BC: Happy Birthday Mom Love, Laura
FC: Deborah | Live well, laugh often, love much
1: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. Cathy Allen
2: Deborah, I’m writing this about the day you were born, which is when all the happy memories began. The day started as usual so when I asked Lois how she was feeling, she replied, “I’m tired of being fat and just about able to waddle around.” I told her it wouldn’t be much longer. I went into the kitchen for coffee and was nearly blinded by a bright, bright Star shining directly in the window. I did an about face and ran into the bedroom. I told Lois to get up, get dressed, and packed because today is THE DAY When we got to the hospital, she was packed into a wheelchair and headed into the maternity ward. I expected to go along till the nurse said, “You wait here and we'll call you”. I blew a kiss and the door closed. After a long time, the nurse came back and said we had a beautiful little girl and I could see my wife. So off I went the recovery room. The nurse pointed Lois to me an I said, “My God, childbirth has changed Lois so much.” The nurse said “Oh no, she is over here.” And you were forgiven! She brought you in and we spent a lot of time just beaming with pride to have such a beautiful and perfect little girl. We couldn’t wait to show you off. From that point on, life seemed to center on all your whims and wishes. A phone call to Nannie and Grampie and we were then informed that Nannie, who had never flown before, was arriving by Northeast airline in a couple of days. We were excited knowing that she just had to see her beautiful little granddaughter. | First flights are always traumatic; Nannie’s was forced to land in a snowstorm in Ohio. She was then bussed from there to Indianapolis a few hours later. However, after many hours of holding, feeding and changing your diapers, she thought the trip was one to be treasured. On her return to Maine, she was able to brag that you were the prettiest, smartest, and most adorable granddaughter ever. You handled the growing up years through high school well, being popular, active, and a part of the l971 Brewer High State football championship. Your mother and I also thrived on all these activities. You were ready for college; the adjustments of living away from home posed no problem and you were off and running. At the end of your freshman year we encouraged you to start early to find a summer job. We were on a weekend trip when you called Friday all excited, to announce you had a wonderful job as a
3: There are a million wonderful memories of Debbie, so many I could write a book. So I will start at the beginning. The day was February 25, 1953 and the nurse had just placed in my arms the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. A beautiful little girl!! I drew in my breath and counted the most adorable ten fingers, ten toes, adorable little arms and legs, and on to the most perfect face I had ever seen. You were perfect. At this point, you opened one eye just a little bit. I think you were saying “What have I gotten myself into?” A moment later the corner of your mouth curled up a bit and hopefully you thought, “Mom is here and it looks like the world is OK”. I’m sure that people would say that it was gas, but I know what you were thinking. It was love at first sight and has been love everlasting. Debbie you are what every Mother always hopes for: a beautiful, compassionate, loving, caring and thoughtful daughter. You are all this and more. You are the ultimate daughter, wife, sister, mother, grandmother and are so kind to everyone you meet. I have watched you and you always made me so proud and full of love for you. | I always said and still say that you are beautiful. The world acknowledged it when they crowned you a beauty queen time and time again. But, it isn’t just the outside that the world can see but the inside beauty that is always present. Debbie, you are my precious daughter and I always have and always will love you. Happy Birthday, I love you, MOM | cocktail waitress at Stacy’s starting Saturday night. Although knowing this job might not be as glamorous as you expected we shared your excitement. On Sunday we got your call, through tears, the job was horrible. I thought one night might not be a fair test and you should ‘suck it up’, but your mother said quit and we would be home Monday. To your credit you jumped right out into a cashiers job at Sears. Your first true life test was passed. I love you and am happy to share this wonderful 60th Birthday! Dad
5: You all know that Debbie believes and lives by example, a life that is built on good character and moral values. She pledges help and teaches togetherness for any friends or family members in need or sometime not in need. There are many examples of this through the years, and most of you are familiar with your own interactions, so I will not point out the obvious. But I will share a few of my dearer, personal ones. Maybe not so grand in the big scheme of thing but ones that make my big sister real. The first is my big sister looking out for welfare of little bother. After I graduated from Respiratory Therapy School, I moved to Florida. Well, me and my good friend Phil Auger. Now we are two young men on our own for the first time, so Debbie needed to come down and inspect and confirm we are doing OK. She is expected Andy, so really Debbie and Andy come for the visit. Once it was confirmed that we could feed ourselves and perform most daily acts of living without endangering ourselves she was able to step out of her Motherly role and we ended up having a great time doing Florida stuff. I had just learned to surf, so Debbie, wanting to participate in my hobbies, also got on the surf board and hit the waves. Now I want to leave you with that picture. A young woman, who was obviously pregnant, attempting, and succeeding some of the time, to ride the big breaks on the beach. Do not tell Debbie she cannot do something.
