To My Wife

I asked several of my wife’s friends to say a few words for her birthday. Here is what they said:

CONNIE—After a lifetime in the family of a minister, 20 years as a journalist and nearly 10 years as a city employee, not much can make me even flinch.

But, last week I was blessed, BLESSED I tell you, to finally taste Jamie’s poundcake. It made both my eyebrows raise and praise as would happen in the early days of TV preachers.

Dear sweet baby Jesus—anyone who can bake like that deserves a day of reverence and celebration. It matches her very soul for sweetness, honesty and the sacred vessel for the Holy Spirit. And we are indeed blessed to have her and that glorious cake in our lives. Happy birthday, sweet Jamie! Keep caking!

JAMIE’S MOTHER—When she was little, Jamie had a pair of camouflage pants and wore an old felt fedora that used to belong to Mister Bob Seals, and sometimes she wore men’s neckties and colorful sneakers, and such.

It embarrassed me at first. But I always let her be herself because she was so unique. Nobody is like Jamie.

I hope she has just the happiest birthday. I am just so proud of her. I have to get up now, my legs are falling asleep. Help. I’m hungry.

SUPERMARKET CASHIER—You want me to say something about that lady who was just in here? The one who just paid? Well. Um. She seemed like a nice lady. Is this some kinda joke?

KATIE—Jamie has this huge smile that lights up the room and an absolutely infectious laugh. As soon as we met I could tell she was someone I wanted to be friends with and I am thankful our lives crossed. The world needs more Jamies!

LANIER—There are few finer moments than when Jamie texts you and says: ‘I made too much poundcake, do you want some?’

TONYE—When you meet someone later in life and you think, ‘OMG I have known you forever!’ We might not talk as often as we would like, but I know we will pick right up as if we saw each other yesterday. THAT is a Lifetime Friend! Love you, Jamie. Happiest of birthdays!

MAIL GUY—Yeah, I see your wife out here sometimes, walking your dogs. She’s always real nice and all. It’s her birthday? Well, dang, tell her I said ‘Happy birthday.’ Try not to get too old, it sucks.

JAMIE’S CHILDHOOD PREACHER—Jamie was always my buddy. When you get to be 84 like me, you can’t remember everything, but I remember Jamie was always my favorite. Yessir. Certainly was.

She was always such a joy. Pure joy. That little old girl could make you laugh, or make you stand on your toes, buddy. (Laughter.) I think what I remember most was how independent she was. (More laughter.)

I’ll tell you a story about the time we all went to Gulf Shores, bunch of our church kids, all riding on a bus. It was a mini-golf course or a waterpark trip, or something er’other.

When we’s done, everyone was back on the bus and I had someone do a quick headcount and we left town.

A little ways down the road I got to thinking to myself, ‘Now hold on, I ain’t heard Jamie’s mouth in a while.’ She was always a really powerful talker, you see.

And I mean to tell you, I said, ‘Oh mercy! Oh mercy, mercy, MERCY! I done lost Jamie Martin!’

We turned the bus around and found her waiting for us. Like I say, she’s always been so independent, she wasn’t even worried. I hope she has a happy birthday. I’m so proud of her, what a fine woman she became.

CAPTAIN DAVIS: She thinks biscuits make the world a better place. She is quick to defend a dog’s honor. She makes you realize that all those over-the-top Hollywood portrayals of Southern women are not really that over the top.

ELVIRA—What I love about Jamie: Authentic. Direct. Naturally funny. Sharp-witted, can cut through malarkey before you blink twice.

Takes care of her people. Has a tender heart for nature and animals, especially the canine variety. Knows good food and isn’t afraid to tell you if it isn’t.

Fierce Protector of time and resources. Avid Supporter of good people and good causes. Knowledgeable. Wise and perceptive. No respecter of persons. At ease in her presence. But don’t underestimate her. Honored to call her Friend.

TIFFANY—Jamie is a perfect blend of sassy brass and a bleeding heart! She is equal parts kale salad and peanut butter pie! Happy birthday, Jamie! I long to find that same balance in myself!

