The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life

Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to my dad Richard!

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovere...

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovered in 1827 by Josef Chmel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My German reading and writing dad Richard passed away in 1991, and today was his birthday.

I imagine in Heaven they don’t measure time, and he is probably oblivious to the goings-on down here.

Heaven is where his physical body, that was so hard-working and strong, was able to take a rest, and now he has a spiritual body.

The man was very wise, and his favorite books of the Bible were Psalms and Proverbs.

As I’ve mentioned before, Dad was a great story teller.   He had a vivid imagination to boot.

He loved the out of doors, nature and animals.

As a child, he told me time and time again to “write it down.”  Even though he meant write down the time and date someone left a phone message, that instruction has served me well.  Especially now that I’m a writer and it is helpful to write down ideas before I forget them.

His very-strong work ethic, love of God and wisdom are what I try to emulate.

His youngest daughter, she with the same bone structure, eyes, nose, humor and imagination as he, waits for the day she can see him again.

Leave a comment

The Bridge To The Other Side

Silk Road Covered Bridge

Silk Road Covered Bridge (Photo credit: jcbwalsh)

Sometimes bridges are real high and modern

but sometimes they’re low and short, just to cross a river.

These are the ones that fascinate me:

The ones that have paint or a few planks missing

have the most character.

They could tell many tales, of that I am sure.

Most get to witness nature all around them

and travelers get to witness the wear and tear of the bridge’s years.

A bridge leads to the other side

to more terrain, beauty and even tragedy.

I have heard Heaven referred to as The Other Side,

and it is a bridge I sure want to cross.

However, the other bridges in my life I must cross, too,

and aid in my life becoming what it should be

and going where it should go.



Dying Person’s Prayer – In Three Perspectives


My Prayer For All The Dying

Dear God,

I pray for all dying cancer patients –

If they’re sad, may the sadness lift,

May they turn to You in their last moments,

May they feel calm in the safety of your hand.

Give the gift of the peace from your love

And may they catch a glimpse of you and heaven

ahead of time, if that will encourage them.

Keep them safe in your care

until it is time for them to finally go home

and see their friends and family

waiting for them on that far shore.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.


Leave a comment

Dying Person’s Prayer – In Three Perspectives


I’m So Sad

Okay, God, I’m going to tell it to you like it is.  Someone once said that you’re big and powerful, and you’ve heard it all before, so you can take anything we say.  So, I’m going to talk to you like you’re sitting across the table from me.

My friend is dying from her cancer, as you know.   I am so sad that she is in her final days now, and I am not in the small group of people that is allowed in the house to see her.  I miss her terribly already.  What can I do now?  Pray is the only thing I can do, I guess.

She has fought her cancer like a trooper, never giving up, always holding on to her faith.  How I wish I had that much faith!

I think when people grieve, we are grieving for ourselves and not the one dying.  We are sad we won’t see them anymore (unless we see them in heaven later on) and sad to lose a friend.  They say death is a part of life, so why does this seem so foreign?  I am so utterly helpless, there is nothing left I can do.  So powerless!  So angry that she has to be taken already!

You know, maybe my friend is the lucky one.  She gets to see you and heaven and all her family and friends before I can.  She’s going where there are no more tears or pain or disabilities or broken hearts.  Everything is perfection in heaven, so I’m sure she’ll really enjoy it.  Thank you, God, for bringing her safely home.  Please give me the strength to endure her absence, and help me to be thankful she’s with you, even though my wished-for timing of events is not your timing.  Help me to be a good source of blessing and peace to her family and to do for them what they need right now.

Thank you Lord,



A Memorial Letter To Sandra From Her Little Sister

Hot pink flower - Macro

Hot pink flower – Macro (Photo credit: char1iej)

Hello –

Three years ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Exactly 15 years ago today, my only sibling Sandra died from uterine cancer.

I’m writing her a memorial letter today in an effort to finally put words to my feelings about her and her untimely death.   I’m sharing it with you because it will help you to know me better and also find that there was hope in this interwoven cancer story of two sisters.

Dear Sandra,

If you could be with me now, I would tell you that I don’t believe in talking to the dead. But,  in this case, I feel like if I talk to you now through a letter, I will be able to celebrate the life you had and also the fact that you are still with me in spirit.

