It was a cool Autumn day. The leaves along the hillside had began to change to their delightful tones of red, yellow, and burnt orange to decorate for the autumn season.
I had drove to town to ‘check’ Sunshine Messages post office box. With little to no expectations of finding a letter. It had been brought to my attention that ‘snail’ mail was considered a thing of the past, so why would I believe anyone would take time to write Sunshine Messages?
As I stood next to the recycling bin tossing one advertisement after the other into a sea of unwanted ‘junk’ mail, something caught my eye! A small, crumpled, letter. It was difficult to read due to the smudged letters on the outside. The address was correct…P.O. Box 173 Milton Ky. 40045. But it was not made out to Sunshine.
Hmmmm, I curiously flipped it back and forth attempting to decide if it was placed in the wrong mail box or if it was indeed a letter for Sunshine?
Leaving the rest of the rubbish behind, the letter went with me! It couldn’t have much in the envelope it was so small. It smelled of cherry cigars & tears. Who was this from? Without a return address, my curiosity was building more and more.
As I carefully opened the crumpled, envelope to read this mysterious note…I found 2 letters. They both had been ripped apart, tapped together, crumpled & tore several times. One, in particular, was extremly difficult to read. As I unfolded the first letter, I had to carefully pull pieces of tape apart in order to open it. It appeared that this letter was held together with tape & prayers.
The handwriting was messy & whoever had written this note must have been in a hurry!
“I am sorry I couldn’t take it anymore, I Love You All So Much. I do not want to hurt you. I am sorry daddy, I cannot be the star quarter back anymore. But know I Love You I really do Love You! I am So Sorry. Love, Tony.
Was this a joke? Who would send this to Sunshine? What do they want? The questions raced through my head!
Laying this note aside, I quickly opened the newer, less stained and damaged letter.
Hoping to find answers, as to why I have this worn, tattered, pieced together, smudged letter that made little sense to me! Who is Tony? And why is his letter in my post office box. The second letter read:
I have read your blog, watched your recordings & I am begging for your HELP!
You see this is my Son’s suicide note! I have wept many times over these worn & tattered pieces of paper. Begging & hoping to turn back time. Wondering how I can forgive myself for being such a terrible father and how I can forgive my son for not talking to me before he did what he did.
You are my last attempt. I have contemplated taking my life several times, even as I write this letter my desperation feels as if it will take me over. I have been put on antidepressants, spoke with countless counselors/psychiatrists, mediums and psychics.
I have a beautiful daughter and wife. However, I know they are growing weary of my depression.
My wife explained, two weeks ago, she had been thinking about leaving me. Not because she does not love me, but rather she cannot stand to see me in such a terrible state of mind and feels she cannot help.
They are the reason I continue to wake up everyday. I would ‘end it all’ if it weren’t for these beautiful ladies in my life. However, I love them so much and I realize how terrible the pain is when you lose someone to Suicide, that I cannot hurt them like that.
A friend of mine requested I try one last attempt to heal. She explained how you had assisted her when she had to say goodbye to her husband 2 years ago.
She told me how you eased her pain by providing her with Sunshine Messages. “If it weren’t for ‘Sunshine’ I wonder how I would have pulled through”, was her comment to reassure me you could help.
Therefore, I am writing to request HELP! In fact I have NEVER let go of his letter as I did to mail it to you. Yes I made a copy. However, this letter is his actual handwriting from the pen he wrote before he…
I am unsure if you can help me. However, I am Desperate! I am at the end of my rope! I do not have anywhere else to turn.
My address is included at the bottom of this note.
Here is what I would like to do. May I write a message to my Son, Tony and you deliver it?
Write back as soon as possible or email me.
Please, please, please do what you can!
Sincerely yours, Charles
I immediatly sat down to write him a quick note, explaining this might be beyond my capabilities. This was a great deal of responsibility and fear had come over me.
For example, what if I couldn’t assist him and he took his life, I would feel terrible. I suggested he call the Suicide Prevention hotline & return to his psychiatric care, immediately. My note was short & sweet, but definitely to the point.
I addressed the envelope and hurried off to return his and his son’s letter. I ensured I would send him good energy and hoped he found his inner peace & forgiveness.
I sent the letter and washed my hands of that.
The following day, the lady. who had sent Charles my way, contacted me. “I hope you do not mind I sent you another person to assist in living his Best Life.”
She explained a bit more about his situation.
Apologetically, I told her how I wrote him back declining the opportunity to assist.
Although she was disappointed, she seemed to understand my decision. (Which was fear talking).
About a week had passed and I heard nothing more. I did wonder if I had made the best decision, I guessed he went on to seek assistance else where. I had already lost a great deal of sleep over his letters therefore, I feel that no news is good news.
