The Sunshine Girl: A Mother’s Love Story To Her Daughter

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The death of a child is a tragic event, but when you are able to commemorate their life in some meaningful way, it can make the passing a little easier on you and other loved ones. For Debra Harder, putting together a book with poems and pictures of and written by her late daughter is what has worked best for her. The Sunshine Girl is about Harder’s daughter, Janet Sue Cole, who passed away at thirty years of age in 2011 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Having a family history of cancer does not make matters any easier for the family, so this book is dedicated to cancer survivors and those who have succumbed to the disease.

Janet was a creative and thoughtful lady who wrote poems and created pictures to help her cope with emotions and events that were happening in her life. The chapters start from when Janet was a young girl. Each chapter discusses aspects of her life that were important to her and includes a fitting poem that she had written in her life. Relationships, faith, inner feelings, and of course death are some of the topics discussed.

For a mother who has dealt with the death of a child, she wrote this book and commemorated Janet’s memory in a very lovely way. Personally, I loved that Harder herself placed importance on her relationship with Jesus; it seems that Harder does not fully explain if Janet ever came to believe in God (and maybe it was left this way for a reason). But in relation to this topic, I can only hope, since the time has passed, that she became a believer and will in fact be meeting her mother when it is her time for her earthly passing. Stating that she has trouble believing what she can’t physically see, she is the epitome of what many others experience in their faith walk.

It can seem depressing that Janet never got to experience many of life’s pleasant moments; she was not given enough time to find the right mate and, therefore, couldn’t enjoy a family of her own. But it is worth noting that she was blessed with a loving and caring immediate family who was able to take her in and care for her during her treatment. By reading Harder’s memoir and dedication to her daughter, we can remember to make the most of our own lives; in the meantime, show your love to those you care about and do things that are worth being remembered.


Reviewed By:

Author Debra Harder
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 70 pages
Publisher Westbow Press
Publish Date 2018-11-26
ISBN 9781973643548
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Poetry & Short Stories
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