Surrender 135: Happy Birthday Debbie

Today is my younger sister’s birthday. Debbie lives in Oklahoma, and while we see each other frequently, I’m rarely with her to celebrate on this special day. I’m grateful for the inspiration I had to do a blog post for each member of my immediate family, so that for the first time, I can share more about this beautiful soul. 

I was six years old when Deborah Jean Lauderdale was born, and I was literally pacing back and forth in the neighbor’s yard as I awaited news of her birth. Judy was watching me and my other sister, Linda, while my parents were at the hospital, and when she came to the front door, to announce Debbie had been born, the nervousness I felt was replaced with a strong sense of responsibility. I wanted to help watch over this tiny girl, and protect her. I’ve been doing that ever since. 

Apparently I also felt it was sometimes my duty to keep her humble. The youngest, at that time, of three girls, Debbie was an adorable child, and she knew it. She was told so frequently. She learned at an early age that to get what she wanted, she merely had to bat her big brown eyes. She would cuddle up next to my mother, flash her eyes, and say, “Aren’t you glad you’ve got pretty little ole me?” 

Debbie, who once cut her own bangs, always enjoyed a good peanut butter & jelly sandwich! 

Even though Linda and I managed to convince Debbie for a time that she was retarded (I cringe at that now), and my sense of responsibility failed completely, along with my words, when a stunt I convinced my little sister to try resulted in a broken arm (it was years before the full story was told), I had to agree. I was glad we had pretty little Debbie. I still am! 

I looked up the name Deborah on the name site I like. 

Deborah you are strong in material matters, determined and stubborn. You have good business abilities. You are a good worker, steady and practical, a builder who takes responsibility well. These qualities may bring you a position of authority and power. You are a doer, down-to-earth, serious-minded, reliable, and self-disciplined. You have good powers of concentration. You are versatile and have the ability to learn easily.

You have the power and ability to chose your own destiny and achieve anything you want in life. You can expand in any direction according to your will and your set of values. You have a passion for justice and belong in a position of authority. You have an inherent courage and the endurance to accomplish “The Impossible Dream”. With power comes responsibility. You hold keys to the material world, but with this gift comes high spiritual responsibility to be fair and true to others. You are philosophical and mature, determined and intense with a desire to endure. 

Debbie’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons. 

I can see my sister’s characteristics in those words. She is reliable and self-disciplined, a hard worker with the ability to learn and retain that knowledge. I’ve never met anyone, except her daughter Ashley, who can recite movie quotes for all occasions like she can. She’s creative. She draws and creates wonderful framed quotes and artwork. And at Halloween time, she and Ashley transform the house they all share into an insane asylum or a haunted hotel. Truly, their themed decorations are incredible works of art. 

The second paragraph connected to Debbie’s name is especially significant. I’ve seen my sister live those words. A few years ago she went back to school, to pursue her dream of working as a legal assistant. She had a perfectly fine job, but her heart wasn’t engaged there. After finishing her courses and receiving her certifications, she found the ideal law office to work for, achieving her dream. I am so proud of her. She never gave up, never wavered in taking the next step. Her “passion for justice” has a place to serve. 

Debbie is fun and playful, with a wicked sense of humor. She loves roller coasters and amusement parks, crime dramas and live musicals, children and animals. She wants to visit Scotland someday. I want to go with her. She’s compassionate and puts actions behind her desire to help others. She joined me this year in Joplin’s Chase the Chill event, hanging scarves in trees for anyone who needed one. She jokes that Eeyore is her spirit animal. Debbie relishes her quirks. 

I treasure my sister. I knew something amazing was happening the day she was born. And honestly, she’s watched over me as much as I have her. She has journeyed along side me, encouraged me, been there at my lowest moments and celebrated my greatest ones with me. I can’t imagine my life without her in it.

Eeyore said, “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”

That’s my sister, making all the difference, in the lives of so many people. Happy birthday Debbie! I love you!