When I close my eyes, where I used to see you and me, Mom and Dad, there is only me now.  There are three black spaces where you guys used to be.  But, I am glad you are in heaven now – of that I am sure – and you are living a serenely glorious life – in fact, you are really LIVING and not just surviving.  I asked the Lord about you one day in my prayers, asked how you were doing.  I got the answer, “She’s finally H A P P Y now.”  What a wonderful concept to take in!  I never was mad at God for you dying at the tender age of 39.  Actually, I figured God took you home when He did so that you could get away from a terrible lifestyle you were forced to live and away from a man who mistreated you.

Although you were very sick at the end – and in and out of a coma – I had a wonderful time with you at the hospital.  I talked to you and sang to you and when you could finally sit up in bed, I put my back up against yours so you could remain upright – I think the cancer had gotten to your bones.  Anyway, I slept in a chair next to your bed all night because the stupid hospital could not even provide me with a cot for your room.  I remember refusing to go home, and so the next morning when your Pastor paid you a visit, he found me there sleeping and promptly took me home to Mom’s apartment.  I laugh now at the spectacle I must have been – I was still in my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, taking the elevator and walking in the parking lot  – but I didn’t care.  You, and your life, was very much more important than me looking all spiffy with every hair in place.   Who cares, now really!?

I have many warm memories of your hospital stay…one night (early on, before your coma) you insisted to Mom and I that we get a bunch of groceries to bring back to the room.  I of course, obliged, even though we all knew that you weren’t able to eat solid foods anymore.   Hmmm, the grocery list went something like this:  fig bars, punch, MY favorite, apricot nectar…and I thought “This sounds like a party!”  Just today I realized:    You were trying to have your swan song and say goodbye in a happy atmosphere.  Bless you, Sandra!  When I came back from the hospital, Mom said you went back to sleep right after I left.  😦  You went into a coma the next day, but the day after that I dutifully read a letter to you that I asked Dave to write to you so at least he could say goodbye – his company didn’t let people have time off to see a relative out of state until the funeral date was set.   I had always heard that people in comas can hear what you’re saying, so I made sure I read the letter.  Dave had done such a good job with it, and it was very hard for me to get through reading it aloud without losing it.   Then Mom interrupted me and said, “Look, Debbie!”  and you were reaching for my hand.   I think it was during the part of the letter where Dave was telling you to reach for God’s hand, that you are His child and he was on your side.  Or, maybe you were saying “yes” to salvation from God?  I don’t know, but that was another tender moment.  The next day you lapsed into your final coma.

Then, I got a little rebellious.  After you died in the morning, your pastor visited me and Mom, and he wanted to pray with us.  I was a little ticked off, because I was so exhausted, and Mom and I had already done so much praying; I was a little tired of it.  So I told the pastor okay, we could pray, but I promptly sat down on the linoleum floor.

And then….that night I was driving west, next to the Bay, and saw the most incredible, beautiful sunset I had ever seen.   It wasn’t a typical Midwestern sunset with muted colors.  This one looked like it actually belonged in Hawaii, with its streaks of hot pink (your favorite color!) against purples, blues and yellows.  I had the sensation that somehow God was putting His blessing on the day and on your departure to Him.  My heart was aching like crazy with my terrible loss, but yet the sunset gave me hope – that the God who created nature and such beauty was totally capable of giving you a very wonderful new Home.

So….then three years ago on your 15th anniversary of going to Heaven, I got my own diagnosis of cancer.   When I realized what day it was, August 24th, I knew then that I would be fighting my cancer battle for me AND for you.  Your cancer had progressed so rapidly that you didn’t have a chance to fight.  Well, I would fight for both of us, I told myself.

And I have.  There were only a few bad memories of my cancer journey; the rest were wonderful.  I am writing a book about the positive part about cancer, because before I had cancer, I never ever realized that there could be something positive about that word or experience.  I want people to have the hope that I received and have the grace and determination to fight with all they’ve got.    Well Honey, it turns out that you received “The Ultimate Healing” – the chance to go Home to God.  Some people get that kind of healing, and some get healed so they can live more years on earth.  Either way, it’s all in God’s loving hands, and I am glad I will see you again.

I love you, you precious girl!

Your little sis,


P.S.  I wish we could ge-ge-ge now!  🙂