Sunshine into the Lives of Others: The Inspiring Life Story of Beth L. Tielke

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." – James Matthew Barrie

About Beth Tielke’s Childhood Home

Here is the latest semi-monthly excerpt of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life, just one way for her memories to continue to live on. Previously we learned about her extended family members and now we get a glimpse into Beth’s childhood home and life.

A Sparrow's Nest - Sunshine into the Lives of Others

A Sparrow’s Nest

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:


My earliest memory of home: We had only 3 chairs. Our main meals were fried potatoes & eggs – mac[]aroni with cream.

Bread with cream & sugar each were separate meals – No electricity or running water – going outside to the bathroom.

My childhood bedroom: It was upstairs – hot in summer & Grandma warmed big rock in the oven to put in my bed to make it warm in winter. In the summer sparrows came through the holes in the windows screens and I’d watch them nest, lay eggs and hatch. Also Millers were really bad – I had a personal lite to read by.

My favorite hiding place: I had a dog named Pal – We lived in a big cottonwood grove so each fall I’d hide in the leaves. He would come uncover me – One day going to school Grandpa let me sit on the tractor & drive [&] when we got almost to school Pal sat down watch the kids – I ran over him – I never had another dog I loved that much.

The yard I played in: We didn’t have yards. I played all over our farm.

Upcoming excerpts: “MY HOMETOWN” and “A TYPICAL DAY GROWING UP “.

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About Beth Tielke’s Father

I’m continuing to post semi-monthly excerpts of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life as one way for her memories to continue to live on. Last time we learned about her mother and now we will learn about her father.

Daddy's Hands

In our “Spring” interview last fall, Beth remembered her father’s hands. She said he had big, rough hands and they were all cut and scratched from barbed wire since he didn’t have gloves to wear. She said she didn’t know if men didn’t use hand lotion in those times or if they just didn’t have the money to use it.

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:


My father’s full name: Charles William Sloan

His birth date and place of birth: [February 17, 1901] McCook, Ne.

My father’s best story about growing up: Grandpa died when I was 25. I really don’t remember his stories much.

I know he only went to the 8th grade – imagine making your own living at 13 years of age.

One of my most precious memories of my father: Anything I wanted he would do for me – I remember him pulling the car up the hills back of the barn and onto the road so he could take me to town. (This was back of the big shed.)

Upcoming excerpts: “MY FAMILY” and “MY CHILDHOOD HOME“.

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{A Continual Ray of Sunshine}

As everyone now knows, it is with great sadness in my heart that I say that on May 28, 2015, the beloved Beth Tielke passed away after a brief battle with cancer. I loved my grandma beyond belief and definitely beyond words. That became increasingly apparent in these weeks after she passed away because I longed to be able to put into words to people how much she meant to me, and yet I felt like no one could truly know unless they shared our titanium bond. And while we had an incredible bond, let me also say that my grandma had a unique way of making anyone she was talking with feel like they were the most important person in the room, because to her, they were. Jokingly, she always told whichever child, grandchild or great-grandchild who was with her that they were her favorite. So if I have any family members reading this, I know you were truly her favorite. 😉

Grandma Beth and Me - A Titanium Bond

Grandma Beth and Me – A Titanium Bond

I wanted to write this because I wanted to express the feeling of deep sadness I have…but also something more intense. As hard as it is for me to fathom right now, I have a strong impression from conversations with my grandma over the past couple years that she wants me to be able to carry on without her and have the best life possible, free of sadness as much as possible. Just this past year at Christmas she said to me in her most cheerful disposition (all but clapping her hands together), “Oh, I could die happy now because I know that you have everything you need and you have [your husband] and [child]!” Our family was used to Grandma saying things like that or about her own mortality with light-heartedness over the years, and I guess in a way she may have been preparing us for the inevitable so that we could one day face the reality of the loss ourselves.

That being said, I’m not sure that you can ever be fully prepared for the feelings and emotions that come with loss or the loss itself. But I do feel comforted by some conversations I had with her in which she told me everything is/will be fine. My grandma also faced difficult losses during her lifetime and I remember some of my favorite road trips with her involved talking about the signs that she had seen that indicated to her that her mother was watching over her. On those drives, I always looked at the sky through the windshield–day or night–and tried to envision heaven and those I knew who were there.

Watching Over Me

Watching Over Me

Yes, I know my grandma is in heaven watching over me and all of my family. In her final days, I told her that [because of this life story project] rays of sunshine would always remind me of her. How grateful I am to experience the warmth of sunshine and see rays of hope in the sky during this difficult time because I feel like she is alongside me, assuring me that everything will be OK. She would tell me that I’m a strong person and that she’s so proud of the young lady I’ve become. She would say that she’s enjoyed watching my husband and I interact, that she can see our love, and that we have the most adorable little boy. I know that she wants to see us living happy lives and spreading good will as she did throughout her life…and that is something I can do for me and for her.

And these are things she would want for you as the reader [friend, family, acquaintance or other] to know too: a) you too can carry on and have the best life possible, free of sadness as much as possible; b) you too can face the reality of the loss; c) you too should take comfort in knowing that Beth said everything will be OK; and d) you too should know that she is so proud of you.

Holding Our Hand Every Step of the Way

Holding Our Hand Every Step of the Way

Within the past year, I had a vivid phone conversation with my grandma about how life may well be easier for the non-perfectionist. She did not consider herself a perfectionist and so she said she found it easier to be satisfied with the outcomes of her efforts. While she did not intend for these to be Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke, I took them as such. So, as much as I’d like to write a lot on this subject [of grief and loss of my dear grandma] and write it perfectly, I’m going to allow myself to be content with writing fewer words that may not capture my every thought and feeling but hopefully capture the essence of my heart on the topic of grief and loss. As for more words about my dearest grandmother, I will continue to tell her story throughout my life and for now, that story will continue to be shared on this very blog here:

Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul” (NKJV).

Originally posted here on {My Life Space Moments} on 6.25.15.

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