JAMIE’S AUNT CAT—Oh, our sweet Jamie. I remember when she was little and she had this stuffed animal, I think it was called Blue Bear. She took Blue Bear everywhere. It was a pitiful Teddy bear, all flattened from being laid on, cried on, she squeezed it to death.

When she was on vacation with us she somehow lost Blue Bear—bless her heart—she was so distraught. She started drawing and coloring posters that said, ‘LOST BLUE BEAR! REWARD!’ And she hung dozens of them up on walls and on cars and such. She was so determined to find her bear.

We liked to tear the house apart looking for that thing, and we finally found him behind the sofa. We love her. Uncle Duck and I say happy birthday, darling.

MANDY—Jamie is everything I admire about a woman. Strong, beautiful, witty, and soft. She’s the real-life version of Julia Sugarbaker.

PETER: So, one of the things I like most about Jamie is the spark in her eyes. She’s got this twinkling in her eyes that hints of mischief, suggests those unvoiced (and sometimes sarcastic) thoughts, and always reflects joy and love into the world. It’s enough to keep you guessing but after some time you learn to read them as plain as words on a page.

ROBBIE—Jamie is a very considerate person. She is easy going. She loves her husband, family, her fur babies. She has a way of bringing out the best in people. She is someone I am glad to call a friend.

MELISSA—(1) Jamie is a true one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, salt-of-the-earth original, and I celebrate it! And (2) this is sweet, Sean, but I think it’s high time you get her an actual gift.

SARAH—I’ll never forget the time Jamie dropped everything and came to my side when I was in the hospital with my sweet Lucy who had viral meningitis.

It was the scariest thing I had ever been through, watching my baby fight for her life. But Jamie came and stayed with me for two days straight in the hospital. She held Lucy when my arms were too weak, she told me stories and kept my mind positive and off the negative.

She reminded me to laugh and kept my coffee cup full. She was a true angel, she gave me peace and safety by just being there and sharing the load of my fears for my daughter.

I love my sister in-law so much, she is the kindest, most compassionate selfless heart I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget that time, and I’ll always tell my Lucy of the extraordinary aunt she has in Jamie.

I don’t think I could’ve made it in the hospital without Jamie beside me. I’m so grateful for her.

ME—I love you, Jamie. So very, very much.

Happy birthday.

72 comments

  1. James e inman - October 26, 2020 6:20 am

    I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting either of ya, but brother, if she’s all that you a lucky man. I don’t doubt she’s all that and more. Happy birthday to ya Mrs Jamie, God bless. Another Son of the South.

    Reply
  2. Karen - October 26, 2020 7:59 am

    Jamie is special. She has a gift of making people feel at ease. When I reached out to her to have you speak at our gathering I felt like I was talking to a long lost friend. What a pleasure it has been to stay in touch with this kind hearted woman. We both love animals and cooking. Happy Birthday Jamie🌸. I hope it’s the best yet.

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  3. Marilyn Ward Vance - October 26, 2020 8:49 am

    Happiest of Birthdays, Jamie!

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  4. Sandi. - October 26, 2020 8:59 am

    Jamie, I hope your birthday was extra-special, and thanks to Sean’s opinion poll among your friends and relatives, those of us who have not yet met you have a better glimpse into your delightful personality. Now we need your pound cake recipe!
    God bless you.

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  5. Perri Williamson - October 26, 2020 9:14 am

    Happy Birthday Jamie. And so many more.

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  6. Cheryl Clem - October 26, 2020 9:14 am

    Happy Birthday Jamie. Wanna share your Pound Cake recipe ?

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  7. Meredith Smith - October 26, 2020 9:18 am

    Happy Birthday Jamie! Be sure to walk carefully or the invisible crown might slip! We love you!
    ~ Meredith

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  8. Cindy Kelly - October 26, 2020 9:35 am

    Happy Birthday Jamie!!!

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  9. Leigh Amiot - October 26, 2020 9:50 am

    This.
    Tell people how much you love them, how much you think of them…now.
    Happy Birthday, Jamie!!!

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  10. Joanna - October 26, 2020 10:22 am

    Sean, when I was reading your memoir, it seemed that a light came on in your life once you met Jamie. I remember thinking that she must be an amazing (and patient) person.

