Our Ray of Sunshine

In July of 1983, my mother and I took a road trip to Wyoming to visit my brother, Mick, and his family. From Wyoming, we all traveled to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Jewel Cave and to drive through Bear Country. It was a wonderful trip despite my constant suffering from car sickness and fatigue. Mom did all of the driving and I found it nearly impossible to stay awake. Christopher was with us, but at seven months old the ride put him to sleep also. Mark and Dad couldn’t join us on this trip due to their work schedules. Mom must have felt deserted. She kept waking me up and telling me I was missing the beautiful scenery along the way, but I was nauseated and exhausted and as much as I wanted to enjoy the sights, sleep always won the battle.

When we returned home the sickness didn’t end so I went to the doctor. Being pregnant was the furthest thought from my mind. I just had a baby and he took 3 years to get here. I was shocked and unprepared for this possibility which made for a difficult pregnancy mentally, physically and emotionally. The delivery wasn’t easy either. Our daughter arrived fine, but the placenta had grown into the uterus and I hemorrhaged, losing a lot of blood resulting in an emergency surgery and blood transfusions. Katie 4 days old

As usual, after a storm the sun always comes out. The joy of its presence is enhanced because of the period of darkness. The warmth and light are brilliant and appreciated. This is definitely how I felt about Katie when she came into our world on April 14, 1984. She was worth any sacrifice or discomfort I ever had and I can’t imagine my life without her.

When we brought Katie home from the hospital, Christopher, who was sixteen months old, was thrilled. While sitting on the couch with Katie in my arms, I held her out towards Christopher to introduce them for the first time. Christopher lovingly and gently put his arms around her and in his little boy voice excitedly said, “Oh baby.” It was if he already knew and loved her. He welcomed her into the family with open arms. Miraculously, I don’t remember him ever being jealous of the attention she received.

Since Katie’s birth I’ve loved to sing to her, You Are My Sunshine. It so adequately expresses the way I feel about her. I really don’t know what I would’ve done without her sunshine, especially on those gray sky days. When Katie turned eighteen, Mark and I changed some words and added some stanzas and gave her this poem along with an afghan I crocheted for her. Today we add another stanza.


You are our Sunshine,

Our ray of Sunshine,

You make us happy when skies are gray.

You’ll never know dear,

How much we love you,

Please don’t take our Sunshine away.


Seems like yesterday,
While you were sleeping,
We loved to hold you in our arms.
When you awakened,
We knew for certain,
We loved all your sweet baby charms.


Your father’s Princess,
Your mother’s Sweet Pea,
What a fun girl, you grew to be.
You share your love dear,
With all around you,
Blessing the lives of all you see.

                      Katie’s first car

Today you’re eighteen,
We can’t believe it.
The years too quickly have gone by.
You’ll graduate soon,
And go to college,
We’ll miss you daily by our side.

For when you leave dear,

I made this for you,
To remind you how much you’re loved.
If you are lonely,
Or feel discouraged,
Just wrap this ‘round to feel our hug.

Today we add:


Now that you’re thirty,
Well-schooled and married,
Still the words are true, loud and clear.
All through the years dear,
You’ve been a blessing,
In our hearts you’ll always be near.


You are our Sunshine,
Our ray of Sunshine,
You make us happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear,
How much we love you,
Please don’t take our Sunshine away.


2 thoughts on “Our Ray of Sunshine

  1. I love this post Barbara! Happy Birthday to Katie! She has grown into a beautiful women and you and Mark have done an amazing job of raising your two children. Thanks for sharing! Love you!

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