Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

♪♫ Happy Birthday to You ♪♫


Happy birthday, Debbie!

My sweet sister and first friend. Faithful Christian and prayer warrior; Mary AND Martha, all in one.

You’re what every parent wants in a daughter. Perfect and pretty, a mommy wannabe and wonderful mother. Cheerleader. Homemaker. Decorator.

A pal to be kids with and a friend to be pals with. You grew into a woman who’s just as beautiful as her reflection–an uncommon happening in a girl who grew up as pretty and talented as you.

Remember the games we played? Was that one called, “A date for Barbie?” We always wanted to “win” Ken and not have to go to the prom with Pointdexter. 🙂

Playing Jacks?

Remember the tent we built that summer in the back yard using a  bed spread thrown over the clothes line? And the silly straw hats Grandma gave us that we wore all summer long?

Remember riding bikes with Marsha H, swimming every day at the pool and helping take care of the little kids?

Remember when we had the measles and how mad Mama was because we walked in the rain from the movies to Mrs. Shriner’s for Piano Club just before we got sick and made ourselves even sicker? 

Remember the book Mama read us while we had the measles because the measles were supposed to make your eyes weak? (Tom Sawyer.) And the school bell we rang when we needed her?

Remember how I broke my nose?

How about when you were so sick that time so I stayed home from Mom and Dad’s Sunday School party with you and someone suddenly banged on the window and beat on the rain spout and just about gave us a heart attack?

Angie, Tiny, Pupstar, Monster Dog?     

Chi-Chi, Sparky, Susie-Q and Black Diamond?

May 20, 1991.

Luke 1:30–But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”

I know without a doubt you’ll hear those words–“You have found favor with God.”

And when you do, you’ll answer–

Luke 1:46–And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6: 24-26.    

Happy birthday, little sister!


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

10 thoughts on “♪♫ Happy Birthday to You ♪♫

  1. Happy Birthday Debbie!
    Susan always says it best.

  2. Beautiful tribute to your sister! I had to keep the tears back! Happy Birthday to Debbie. I must admit I always thought of Debbie Boone when I saw her. 🙂 I hope you take that as a compliment. I just imagined she must sing like her too! You light up my life!!

  3. Happy birthday, Debbie! You’re fortunate to have a sister like Susan, and she feels the same about you!

  4. Susan, how do I say thanks for the sweetest, kindest words, that I don’t deserve; from the sweetest, kindest, lovingest (a word?) sister in the whole world. (I know I have 3 more, but this is your post!, and you are the sister with the sweetest words)

    And how do I say thanks when I can’t see the keyboard through the tears?

    I can’t say thanks enough for being my big (like in older, not size) sister ALWAYS. You have always been there to take care of me, not just as kids, but you still do.

    You were there when I had to sign the divorce papers, you hurt just as much as I did, maybe more. You were there when we took Kyle to the Neurologist in Dallas.
    You were there….. You were there…. You were there!!!!!!!!!

    You were there fighting off Indians with your daisy red rider protecting me and all my dolls as I played house. You were there playing all sorts of beautiful piano music while Mrs. Shriner always had me play “Joy Ride” at every monthly ‘Piano Club’ meeting (seemed to be the only one I could make my fingers hit the right keys). You were there when the car swerved to miss me and hit Grandmothers dog.

    You were there experimenting with your microscope while I, once again, played house with all my (& your) dolls.

    You have always been there for me. Encouraging me in everything I have ever done, I am sure that you will hear the sweet words, “Do not be afraid Susan, you have found favor with God!” as you enter into His kindgom someday. Luke 1:30 (sorta).

    And you too will answer as Mary did.

    Thanks, not just for the beautiful, undeserved words, but also for being the best ‘Big Sister’, ever & always, and for leading me into the relationship that I have with Christ. And for the memories, what a blessed life we have had.

    I love you, Big Sister.

    • You made me laugh through my tears. I’d forgotten all about Joy Ride. (“Laughter through tears, my favorite emotion.” What movie is that?)
      We have been–and still are–so very blessed!
      I love you, too!

  5. Awww… you guys make me cry.
    Its true, we have been so blessed. I never fail to thank God for the childhood that we were blessed to experience.

    Love you both

    • LYT, Licabeth!
      We did have a great childhood, didn’t we? I didn’t realize how rare that is until I grew up and got to know the way other people grew up. Some of the stories I’ve heard just break my heart.
      Every child should grow up like we did.

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