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  11. Debbie Hughett - October 26, 2020 10:30 am

    🎈Happy Birthday, Jamie!🎈

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  12. Tim Smith - October 26, 2020 10:34 am

    Happy birthday, Jaime!

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  13. Naomi Storey - October 26, 2020 10:49 am

    Happy Birthday, Jamie. Tell your husband to post a picture of you.

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  14. Julie - October 26, 2020 11:08 am

    What a perfect gift…seeing yourself in others’ eyes & reading the beauty they see in you. Happy birthday Jaime!

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  15. Julie Messick - October 26, 2020 11:10 am

    What a wondervul birthday gift! Happy birthday Jaime:-).

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  16. eliz - October 26, 2020 11:32 am

    When will we get that pound cake recipe? Share the love, please! I want friends to talk about my pound cake the way they do about Jamie’s.
    Happy birthday Jamie!

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  17. Terri - October 26, 2020 12:00 pm

    Happy birthday to Jamie! Funny, but I am not surprised by any of the HB comments, between what you write, and the pics you post that is exactly how I see your lovely wife in my minds eye. Love you much Sean.

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  18. Sharon Brock - October 26, 2020 12:04 pm

    Happy birthday, Jamie. I hope you have a day as wonderful as yourself.

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  19. Steve Winfield - October 26, 2020 12:07 pm

    Love to you both.
    Happy Birthday Jamie.
    🎂

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  20. Sue Rhodus - October 26, 2020 12:08 pm

    Sean…Sounds like you got a “keeper” ❤ Happy Birthday Dear Jamie.!

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  21. Jeri Bishop - October 26, 2020 12:12 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jamie. And, Sean, you should definitely get her a gift. Maybe another Blue Bear, or another dog, or maybe even something that she doesn’t have to feed. Jeri and Mike

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  22. Jean - October 26, 2020 12:16 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie….My birthday was Saturday….and as we know October babies are always special. Enjoy your day with the guy who loves you!!!

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  23. Robert M Brenner - October 26, 2020 12:21 pm

    A+ husband married to a AA+ woman! Happy Birthday Jamie! ❤️❤️

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  24. Steve - October 26, 2020 12:23 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    Since she is a journalist, maybe gift her with opportunity to write one of these daily journals!?!?

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  25. Judith A Mercer - October 26, 2020 12:29 pm

    I think the world could use some more of Jamie-types!! Happy Birthday!!!!
    Judy

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  26. Brenda - October 26, 2020 12:48 pm

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Jamie 🎂🎉

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  27. Christopher Spencer - October 26, 2020 12:52 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie!! I’ve been blessed to meet you once and that was when you and Sean were in Aliceville, Alabama. You were in the lobby of the theater setting up a table and I had no idea who you were. I thought you might be one of the local ladies helping get things ready for Sean’s show.

    I mentioned how I first became aware of Sean of the South when one day I did I Google search for Southern writers because I was in search of a new Southern writer in the same vein as Lewis Grizzard.
    And Sean came out near the top of the search. And I have been a fan ever since.

    You overheard us talking about that and then one of the other ladies introduced me to you. You said how you always liked to hear about how people learned of Sean and became a fan. And we went on to talk like we’d known each other forever.

    I got several photos of Sean and I that night but I regret that I never got even one of you and I.

    I’ve never had any of your pound cake nor have you been a lifelong friend. But I know who made Sean the man he is today, and that is you. Your love and faith in him kept him going when he needed it the most and thanks to you for giving us fans the Sean of the South we know and love today.

    I know that Sean is fully aware of how blessed he is to have you as his wife. I pray that you have many more healthy and Happy Birthdays and celebrate them all with Sean.

    Take care and may God always bless you both,
    Chris

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  28. Jan - October 26, 2020 12:58 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jamie!! Wishing you a day and a life filled with blessings!

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  29. Jane - October 26, 2020 12:59 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie

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  30. Kim O Washington - October 26, 2020 12:59 pm

    Happy BIrthday Jamie!