6: Next, is my big sister looking out for herself at expense of little brother. Debbie and I were the only kids at this point; Linda was not even idea yet. Well, 'kids' might be stretching it, Debbie was a kid, and I was a toddler. We were the only two in the living room. I was doing whatever toddlers do, which probably involves sticking my finger in my nose or some other gross thing,while Debbie was playing big girl activities. Who know what that could really have been, a dancing ballerina, a cowgirl riding the open range, sometime with Debbie, it was hard to tell. Well, anyway she knocked over one of the lamps which shattered on the floor. All activity came to a screaming stop. The noise and what Debbie was standing over must have been more interesting than what I was finding in my nose because I wondered over and stood next to her and looked down at whatever that mess was on the floor. My nose exploring was more interesting. Next thing I know, things got real interesting fast. Mom came in and joined my looking at the mess on the floor. When I looked up, Debbie was no longer nearby but observing me and Mom from some distance away. Now, not wanting to have one over on her, Mom asked the obvious, what happened and who did this. Of course, the what happen was rhetorical and the who did this was all that mattered. I was still trying to figure out what this was, so did not volunteer any answer in my limited vocabulary. But neither did Debbie, with her expanded vocabulary. So, want to clarify this situation, Mom asked me, seeing I was standing over the mess, if I broke the lamp. Again, not really catching up on the situation yet, I gave no answer. So, Mom asked Debbie if I, the child standing over the mess broke the lamp. Debbie again remained silent, just looking from me, to the mess on the floor to Mom. The eye spoke all that was needed. I got a good spanking for breaking that lamp and probably sent to my room. I still had not grasped what happened and why the punishment, so there was no way to voice any objection. So you know, Debbie's guilt got the best of her and she came clean about breaking the lamp a short time later. | This of course made her look good but did not undo the punishment on my backside.
7: My final story is of my big sister possibly protecting her husband and little brother from bad pastries. We were at the Springfield Rock and Mineral show. I had retrieved from my truck a package of double chocolate Milano cookies for us to snack on throughout the day. These were quickly forgotten, due to the fast pace of the show. During a slow point, John ask Debbie if she can watch over the booth for a few minutes while he takes me off to show me something at another booths. We make a loop around the show and are going for more than a few minutes. As we are approaching our booth, Debbie is outside the booth in the middle of the isle having a lively conversation with some potential customers. She is obviously telling a very good story, for her hands and whole being is very animated. Though, as we get closer, something is not right. Hard to place what is out of sort until we get very close. Once we arrive to the booth, we can see that Debbie, while talking to this customer, has dark spots and streaks all over her face and does not realize the marks are there. I can hardly contain myself while she finishes talking with the customers, but once she done and realizes, due to my uncontrolled laughter that something is wrong. It was minutes before John and I could even control ourselves enough to figure out that while we were gone, Debbie thought best to rid us of the evil cookies, so she proceeded to eat them. Now the part she did not know or notice was when I brought the cookies in from the truck, the heat had melted the chocolate so that it stayed in a soft state. So when Debbie reached her had in that narrow bag, soft chocolate was deposited on the back of her hand and fingers. All it took was an itch or twitch on her face that she touched. By the time were returned, her face was randomly covered with chocolate. So picture a rock collector coming up to a booth and being met with by a very excited and animated lady whose face was covered with chocolate. The best part was she did not have a clue on how she looked. I finish with sharing this Hasidic saying, which I find thought provoking. | The virtue of angels is that they cannot deteriorate; their flaw is that they cannot improve. Man's flaw is that he can deteriorate; and his virtue is that he can improve. Anyone who has been connected to Debbie, missed something if they did not come away improved. I love you Debbie! Happy Birthday, Reggie