Everything was back to ‘normal’ in Sunshine’s world!
Two more weeks had passed. My routine visit to the post office, continued to be standing at the recycling bin disposing of all the ‘junk’ mail!
As I tossed the last four Dish Network advertisements in the recycling bin I turned on my heels and begin to leave. Then I heard a sweet little voice , “Are you Sunshine?”
Funny thing is…I was on the verge of cancelling the post office box and focusing on texting or email. Maybe everyone was right? (I thought to myself) I mean this letter idea is not going to work. No one writes or mails letters anymore. My clientele was growing and everyone seemed to enjoy the text messages/emails, just fine. This P.O. Box was a waste of time…right?
I replied, as I looked up to see who was asking, “Yes, I am Sunshine. Why?”
A young lady in her early teens was standing there, staring at me with her hand outstretched holding a Pink envelope addressed to Sunshine.
“Where did you find that? Did I drop it?” I asked.
“No,” she curtly replied. Continuing to hold the envelope out, as if she was a little put out with me for not taking the letter.
The two seconds of silence were extremly uncomfortable. As I reached out to take the letter, she never seemed to blink or take her eyes off of me. I slowly attempted to take the letter and she pulled it back slightly, tilted her head, inhaled deeply, then in a snide yet calm tone, she asked, “Can you handle this? I helped you the first time because you doubted, but now it is up to you, Sunshine.”
“Okay, I do not know who you are nor do I understand what you are talking about, but if that is addressed to me…please give it to me.”
I took the envelope and as I read who it was addressed to…’Sunshine’, I was saying, “Thank You,” simultaneously.
Our conversation continued as I peered at the envelope with extreme curiosity. I was blabbing about my thoughts, inspecting the color and wondering if this young woman knew who it was from. As I began to ask, “Do you know who…”
I looked up to read her facial expression, attempting to infer her role in delivering this hot pink envelope. And…SHE WAS GONE! POOF! HAD VANISHED IN THIN AIR!
I quickly ran to the door, pushed it open looking for this young lady. I would never forget her expression and how she made me feel so strange. She was kind yet staunch. Cold with a twist of warmth.
Where did she go? Who was this young lady? She was not in the Post Office when I arrived…hmmmm where did she come from?
Startled and confused I left with the Pink envelope in hand! I couldn’t help but continue to look for the messenger. I wondered, where she came from and where she went. I was confused and filled with curiosity. What was she talking about, “Can I handle this and she helped me the first time?”
I have never seen that girl before, in my life! How could she have helped?
Maybe, the contents in this letter will answer some of my questions. As I carefully opened the letter I could smell a strawberry scent coming from the pink lined paper carefully folded and tucked into the nice neat Pink envelope. The letter said,
Thank you so much for my letter. It was if you had already received my letter to my son! I do not know how you did that, but your letter has changed my life! I cannot thank you enough. I hope you will have time to send some more letters. They assist me in forgiving Tony and I can make it through one more day. Thank you from The bottom of my heart, Sunshine! Your friend was correct in saying your messages can be described as magical. My only regret is that I didn’t write you sooner.
You see I have been mourning Tony for five years and until your letter, I have cried myself to sleep night after night, since the day we lost him! I have attempted to hide my sadness, but my daughter, who is now 15, begged for me to get help. She said she misses her daddy and she is beginning to feel hatred towards her brother because of it.
When she said she could hate her brother is when something snapped in my head! Was I actually HATING my son for doing what he did? I knew I Hated myself, but I thought my mourning was because I Loved and missed him so much. I do not want my daughter or myself to hate Tony.
Then, out of complete desperation, I wrote that first letter to you. I did not have any expectations that you would return a response nor if it would help me heal.
I am here to tell you that letter…Changed My Life! I still have a great deal of healing to do and am hoping you will continue to assist me. My daughter has already noticed a difference in me, in this short amount of time.
When she asked what I was ‘doing’ to heal? I replied with enjoying some Sunshine 🌞.
Thank You Sunshine for everything! My letter from my son was the best medicine. (Yes, I know it was from you, but it helped me so much and you even signed it the way he always did! Thank you!).
I have written him another letter and am sending it to you separate from this one. I hope you do not mind, I looked up your favorite color and am sending my letters in that color to ensure they do not become mixed up in the many other letters you receive.
Thank you, once again, for assisting me. I know you are extremly busy and I so appreciate you taking on my case!
One more thing… I made a donation to your PayPal, I do hope it is more than enough.
Thank you, Charles
I read his letter at least twenty times. I was puzzled & confused.