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  31. Sandi. - October 26, 2020 1:00 pm

    What a genuinely impressive comment from Chris Spencer! It’s like an extra birthday gift to Jamie, and well-deserved.

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  32. Judy Tayloe - October 26, 2020 1:09 pm

    Happy Birthday. Jamie!

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  33. cronkitesue - October 26, 2020 1:13 pm

    Have a wonderful birthday Jamie.

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  34. Beryl - October 26, 2020 1:37 pm

    I love birthdays! Approximately nine months before your birth, two cells met and became one. KABAM! And then there were trillions and you became known as Jaime. Happy Birthday! I know with Sean at your side it will be another beautiful year.

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  35. Libbie - October 26, 2020 1:38 pm

    You didn’t ask for my comment Sean. You may not know what a FRIEND Jamie is to me. Our home in Panama City was destroyed by Hurricane Michael. Jamie and friends appeared at my door a couple of weeks after and pitched in to help pack our house. It was a nasty, overwhelming job. Jamie was not only a wonderful helper but shared her sense of humor and became a new, valued FRIEND! What a heart she has for service and sharing God’s love! Happy, happy birthday, Jamie!

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  36. Connie - October 26, 2020 1:41 pm

    Happy birthday Jamie. I’ve been privileged to meet her at a couple of your shows, and she was so nice. And anybody that can make biscuits and pound cake and knows her way around a kitchen is a sister of the heart anyway. God bless and keep you both well and safe. Love and extra hugs.

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  37. Jo Ann - October 26, 2020 1:48 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jamie!! Hope your special day is wonderful!

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  38. Floyd white - October 26, 2020 1:56 pm

    Makes me want to meet Jamie. Nice tribute.

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  39. Bill Ledbetter - October 26, 2020 1:56 pm

    Sean, this may be your best one yet! I loved her friends and family’s responses. I have had the pleasure of meeting Jamie while everyone was trying to hear, see, and meet you. (I had met you earlier.) She is even better, as they so clearly stated. Thanks to both of you for sharing your lives with us. Don’t retire early!

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  40. Donna J. - October 26, 2020 2:10 pm

    ;So grateful for you and Sean’s efforts in keeping this crazy world on the straight and narrow–; enjoy every day together because I like starting my day with stories of southern couples who have such talents!!!

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  41. Jim Thomssen - October 26, 2020 2:20 pm

    Happiest of Birthdays Jamie!

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  42. Sara Nichols - October 26, 2020 2:22 pm

    Your Jamie sounds like someone I would love to call friend. Sounds like you are very fortunate to have her in your life! Happy Birthday!

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  43. Judy Cobern - October 26, 2020 3:15 pm

    Wow! What a woman… what a lady! .. You know, there IS a difference!

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  44. nebraskannie - October 26, 2020 3:46 pm

    You’re so lucky, Sean, to have her in your life, and I know you know it. I wish I had her in mine, too! She sounds like a wonderful friend. But I’ve got someone to share my life with who does the same for me as she does for you. That makes two lucky people! Happy Birthday, Jamie!

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  45. Berryman Mary M - October 26, 2020 4:01 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jamie! The world is blessed to have you in it! Enjoy your day!

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  46. Tom Wallin - October 26, 2020 4:17 pm

    Happy Birthday to Jaime. Now Sean, go get her that present and give her a big kiss from all of us. The world is lucky to have 2 caring human beings such as yourselves.

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  47. Jackie Darnell - October 26, 2020 4:19 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JAMIE, if the preacher likes her, I do too! You are just one lucky dude.

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  48. Margo - October 26, 2020 4:22 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie. You have the sweetest hubby. You sound special too.

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  49. Linda Moon - October 26, 2020 4:23 pm

    From LINDA WHO CAN’T COOK: I’d be blessed to taste your poundcake, Jamie. It might….just might, be as good as my Aunt Kat’s. Your husband is very, very lucky to have you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love, “Uma”.

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  50. James Stephens - October 26, 2020 4:50 pm

    Happy birthday Jamie! We met in Demopolis after almost meeting in Brewton.

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  51. Lynda Gayle Knight - October 26, 2020 4:53 pm

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Jamie❣️

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  52. Lynn - October 26, 2020 4:57 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jamie!