8: It struck me years ago when I was helping my own children write those school essays about their “heroes” that my own hero had always been my sister, Debbie. Debbie is eight years older than me. In my early years, this was a great advantage and benefit as she was like a second mini- Mom. She was always looking out for Reggie and I. I have great memories of Debbie playing hide and seek with me in the yard, teaching me to play hop scotch in the driveway and her actually getting in the water with me at camp so I could stand up on my first attempt at water skiing. (Which I did!) I missed her terribly when she went to college but Debbie let me come up for a weekend and sleep over. I don’t think that is typical of most 18 year old freshmen to bring their 10 year old sibling to hang out in the dorm, but that was how she was. She was in charge-she had Reggie and I perform in little holiday plays which she wrote, directed, and made the costumes. I think she finally gave this up after realizing the limits of her crew-one needed all the spot light and the other wanted to be anywhere else. Now, Debbie seriously was the prettiest girl in Brewer. I didn’t just think this because she was my older sister, I had proof. She won the Canusa Queen Title for our town. This meant she got to wear a real Beauty Queen banner and a crown! I still remember her sitting in the convertible riding in the town parade. That meant it was real. She was just so elegant-I remember another time of her giving a speech in high school with this long pink formal dress and long white gloves-again, proof to me she was one step away from famous. We have always been lucky that despite our age differences, geographies and stages of life, Debbie, Reggie and I like being together. We had wonderful times growing up, great times together with spouses and later, our children. We have had countless family celebrations, fun times at the beach, or just fun hanging at home. Debbie is a great sport because it is not uncommon for some point in the gathering for Reggie and I to pick on her. We had one weekend in Florida when for some reason we were all at Mom and Dad’s with no spouses. Debbie and Reggie each had their children but they were little, not yet in school when we had a wonderful idea to go out to Happy Hour. The plan was to have “Nana” watch the kids for an hour. Poor Mom, she was cooking a beautiful pot roast dinner and she was so happy her children were having chance to be together. She encouraged us out the door. Remember, Debbie is not a drinker.
9: Well, the first hour we called home, Mom was great. “Oh, I am so happy you are having good time, sure go ahead and stay a little longer”. Well, after the third hour, her voice was a bit clipped, terse, but honestly, we weren’t really picking up on those cues. We finally recognized it was time to go when Debbie returning from the ladies’ room, came into the bar wearing the head of the antique scuba suit in the lobby. We got home to the driest, dead roast possible which we kept telling mom was great. She was not happy, “no, it’s not. It’s dry and tough and you’re all just loaded and trying to make me feel better!” I think we laughed for about an hour. Debbie started out as my sister, and honestly I don’t know when it happened, but she became my best friend and closest confident. She has been there for all my big life events-maid of honor in my wedding, all my graduations, and family celebrations with my children. Debbie and I can manage to have fun doing anything. One night I had to bake cookies for a holiday cookie swap. I came up with some complicated cookie recipes trying to be impressive for the party. Debbie and I stayed up to about 1:30 in the morning and became punchier and sillier by the minute. We couldn’t salvage a single cookie. I ended up buying fortune cookies the next day, but that night still makes me laugh. It’s been wonderful to watch my sister through the years. She is a great wife, an incredible mother, and now a fantastic grandmother. She continues to be a thoughtful sibling, a devoted daughter and attentive aunt. She is a good friend and a genuine good person. I continue to admire her and she is still my best role model. She has been the most amazing aunt to my children and it was a no brainer when I needed to have someone listed guardian of them in my will, that it would be she and John. You couldn’t find more authentic, decent people! She worked like crazy to help me pull off their bas mitzvah’s, taking on any task I needed done. When Sara was three months old and I had to attend a wedding, she knew I was nervous to leave her and she drove down three hours to watch her for a few hours for me to attend. That is the kind of person Debbie is. There are far too many wonderful memories to write about but the great thing is knowing we will continue to make many more. I am honestly blessed to have the best sister in the world and again, I am not biased. I have proof! Happy 60th Birthday! I love you!