Didn’t I write him a letter explaining how I couldn’t help? Hmmmm…my mind was racing with questions. Who was the young lady? Who is Charles? And how did he receive a letter from his son, yet from Sunshine? I didn’t write it!
The next few days I felt quite intrigued. I went to the post office every day for five days…Nothing! Oh of course there were a few more pieces of junk mail, but definitely not a Pink letter addressed to Sunshine. I had mixed emotions. Some days I hoped a letter would arrive and other days I felt like it was a hoax. Then…
IT HAPPENED! All alone, no advertisements, other letters, nothing was in my PO Box except 1 hot pink envelope addressed to Sunshine!
Instead of smelling like cherry cigars and tears it smelled of strawberries and cream. I quickly retrieved the letter and practically ran to my car.
Recognizing, I should wait to read this at home…I tore it open, in the parking lot and began reading!
It is funny all of my therapist have instructed me to write you letters, but I refused. All this time I focused on your death and my own suffering. I am so sorry! Thank you for forgiving me and knowing how much I Love You!
I wish you didn’t have to go as early as you did, but I now understand a little better of your pain and suffering. I will try to keep my letters on the lighter side, but sometimes I May need to tell you about my sorrow. It seems to be a path to help me heal. I have been so angry with you for the past 5 years that I have missed out a great deal. I will try to do better. I Love You My Son! Thank you for taking the time to write back and letting me know you forgive me, for not being able to help you.
I must admit the young lady, Lindsey, has truly suffered a great deal. She blames herself for breaking up with you and everytime she sees Mom, Jessica or myself tears fill her eyes and she makes a point to hug us and tell us all she loves us.
I wish you would have held on a little longer. You would have recognized that the pain from the break up or from all the other pieces of your life, would pass.
Jeremy took your place as quarter back and he did okay. He is now attending Kansas State. He did not continue playing sports after graduation. However, before EVERY GAME…He would pull the team to huddle and shout over and over, “Win this for Tony!”
The year you passed they didn’t win a single game! But, Senior Year…We won STATE! With a great deal of tears! The team lifted Jeremy up and chanted, “WE WON IT FOR TONY!!!”
Your school counselor included you in her graduation speech and of course, so did the class president & your best friend Damon.
One comment was, “Tony’s body may have passed on, but his Great Big Happy Spirit guided us through to this day. Our final page the day we all spread our wings and fly. We hope you are smiling down on us and that we made you proud.”
Oh, how I have missed you! I am so sorry you regretted it the second after you pulled that trigger. I know how you feel, I have regretted many things the second you thought it was okay to leave us!
I will never ‘move on’ or forget you my Son! However, I do hope for more peace & understanding, especially now that I have your letter. And hope for many more to arrive.
Until next time, know that I Love You to the Moon & Back. I Love You for all eternity! I simply wish I could turn back time.
Love with All of My Heart, Daddy!
At this point I can only infer what Tony had replied back with. How did this happen? What could or how could I have possibly sent a letter from his deceased son.
My mind could not calm down. I questioned everything. Yes, I Loved Providing Sunshine Messages, but did I lack the confidence neccessary to continue this? Hmmmm…my uncertainty turned into anxiety and I needed to pause for a mindful moment.
As I layed on my yoga mat and attempted to focus on my breath, I continued to see the young lady firmly holding ‘my letter’. And then her smirk on her face as she acted like I was irritating her! Her words swirled in my head, “Can you handle this?”
Who does she think she is? Questioning me? Who are you? And what if I cannot handle this?
My mindful moment was becoming a gripe session from all the events of the day. I tossed and turned until I slipped off into a afternoon nap.
Of course, my dreams included letters, request, snide remarks, people all swirling around and mixing together.
One message that seemed to stand out was, “Write him back.”
But the who did not seem to matter! I heard the message again and my response was extremely loud as I sat up, abruptly ending my nap, and shouted, “Write WHO?”
I sat at my writing station, grabbed an ink pen and began to write. To who? No one. I simply wrote words that came to me. Some made sense others did not. I simply continued to listen to my mind…Happy that I communicate some love enjoy little laugh more never put a period no ending just beginnings journeys with you I journey with you alot ventures tough I am help yes healing forgive all allow happy love your guy Tony
I read it 100 times. I questioned do I send this to Charles? It doesn’t even make sense. I mean I guess it does a little bit, but not really. Maybe I should edit it? Nope, that answer was clear. What did I do? I addressed the envelope to Charles I took a trip to the post office and I mailed it!
When Charles received the letter he immediatly emailed me…”Thank You, Sunshine!”
To be Continued: if you would like to read more of ‘Tony’s Letters’ Stay tuned because we are releasing this story one surprise at a time!
Livelove & Carry On!
Written by: Teena/Sunshine Drake!