The Book of Sunshine: Prologue

Something About Sunshine

Everyday and probably several times a day I think about writing a blog post. I can never make up my mind if I want to write about my life…. It’s certainly been eventful enough to muster up a best-seller! Or, do I want to write about whatever is on my mind at the time….I know that whatever is on my mind is always exciting enough to have everyone engaged!! So, like any great procrastinator, if you can’t decide what to do you just do nothing!!


In 1977, my mom left Kosciusko Mississippi with a very tiny me! She had no job, no money, no car and had to make it back to Central Illinois with a baby!

The man on my birth certificate isn’t my biological father (I’m not certain who is and I genuinely could care less) but my mom had 3 older children that she conceived with this peculiar man. However, he didn’t think she should take the other kids with her. The 2 of them and the children stood in the front yard, on a cold and snowy winter day, literally playing tug of war with one of my brothers!

My mom only made it back to Illinois with me. She started out hitchhiking but a good Samaritan bought her a plane ticket and we were off to Illinois!

This is where my own story loses the first 3 years because of course I can’t remember it, my mom can’t tell me because of a stroke she had several years ago AND there’s no one else around that can tell me.

So, we will just start with 3 year old Sunshine! We always lived as poor as I ever witnessed, of other kids were as poor I couldn’t tell. I realize that people had it worse but we always lived in higher crime neighborhoods, in very small apartments in broke down apartment houses.

I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight about the neighborhoods I lived in as a child so I looked them up! Well some are empty lots now but my favorite is the graphic showing all the high crime neighborhoods in dark blue and every street I lived on is in dark blue…

Have you ever read V.C. Andrews books? She is the author of Flowers in the Attack. When I was 15 years old I spent the entire summer reading books. Each book she writes is generally 1 of 5 in a series and I read 2 of her series that summer and I swore that my family must be like these folks in the books!

OK, maybe there’s a bit of an exaggeration, we didn’t live in an actual shack nor did we live in the mountains! I do remember my mom making “hobo stew” and I just assumed that meant throwing whatever you got on hand into a pot and cooking it up. As it turns out there is actually a recipe for it!

OK, OK, back to business. This is why I never get my posts published! I get to researching this that and the other thing and I get lost. So, now we know what my neighborhood looked like, what kind of food I ate and what my perception of it all was!

Although my childhood was filled with negativity such as: poverty, abuse, drugs&alcohol, mental illness and foster homes, I tend to look back on most of it with a sense of humor. I realize this may seem strange to some people but it is my own way of taking the power away from the negativity and enables me to focus on the positive moments!

Writing about my life story is important to me for a few different reasons. 1: It is important to me that I deal with my past so I can move forward. Many people may think there’s no need to “deal with your past or childhood” and I believed for the longest time that I had done a great job not letting my childhood “get to me”! Little did I know I had just become really good at compartmentalizing! 2: I hope that someone will read my story and know that they are not alone and that whatever negative feelings they are dealing with as a result of anything they have been through does not have to define them for the rest of their lives! Last but not least (I say this with a small amount of jest) Maybe one day soon this will lead me to writing a best selling novel and I’ll make lots of money!! 

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The Book of Sunshine: Introduction

(A short, ok sort of short, preview)

My early beliefs shaped so many decisions:

As a young girl I HATED my name. So much so that I always went by Sunny until I was in Junior High. Why couldn’t I have been named Kim? That was my dream name! So simple and not drawing any attention. That is the way I wanted it!11021168_10203210876383998_6864499889922935607_n

Poor People Have Poor Ways!


Causes of poverty

Poverty is an exceptionally complicated social phenomenon, and trying to discover its causes is equally complicated. The stereotypic (and simplistic) explanation persists—that the poor cause their own poverty—based on the notion that anything is possible in America. Some theorists have accused the poor of having little concern for the future and preferring to “live for the moment”; others have accused them of engaging in self‐defeating behavior. Still other theorists have characterized the poor as fatalists, resigning themselves to a culture of poverty in which nothing can be done to change their economic outcomes. In this culture of poverty—which passes from generation to generation—the poor feel negative, inferior, passive, hopeless, and powerless.The “blame the poor” perspective is stereotypic and not applicable to all of the underclass. Not only are most poor people able and willing to work hard, they do so when given the chance. The real trouble has to do with such problems as minimum wages and lack of access to the education necessary for obtaining a better‐paying job.
More recently, sociologists have focused on other theories of poverty. One theory of poverty has to do with the flight of the middle class, including employers, from the cities and into the suburbs. This has limited the opportunities for the inner‐city poor to find adequate jobs. According to another theory, the poor would rather receive welfare payments than work in demeaning positions as maids or in fast‐food restaurants. As a result of this view, the welfare system has come under increasing attack in recent years.
Again, no simple explanations for or solutions to the problem of poverty exist. Although varying theories abound, sociologists will continue to pay attention to this issue in the years to come.

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/sociology/social-and-global-stratification/causes-and-effects-of-poverty

Roughly 14% or 40+ million Americans live below the poverty line and depending on if you are Trump (250,000 Americans live in “deep poverty”) or the UN (18.5 million Americans live in “deep poverty”) Growing up I always subscribe to the belief that “poor people have poor ways”. This is certainly a personal belief based on personal experience as well as data compiled by many theorists etc. I’ve read some very offensive versions of this belief: “poor people are the way they are because they are lazy/ don’t care/ don’t know any better”. For me it’s clear that poverty is often a life cycle. You start out poor and it can become like a habit. You start to realise or believe that you aren’t worth an education or a good job. You are often looked down upon in a way that tells you to “stay in your place”. My counselor recently stated it very well. People living in poverty often feel isolated. Poverty puts you in a box! My point to all this is that my family seems to have been plagued by some pretty messed up choices for generations and most of these choices seem to occur most often in poor families. So yes, as television will tell you: drug addiction, domestic violence and child abuse doesn’t discriminate BUT these situations are much more common to families living in poverty! 


The effects of poverty

The effects of poverty are serious. Children who grow up in poverty suffer more persistent, frequent, and severe health problems than do children who grow up under better financial circumstances.
Many infants born into poverty have a low birth weight, which is associated with many preventable mental and physical disabilities. Not only are these poor infants more likely to be irritable or sickly, they are also more likely to die before their first birthday.


Children raised in poverty tend to miss school more often because of illness. These children also have a much higher rate of accidents than do other children, and they are twice as likely to have impaired vision and hearing, iron deficiency anemia, and higher than normal levels of lead in the blood, which can impair brain 

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/sociology/social-and-global-stratification/causes-and-effects-of-poverty

So, my point to all this carrying on is: I will start writing a collection of posts that will all be titled: The Book of Sunshine. My method has changed several times in the last few days and I already had the majority of this post completed as well as the post titled “Prologue” so I’ll officially start the story with:The Book of Sunshine: Chapter 1. I don’t believe I will have titles for each chapter yet nor do I have an exact plan for a timeline but I do have a brief outline from me being a toddler to age 16 which is actually divided up by who my mom was married to at the time. 

I’ve been trying to get to a place in my life that brings me peace! I’ve made SO much progress year to year but this year I’ve made the most progress thus far! To have peace I feel that I have to make peace with my past and as it turns out, to make peace with your past you have to process it and as it turns out that includes a much more difficult task: You have to take a long hard look at what makes you who you are AND you have to be “OK” with it OR adjust accordingly. This collection of posts are my biggest and best attempt at processing my past and because that is a work in progress so are my methods of processing!

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