10: CHERISH | In all the time I have spent studying math and science, I have never found a truth more certain than this: you love me. Looking back, I am amazed at how you were always so supportive and encouraging, even as I made some rather eccentric choices, like majoring in philosophy. I remember once you came to visit me in Rhode Island. We were sitting in a Dunkin Donuts and I was going on and on about some arcane passage in some obscure book written a couple thousand years ago. Hardly a soul alive would know what I was talking about, and fewer still would care, but you gave me every bit of your attention. I do not know how much of what I said made any sense, but when I was finally done talking, you smiled so sincerely and told me how proud you were of me. It was a conversation only a mother could love.
11: I am so happy to finally be a part of your family, and I want to thank you so much for raising such a wonderful son. You are an amazing mom, “the model of motherhood” as Andy once said. I cherish the memories you and I already share (like using chopsticks for the first time) and I look forward to all the wonderful memories we will share in the future. We both love you very much. Happy Birthday. Sammi | It is not enough to say you are happy for me when things are good or that you are always there for me when things get tough. I can say that of other people, but with you, it was something more. You genuinely share in all my joys and all my pains. I will always be able to trust you completely, and there are no words to describe how certain I am of that. With all my heart, thank you for being my mom. Happy Birthday, Andy
14: A family is pieced together with hope and faith.
15: A family is quilted and bound with love and grace.
16: FAMILIES ARE FOREVER
17: 'I was Cinderella and John my Prince Charming. The world had indeed stopped. John and I were the only two people who mattered. Time was ours alone. Dinner, Belinger white wine, us, love and all our tomorrows. As our life begins, today I know the best is yet to come.' Happy Birthday! I love you, John
18: Debbie, Rob and I would like to thank you for all of your help with the kids. The times that really stand out for us are these: The amazing help that you gave when TJ was first born. I was trying to heal from surgery and you helped so much with food and comforting TJ for me. Also, thank you for all of the help when we moved, which was a lot! You helped keep TJ happy when we moved to Hampden, and Waterville, and Brewer, and Orrington, and Bangor, and even to Chester! It would have been a lot more difficult without your love and support, and we love and appreciate you for it. Happy Birthday Love you lots, Rob, Sam, TJ, Katie, and Emily | Debbie, Thank you for all you do for not only my family but for me too. From the first time I met you in Orlando, to inviting me to live in your home shortly after, to partnering with us at the coffee shop, you've always made we feel welcomed and loved. Happy Birthday! Love, Nick
19: I have no doubt that when God made you He knew you would be a blessing to everyone but especially to me. You have always been there for me and I have always needed you. Every happy childhood memory of mine centers around you. However it wasn't until I had a child of my own that I realized just how much I need you. I remember bringing Drew home that first day, and how nervous I was. You were there. I remember the first time he had a cold, and how upset I was. You were there. I remember when I got sick. You were there. It's the story of our life...when I need you, you will be there. Only God could have known how much I would need you and only God knows how much I love you. Forever, Laura | Mom, it's such a cliché , but do you remember what a roller-coaster of emotions my wedding was. Of course you do, you were there for every second of it. Who cries over tablecloths and napkins...oh yeah ME! Even though there was a bit of drama that's not really what I remember. For me, a highlight of the planning was you and I going to meet the DJ at his home. Strangely the DJ had his office set up outside his living room. His teenage daughters seemed unenthusiastic about pretty much everything, especially us being there. Despite the awkwardness of meeting his family we had such a blast picking music and deciding how the nights events would play out. The DJ had some fun suggestions and we we're laughing hysterically as we emerged from his office into the living room. Always quick with a compliment you blurt out, “YOUR DAD SURE KNOWS HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!” Unintentionally you sounded like the biggest pervert...as if us and their dad had just done something kinky! Of course I about died laughing and his daughters...well they still looked pretty unenthusiastic.
