dear Martie,

This is a most precious birthday greeting indeed. What a loving and beautiful birthday tribute to a very beautiful woman. Your Abhanga poems are absolutely wonderful. They speak about true friendship between two dear friends. Thank you for sharing your gift to Maria with us. You are both very special to me!

Happy Birthday, Maria!

Love and many hugs to the both of you.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on November 26, 2013:

Good morning to all. Today, 27th, is Maria’s “official” birthday. Wishing her again and again not only a happy birthday, but never-ending happiness. Yes, bad things happen to all of us all the time, but Maria is an epitome of inner strength and resilience. If you haven’t read her story yet, you will find it in this amazing anthology, Mysterious and Miraculous 1 -

I will return this afternoon of mine with individual replies :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 26, 2013:

This is a lovely discussion of friendship and a beautiful tribute to Maria, Martie. I hope that she had a happy birthday today and that your friendship lasts forever! It is definitely something to be cherished.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 26, 2013:

What a lovely way, Martie, to wish a true friend, Happy Birthday. You and Maria have so much in common. Let me count the ways: beauty, intelligence, creativity, ability to teach and inspire others, loving hearts, open minds ... I could go on and on but then I would have to charge a fee. :)

Happy Birthday, Maria! Happy Un-birthday, Martie!

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on November 26, 2013:

What a wonderful HUG for and tribute to your precious online sista! Marie is someone to be cherished, for sure!

You and I have much in common, friends-wise. I am most comfortable communicating with the written word, a habit of a lifetime. Even though I overcame my reluctance to 'talk' verbally and am fine with it, I am simply more 'myself' in writing, I think. So I fully understand that!

Maria, dear lady - - I wish you the best-ever Birthday - and many, many more!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 26, 2013:

What a sweet friendship tribute to Maria! You shared some really powerful thoughts on frindship. Thank you.

femmeflashpoint on November 26, 2013:


This is a sensational piece and so indicative of your unique style in delivery. It also shows your excellent taste in friendships.

Maria Jordan is definitely "all that!" and she's got great taste herself.

Martie, you never know. One of these days you may find yourself sitting across the table from Mar, sharing smiles and laughter in person while Chef Geoff serves appetizers.

Where there's a will and a bit of faith, amazing things can happen.


Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 26, 2013:

Martie, this is so beautiful. A tribute to Mar, written from your heart. I, like you, can count friends on one hand, i mean true friends. I feel that i know Mar and you so well. You both have lifted me when i was down, made me laugh uncontrollably via emails and of course our early adventures. BTW hubbers are still reading about our trip to Hollywood lol..Thank's for sharing your thoughts and quotes. Happy birthday Mar. You are a jewel.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on November 26, 2013:

Hi again, Martie,

How could you know how much I LOVE Rod Stewart and what better song than Forever Young. Love it and you for thinking of me, Sista,

teaches, Linda, Suzette, Sha, Susan, Gail, Bill, Mike, Jim and Becky - thanks to each of you for your sweet wishes. Love, Maria

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on November 26, 2013:

Wonderful Birthday Hub Hug to a beautiful lady. I wish her a wonderful Birthday and hope she gets all that she wishes for. Her soul is as generous as any I know. She is a vent for me too, and I cherish her. She is so understanding of life's pitfalls and temper triggers.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on November 26, 2013:


Artistry in words - a very special tribute to a dear friend.

How lovely that you have each other.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on November 26, 2013:

@ teaches12345 – Welcome at Maria’s birthday party :)

@ Sunshine625 – Maria is indeed the most wonderful friend to many. Thank you for being a wonderful friend yourself, dear Linda :)

@ suzettenaples – Always good to see you in my corner :)

@ marcoujor – I hope you are having a wonderful birthday. Time flies; just the other day we were still young. Please enjoy this song from my heart to yours :)

@ bravewarrior – The words ‘sweet and caring’ fits our Maria to a T. I really don’t know how she always manages to make time for her friends.

@ Just Ask Susan – welcome at Maria’s party. She is truly a loveable friend and always supportive :)

@ Hi, Happyboomernurse – Maria is surely the best friend anyone could ever hope to have. Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

@ billybuc – You and Maria just know how to be always supportive come hell or high water. Thank you :)

@ mckbirdbks – I am sure you will agree with me: Maria deserves so much more :)

@ DDE – Thank you so much for your lovely comment :)

@The Frog Prince - I look forward to read your tribute to our awesome friend, Maria :)

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on November 26, 2013:

Great Hub and I saw your HB to Maria on FB this morning. I'll give her mine tomorrow. Friends are worth their weight in gold.

The Frog

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 26, 2013:

Saying Happy Birthday to an Online Friend you created such a wonderful hub and so thoughtful. A well presented hub and said it all in your kind words.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on November 26, 2013:

Martie, this is one heck of a birthday card. And Happy Birthday Maria.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 26, 2013:

What a clever way of saying thanks and expressing feelings of friendship. What a lovely tribute to Maria. Excellent work here Martie!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 26, 2013:

Dear Martie,

What a fabulous tribute to Maria, who is a true angel, and the best friend anyone could ever hope to have.

You have captured her true essence, along with the fact that meeting a friend in cyberspace, especially for writers, can be as powerful and loving as if we'd met them in person.

Thanks for giving dear Maria such a lovely birthday gift.

Hugs & Love,


Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 26, 2013:

Martie, Such a beautiful hub and what a wonderful way to say happy birthday to someone you love.

Happy Birthday Maria!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 26, 2013:

Martie, what a beautiful way to wish our dear Maria Happy Birthday. She is sweet, caring and always has time for her friends.

Happy Birthday Sweet Maria!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on November 26, 2013:

Oh my Sista,

This sure feels like a hug to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. What a sweet surprise to wake up to this morning.

I honestly cannot imagine a day without you in my world. There are not many people I can say that about so that makes you quite a special part of my life.

Thank you for all you do, for me and for everyone else who loves you.

Now close your eyes and feel me sending the biggest hug...

Love you much, Maria

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on November 26, 2013:

This is beautiful, Martie. The poems are lovely and exquisite. What a beautiful gift for Maria's birthday. Happy Birthday, Maria and enjoy your day!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 26, 2013:

Hi SAA, This is a fabulous birthday tribute to a wonderful woman and friend to so many!! Happy Birthday MM!!!

Dianna Mendez on November 25, 2013:

What a sweet tribute. I wish Maria a Happy Birthday as well!

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