Vendor Memorial: Sharron “Sunny” Chadwick

A photo of a garden.

Eric Falquero

Sunny Chadwick passed away in the hospital on May 2, 2016. She was 59 years young. Services were arranged by her family.

Sunny Got Blue 

“People used to love to
hear her laugh, see her smile.
That’s how she got her name.”

I really don’t know if that’s the case, but I know based on my Sunny experience that it certainly could be.

That quote is from the old standard by Johnny Mathis “When Sunny Gets Blue.”
Well I never saw “her eyes get gray and cloudy.” What I saw was kindness and industry, mental toughness and tenacity. A woman that didn’t mind hard labor to provide her needs. And I saw her forgive the ignorance of people trying to prevent her from same.

Sunny had a love for growing things be it people, animals or plants. In fact, she often earned money as a groundskeeper. Our first conversations were of our mutual affection for gardening. Working in the sun… Could that be “how she got her name?” I do not know.

This time when Sunny got blue, it was because her rent was unaffordable. She had no help to cover it, no one to share the space and expense and no word on the pending job applications.

“No sweet loving man came to call.” Only a landlord. So this time, when Sunny got blue, she could “breathe no sigh of sadness.” Because Sunny breathes no more. She is gone. But will live on in our hearts and in the yards of her patrons.

I recommend you listen to Marvin Fisher and Jack Segal’s rendition of “When Sunny Gets Blue.”

-Ken Martin, Vendor/Artist

And Then You Should Not Die

Quiet is the storm of the humble one.

No one really sees the inside of their soul.
The outside shell, so cool and calm,
so controlled and unread.

No one hears, no one peers,
no one questions or wants to know:
How are you really feeling?

What is the pain that you have,
that does not cry,
or moan?

I ignored it.

I let it, with forgotten second thoughts,
elapse a away.
Ergo, you must be okay.

What is known is the same ole story:
The hardship to shelter. Sheltered paths to housing.
Free air to breathe.

Maybe some H20 and food to eat; if you beat the curfew there,
courtesy of Uncle Sam and the donated do-good extra pennies
tossed in the clear-my-conscious basket.

Grateful for all of it.

A human just wanting to survive.
A woman, struggling alone, disconnected,
with no foundation to stand on and grow.

Sharron, spelled with the two Rs of Royally Real;
stood with a quiet dignity and humility,
requesting nothing more than what was offered and given.

”Sunny,” as many knew her, gave more
than she received from our society. Her gift was
the quiet acceptance,  of the beauty of life and nature.

This she brought to Street Sense,
and we embraced her with our open door.
She spoke through her presence and participation

She graced us all, unknowingly.

Sunny, leaves us with a clear message: the value of being human is more than a roof and a place to stay. It is sharing, caring, connecting end living together. Let us advocate harder to end homelessness. Let us find the missing pieces to end the frequent story heard too often: “housed and then you die.” So, I will say on her behalf and all us. Thank you, Adam, Bardia, Brian, Bryan, David, Eric, Jeff, Josh, Leslie, Roy, Shira, Susan, Willie  and the Church of the Epiphany for giving us a voice and the might to make change.

A better day, a brighter light will come. Let’s make it happen! Amen.

Angie Whitehurst, Vendor/Artist

Issues |Death

Region |Northwest|Ward 3|Washington DC

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