20: I can’t think of a moment in time where my Aunt Debbie wasn’t putting someone else’s thoughts or wishes before her own. Whether it was a “get well” card when my sister or I had the flu, or driving down for any of our life events, she was thinking about others. I’ve always appreciated that throughout my entire life, she has paid attention to whatever I was involved in. When I was younger, I was obsessed with rocks. I found it so cool that her and my uncle John could go to mines and literally dig for “pretty” rocks. One day they actually took me along to a site where they had just blown up a mine. I had so much fun watching the two of them explain everything from the soil to the actual explosion. I remember going to a store after to see rocks from mines around the area that had been polished and treated. It was incredibly fascinating to see the minerals transform. I’ve always seen my Aunt Debbie as someone with extreme compassion for others, which is something I truly admire. Family is always first in her mind. I am so thankful to have her in my life and I can’t thank her enough for her unconditional support. Love, Sara Jacobson
21: Dear Aunt Debbie, Happy 60th birthday!! I hope your birthday is just as great as you are. I am so lucky to have such an amazing aunt. Not only do I have countless fun memories of adventures with you and John, but you have always been there for Sara and I. You have been present at every one of my major life milestones. How many nieces can say that? Whether it was a dance recital or a graduation, you were always there smiling at me from the crowd. At my Bat Mitzvah you spoke on the bimah and performed a beautiful reading. That meant so much to me. As I grew older, you still managed to make every major event. You were present at both my high school and college graduations. I know that I can always count on you and that is so special. I always loved having sleepovers at your house and playing with all of Laura’s old toys but one of my favorite memories of spending time with you was when you and Uncle John took Sara and I to the rockslides in Acadia. Even though we bruised our butts a little going up and down the slides so many times, I had so much fun! I loved climbing the rocks and playing in the natural pools. That was a great adventure and definitely a special memory I have with you. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me over the years, but please know I appreciate everything you have done. You are so caring and considerate. I am grateful to have such a wonderful aunt who is so involved in my life and with whom I have been able to share so many wonderful experiences. Happy birthday, Aunt Debbie. I love you, Nicole
22: Happy 60th Birthday to my MUCH older cousin! (1 month, 2 days!) Looking back over the years, many memories come to mind. Remember when we would spend the night at Ma's apartment on South Main Street. I seem to remember us sending a few love letters to movie stars. We found lipstick somewhere and kissed them and sprayed a little perfume on them too, for good measure. Weren't we too cool! I also remember the fun Christmas Eves we spent at Irene and Hughie's house when the whole family would get together. I miss those days. Our family is kind of spread all over now. I'm so glad we have stayed in touch and still get together when we can! I think that our high school days were some of our funniest and most dramatic. Poor Mr. Pressey had quite the year when he had us as lab partners in chemistry! When he got us again in his study hall that next year he just gave up and let us pretty much do whatever we wanted...remember those trips to Dougs....he just went into his little back room and chose not to see anything! How about when we took algebra together? We got quite a bit of help with our homework...is that a nicer way of saying we copied most of it?! Of course, that didn't help us when we had to take a test. Seems like we flunked quite a few of those. It's a wonder we passed that class! It seems like we got a little help in biology with disecting our frogs, too, if I remember right! And of course we did have our share of boy drama, too! I guess that goes with everybody's high school experiences. When the kids were little we had some fun times camping at Pine Point and Point Sebago. You were the only one who really knew anything about camping so you had to teach us all about it. Those were some good times and wonderful memories! I'm so glad you and John found each other. I truly think it was meant to be! Now our kids are grown and our lives have constantly changed over the years but I'm so thankful that we have stayed close. I will never forget all you did for me when I lost Mom. I am eternally grateful for all your help. Family is so important and we are so lucky to have each other. Love you forever and always! Terry
23: Happy Birthday to our very special friend. We hope this day will be one to remember, with your family and friends. We always enjoy all our times together, especially all our nights of card games. I'll never forget our trip to the dude ranch. Me on a horse, it was totally for you my friend! We hope to make many more wonderful memories with you and John in our years to come. Take care and may you be blessed with many more happy and healthy years. We Love you lots, Larry and Annette
24: I love you Nana because you're so much fun. I love making cookies with you! Emily I love you Nana because you let us spend the night. We love it when you take us to Tim Hortons! Katie I love you Nana because you cut me up lots of fruit! I loved it when you took us to the Maine Jump. TJ | Nana I love you and our Tea Parties! Bree Nana I love you. Playing at your house is so much fun. Climbing your tree and being on the computer are my favorite things. Drew
25: Happy Birthday Nana! We love you!
27: IS NOT MEASURED BY THE BREATHS WE TAKE BUT THE MOMENTS THAT TAKE OUR BREATH AWAY | LIFE