Saturday Centus Week 66 – “You are my sunshine…”

07 Aug

Debbie was only 13. Her smile would light up the faces of all she met.

She once tweeted, “What’s the positive side of dying? Anyone know?”

It’s true. She was dying from leukemia. Her parents were holding her hands.

“You are my sunshine…” they sang as Debbie closed her eyes for the last time.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Posted by on August 7, 2011 in 2. Saturday Centus


23 responses to “Saturday Centus Week 66 – “You are my sunshine…”

  1. jeff

    August 8, 2011 at 00:24

    Some positive in this sadness…well done! Peace and blessings

    • Ross Mannell

      August 8, 2011 at 06:05

      The sadness and positiveness is real in the story. I know a child (of a different name) who is 13 and has been told they can’t do anything more for her. Despite all that’s happening to her, she is worried about a friend and how the friend will cope when she’s gone. For one so young, she is a truly inspirational. I had to put some of it into words.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Donna

    August 8, 2011 at 02:09

    Very nice. You and I both went in the same direction.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 8, 2011 at 06:07

      Thanks for the comment.
      I haven’t had the chance to read other stories yet but I am not surprised someone else has taken a similar line. The prompt can easily lead in that direction.

  3. Judie

    August 8, 2011 at 03:16

    A heartbreaking take on the prompt, and you wrote it brilliantly.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 8, 2011 at 06:11

      Thank you for the comment.

      It is based around events happening at this moment. A young 13 year old of a different name asked the questions shown in the story after finding out there was nothing more that could be done for her. I’ve been supporting her through her battles over the last months and trying to help her best friend cope with what’s happening. Despite her youth, she has inspired people around her with her sense of humour and concern for others.

  4. Judie

    August 8, 2011 at 03:17

    Sorry! I screwed up my info the first time I tried to enter my comment. All is complete now, though.

  5. Ames

    August 8, 2011 at 12:05

    How sad. I lost a niece at the age of thirteen. Her life goes on…just not here.~Ames

    • Ross Mannell

      August 8, 2011 at 16:42

      The girl the story is based on is still with us. The questions in the story were really hers. We hope she can pull out of this. A big boost for her yesterday came when her singing idol tweeted her. Last night she said she didn’t want to go to sleep and end an exciting day. She tries to remain positive despite her fears. Brilliant girl I haven’t known for more than a few months now.

  6. grannysueo3Sue

    August 8, 2011 at 12:16

    Really poignant and quite lovely.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 8, 2011 at 16:43

      Thank you for the supportive comment. It was hard to fit feelings into such a short passage but that is the task. 🙂

  7. Jo

    August 8, 2011 at 16:25

    oh that breaks my heart … no parent should have to outlive their child …

    • Ross Mannell

      August 8, 2011 at 16:45

      Hi Jo,
      I couldn’t agree more. As well as being a teacher, I have worked as a child care/playgroup leader in a hospital. It has been sad to know some you see won’t make it to adulthood. Even some very sick littlies would try to smile. I don’t know if I could bare to lose one of my own when it’s so hard to simply be a friend of one.

  8. cj schlottman

    August 9, 2011 at 01:14

    You did a beautiful job of condensing these sad yet optimistic sentiments into so few words. Great Centus!


    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 06:02

      Thank you for the kind comment. I hope one day to be able to add a comment the real “Debbie” is in remission.

  9. jfb57

    August 9, 2011 at 08:17

    Stunningly sad. Beautiful!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 08:39

      Thank you for the comment. The sadness is it’s based on a real person still struggling.

  10. Nonna Beach

    August 9, 2011 at 14:22

    Simple, sad and very touching…Bravo !

    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 16:31

      Thank you for the positive feedback on a sad topic.

  11. Annas Adornments, Sweden

    August 12, 2011 at 04:56

    Dear Ross,
    Your words here make me think of so much, that I cannot express it in words right now. The worst that can happen a parent is for something bad to happen his or her child.
    Only thirteen years old, and so wise for being so young.

    Beautifully written, poignant post.

    Best wishes,
    Sanna’s Sunshine SC Wk 66

    This is my cat’s blog post about the letter “P”:
    P is for Presents – Sara Cat AT-rd-3-P

    • Ross Mannell

      August 12, 2011 at 06:19

      Dear Anna,

      Thank you for the kind comments. I get updates on the real person each day and hope her story will end in a happy way. She is a wonderful girl who is worried for her friends and family.

  12. Jenny Matlock

    August 14, 2011 at 11:18


    An angel.

    Seeking comfort for her loved ones in spite of her illness.

    What a bright star in a sometimes darkening world.

    This little gem of a story was a blessing.

    Truly beautiful.

    May I help in any way?

    • Ross Mannell

      August 14, 2011 at 12:54

      Thank you for your kind comments, Jenny. I get updates about the real “Debbie”. Her friends let me know how she is going. She sleeps quite a bit at the moment because of some meds but often has friends with her. We still hope she can pull through. Hope is one thing that’s there for her family.

      Yesterday she spent some time on Twitter chatting with friends but her friend took over when she needed rest. Being almost on the other side of the world from her, I can’t see her personally but know she is being well looked after.


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