Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Twenty Years

Friday was the 20th anniversary of The Wreck. Sister Amy has been in a wheelchair for two decades now–and without a whine. The Day is never easy, but the day after is usually even harder. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we gear up for it and when we let down, we get hit.

We’ve learned not to dwell on what we lost. Instead, we try keep our great memories alive.

Going to market with Mom to buy for Four Seasons Fashions, and how she’d think of each of our customers and what they’d enjoy.

Vacations with the entire family–skiing, Yellowstone, Branson.

Weddings. Her hard work getting ready for them. (Wedding planners had no place at the Spess Girls’ nuptials.)

The day we moved to C-Town with all the packing and unpacking, Mama stopped working long enough to read to Sister Debbie and me. (I can still see all my books scattered across the new wood floor.)

Mama’s fear of tornadoes. And appendicitis.

Her ability to teach kids to dive, even though she couldn’t dive. (We didn’t find that out for years!)

Her love for her grandchildren and her entire family.

Celebrations at Christmas.

The few times I saw her cry. (Three, maybe?)

The way she could outrun me, way into my teens.

Her dreams. Her hopes for her kids.

Teaching my sibs to play basket ball.

Enjoying basket ball games, no matter who was playing.


Her love of God, and her joy at being in the Lord’s house every time the doors were open.

Her death was senseless and tragic, but her life sparkled. So that’s what we remember. Mom’s life and her heart.