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  53. Frances D Lester - October 26, 2020 5:04 pm

    Thanks, Sean, for sharing your Jamie with us! I feel like I have two new friends, you and Jamie. “Powerful talker!” “Powerful lover and friend!” And a pound cake baker after my own heart!
    Happy New Year, Jamie!

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  54. Valerie - October 26, 2020 5:19 pm

    Your Jamie must indeed be a special woman. I wish her the hap hap happiest year of her life, too!

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  55. Dave Conkle - October 26, 2020 5:20 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie

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  56. Margaret Jackson - October 26, 2020 5:31 pm

    Happy birthday, Jamie.
    Reading about you in Sean’s articles makes me feel as if we could be really good friends!
    Alas, I cannot make a decent pound cake, but my fudge is to die for.
    Maybe one day we can have a recipe swap!

    Margaret Jackson
    Woodland, AL

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  57. Pondcrane - October 26, 2020 5:39 pm

    Happy Birthday:) I was going to say I hope you don’t have to bake your own cake; but, I imagine yours would be better than store bought:)) Have your best year and thanks for sharing your husband with us.

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  58. christina - October 26, 2020 6:24 pm

    Even though I’ve never met your sweet Jamie, I smell the warmth in her pound cakes and feel the love in every southern delicacy she makes for you. You are truly a lucky man, Sean, and may your love fill each other up! Happy birthday to your beautiful wife!

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  59. Vernon Souders - October 26, 2020 6:41 pm

    Sean — a really nice gift is to tell her how lucky you feel to have her… best gift ever.

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  60. cekey44 - October 26, 2020 7:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie.

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  61. Celia Harbin - October 26, 2020 7:50 pm

    Happy Birthday to Jamie. …and one day might you consider publishing a cookbook? Some of us need a little help in the pound cake department.

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  62. MAM - October 26, 2020 8:25 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jamie. And she sounds like the sort of woman I remember from growing up in Texas. Strong, sassy and a heart of gold.

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  63. Dee Frances Hoomes Wichman from Damascus, AL but now of Ocean Springs, MS - October 26, 2020 8:56 pm

    I would love to meet Jamie. She sounds like a delightful friend. You are a lucky man.

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  64. Mike Bone - October 26, 2020 9:11 pm

    “too much poundcake”……is that possible?

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  65. Katness - October 26, 2020 10:20 pm

    The very first time I ever spoke to your lovely bride, Jamie, on the phone, she invited me and our film crew to dinner. And what an amazing dinner it was! A shrimp boil and her fabulous, Jamie’s Banana Pudding. Enjoyed at sunset on Mother Mary’s pier. As you know, Sean, we just fell in love with you both. Also, as you know, she and I can talk up a storm on the phone! Happy Birthday Jamie! I love your graciousness, kind heart, sense of humor and energy! I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you!! Love, laughter & hugs!

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  66. Susan Kennedy - October 26, 2020 11:18 pm

    Happy Birthday Jamie!!🎉🎊🎂🎈🎁

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  67. Melanie - October 27, 2020 1:01 am

    Happy Birthday beautiful Jamie ❤️✨⭐️☀️🌈🍓🍒🍦🍰🧁🎀🎁🎶🎶🎵

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  68. Linda - October 27, 2020 7:46 am

    Happy Birthday sweet lady! Do you share your pound cake recipe? Just thought I’d ask.

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  69. Kim - October 27, 2020 9:53 am

    Happy Birthday Jamie !!! So now how can I purchase one of your Pounds cakes ?? I’m here in Santa Rosa Beach.

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  70. Susan - October 27, 2020 2:37 pm

    What a lovely birthday gift from your husband! These are such beautiful tributes from family and friends. I know your day was full of joy! 🥳

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  71. allisvant - October 28, 2020 3:35 pm

    Sorry, but I’m just now (the 28th) reading this, but happy Birthday, Jamie!! And many, many more. You both are blessed to have each other!!

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  72. Robert Chiles - October 28, 2020 4:37 pm

    It’s all in picking the right one- or getting picked by the right one.

    Reply

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