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

{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: sunshineintothelivesofothers.wordpress.com.

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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Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke – 12.29.14

Since we live six hours apart, each time (over the past few years) that I am able to see Grandma for a weekend, I always ask if I can record “Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke” and she always politely agrees. Thanks for being such a good sport, Grandma! These and all of your other pearls of wisdom will be cherished by your friends and family forever!

To Grandma’s dear friends and family:

If you have missed our recorded life story series, below are links to listen to or download the four chapters of Grandma’s life story for playback. You can even download the SoundCloud app on your phone and stream the recordings live to listen to in the car while commuting, and the Sunshine into the Lives of Others playlist will play them one after the other for you!

But that’s not all! Stay tuned for a special “heritage” recording.

As you peruse the Sunshine into the Lives of Others blog, please comment in the space below on your favorite takeaways from Beth Tielke or your favorite place to glean the nuggets–phone interview recordings, face-to-face interview videos, or Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke. This will help me know what to zone in on for others to enjoy!

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Have Good Thoughts…and You Will Always Look Lovely

While Grandma has always said, “It is better to be nice than pretty”, today I hope everyone looks lovely because according to Roald Dahl, that’s the result of having good thoughts. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way, Grandma!

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As a birthday gift to Beth Tielke: Be a ray of sunshine for someone today!

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Gather Golden Moments: Beth Tielke Shares Memories of her 60’s, 70’s and 80’s

This is the fourth in a series of life story interviews with Grandma Beth Tielke who always brings “sunshine into the lives of others”. In terms of this memoir-style blog’s theme, as Beth’s story unfolds in our interviews, I continue to build around the theme of the changing seasons.

Over the past few months, we have broken down Beth’s life into the four “seasons”: in the spring interview, we looked at the first 20 years. In the summer interview, she reminisced over experiences in her 20’s and 30’s, and in the autumn interview,  she examined ages 41-60. In this interview, we zone in on memories and life lessons from her 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Tying together the winter theme along with the golden years and the sentimental journey of the interviews, I opened with this quote by John Boswell:

“Winter: A lingering season is a time to gather golden moments, embark on a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”

I was so excited to discuss this chapter of Grandma’s life with her (and now to share it with you), because–two days from her 84th birthday–this is the chapter in which Beth reflects on all of the decades of her life and provides us with even more messages of perseverance, hope and optimism!

Press play below to hear our sunshine Beth’s perspective on how to live a happy and successful life, the highest honor she ever received, the people she admires most and more! Aside from her favorite books and movies, you also get to hear such fun things as what she would do if she won $1 million tomorrow or if she could be granted three wishes!

For convenience, feel free to download it for future playback on your computer or download it on your mobile phone to listen to it on iTunes or another music player. 🙂 And don’t forget that you can share the track with anyone you think may value the messages!

I conclude with this inspirational poem called “Good Things Going Around”:

Good Things Going Around

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Crisp in the Fall: Beth Tielke Shares Memories of her 40’s and 50’s

This is the third in a series of life story interviews with Beth Tielke who always brings “sunshine into the lives of others”. In terms of this memoir-style blog’s theme, as Beth’s story unfolds in our interviews, I’ve labeled the third 20 years of her life as “Autumn.” In this conversation, we focus on the season of autumn–Beth’s memories of her 40’s and 50’s. I opened with this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby:

I selected that quote to open with because it seems as if during this period of Grandma Beth’s life—ages 41-60—that life, in a sense, did start all over again because she reinvented herself as a self-employed business woman, built a primary business that gave her the opportunity to employ family members, and got more and more exposure to chances to live out her passion of making a difference in other peoples’ lives!

I was so excited to discuss this chapter of Grandma’s life with her (and now to share it with you), because this is the chapter in which she made significant changes that positively impacted everyone around her!

Press play below to hear our sunshine Beth’s detailed account of the businesses she started and the knowledge she gleaned along the way, as well as the skills and abilities she thinks an entrepreneur must have in order to be successful!

For convenience, feel free to download it for future playback on your computer or download it on your mobile phone to listen to it on iTunes or another music player. 🙂

I leave you with this positive suggestion:

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

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Be Someone’s Sunshine Today!

Be Someone's Sunshine Today

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Sweet Sounds of Summer: Beth Tielke Shares Memories of her 20’s and 30’s

This is the second in a series of life story interviews with Beth Tielke who always brings “sunshine into the lives of others”. In terms of this memoir-style blog’s theme, as Beth’s story unfolds in our interviews, I’ve labeled the second 20 years of her life as “Summer.” In this conversation, we focus on the season of summer–Beth’s memories of her 20’s and 30’s. I opened with this message:

“Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain, tear drops and laughter, pleasure and pain. Just remember, there was never a cloud that the sun couldn’t shine through.”

Press play below to hear our sunshine Beth’s fond memories of her husband and each of her seven children as they were growing up! For convenience, feel free to download it for future playback on your computer or download it on your phone to listen to it on your phone on iTunes or another music player. 🙂

I concluded the interview with this positive suggestion for the listening audience:

“Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.”

One thing is for sure: this interview filled my cup with sunshine and laughter. I hope you enjoy hearing the stories as much as I did! Please feel free to leave your comments below or leave comments on the Sunshine into the Lives of Others: The Inspiring Life of Beth L Tielke Facebook page.

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Spring Has Sprung! Or at Least the First Interview [For This Site] Has Bloomed!

Interview with Beth Tielke – “Spring”

In this conversation, we focus on the first twenty years of Beth’s life. In terms of this website’s theme, as we let Beth’s life story unfold in our interviews, I’m labeling the first 20 years as “Spring.”

I began with a quote I found by a person named Doug Larson:

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”

Beth shared a fond childhood memory that quote stirred up for her and I shared that I liked that quote because it reminds me of her cheerful disposition whenever she sees that “life hands someone lemons”—she always sees a way to make lemonade. People also call this finding the silver lining. Press play below to find out how it is that she has a way of seeing the good—even in not-so-good situations!

I concluded the interview with a quote from Bern Williams:

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.”

While I know Beth was born right before spring [and in fact, her birthday is the day before mine!], I think it’s also true that the day the Lord created hope was the same day he created her.

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