Sue seems to have a lot of nicknames, maybe they are for all the different hats she wears. If someone asked me to describe her, I would have to tell them to take a seat. We grew up with the classic love/hate relationship. We loved to hate (or at least act like we hated) each other. She would finally succumb to play with me. But we always played "beauty pageant" and she insisted her dolls won. Her favorite line when we finished playing was, "I got all these toys out, so you have to pick them up". As the younger sister I truly enjoyed making her life miserable. She was a little high strung and jumpy, so my favorite game was sneaking into her room and yelling "BOO!" She would just about jump out of her skin....but the best part was that since she was also a little scatter brain, I could wait 2-3 minutes and do it again...and get the same reaction from her- over and over again! It was fantastic!!
Fortunately, we became closer when we didn't live under the same roof. I began to appreciate Sue for who she truly is. She is a completely devoted mother. She stayed at home with her girls until they were school age. She loves those girls with all of her heart and soul. When they were babies she made homemade baby food so they could have healthy food without all the perservatives. I can see parts of Sue in those girls....and that is not a bad thing...most of the time. I get amused when she makes a comment about her daughters rooms being messy. When Sue was a teenager you literally could not see the floor of her room for all the clutter - this was a permanent condition of her room. She had a little blue Mustang while she was in college. The back seat and floorboard were the same height and I never attempted to move the stuff out of the front passenger seat - I would just sit on top of it!
For several years Sue was the youth leader at our church. I watched her love those kids and get involved with their lives. A lot of those kids were not "church kids", meaning their families didn't go to church - they came on their own. Most of those kids have graduated from college, have careers and some have a family. I'm sure they can recall many of the lessons they learned in that youth group, because Sue had a way of making it real to them.
When the girls started to school, Sue started teaching again. I think this is her true calling. Her mission field is her classroom. She has a passion for learning and she has a passion for each of those kids to realize their full potential and urges them to work for it. She truly cares for each of those students. Several times she has called and said I can't tell you the students name, but please pray for this situation. For this dedication and passion she has received the Second Mile Teacher award twice. I'm very proud of this recognition she has received, but that is not why she does it. She works nights, weekends and summers to help her students succeed. If all teachers had this kind of commitment, just think how far their students could go!
Sue got a lot of our grandmother's talents. Sue likes to cook and cooks wonderfully, during her time as a full-time mom, she would sew...as long as you didn't give her a deadline! Although she did do a last-minute job of sewing Andrew's new chevrons on his uniform the night before he left for Japan!
Sue has the wonderful gift of investing herself in people. If she sits down next to a stranger in a waiting room, they will not be a stranger when she leaves...and amazingly if they ever cross paths again, she will remember them! This is a gift I wish I had...especially since I don't even know the names of all my neighbors!
In honor of Sue's birthday I wanted to share her with you. I am thankful to be blessed with two wonderful sisters. I am uber-thankful that we have remained close through all of these years. I'm thankful that God blessed them with children so I could have the joy of nieces and nephews (and a grand-niece). I'm thankful that they love my children as if they were their own. But most of all I am thankful for heaven so they we will spend an eternity together.
Sue, happy birthday!
I love you,
"I thank my God in all my remembrances of you." Philippians 1:3