You Are ‘Mike’ Sunshine, My Only Sunshine…

“Don’t worry about it. Everything’s going to be fine!”


My first professional mentor, dear friend, and one of the most amazing supervisors I’ve ever had, Michael Thomas Murphy (August 5, 1948 – May 1, 2020) is being laid to rest today.


This was no debate when it came to Mike. I mean, who is ever FRIENDS with their WORK SUPERVISOR?!?


It is so befitting, likened to the day we said our earthly goodbyes to my mother in 2014, it is a beautiful, bright, sunshiny day. God’s blessings are surely neverending, even when we pass from this life to temporary death.


Mike was the type of supervisor that should have began a business training other wannabes as leaders. He didn’t judge, he didn’t argue, he didn’t make you feel bad about your choices and he could work with anybody. ANYBODY.


I believe that was a major gift he passed along as a leader. The power to work with multiple attitudes (be them multiple personality disorders, or whatever).


Now, he threw you to the fire, ready or not, while he stood by like a father, waiting to catch you should he need to.


To this day, I have not had a supervisor like this man.


Had things been different during the change in leadership at the agency, I likely would have never left. But when you’re headed into work crying every day, something is definitely wrong and you have a choice to make.


I left.


But that was the culture Big Bob Luckie, who founded the agency, and his sons, Bob and Tom  Luckie, created and cultivated at their ad firm. It was the best place for me to begin a successful career, especially after a previous supervisor from a job I had fresh out of my first college graduation, had cursed me out, then fired me when I asked him to talk to me with more respect.


Mike was such an understanding leader for me, other interns, and all of the adults on his team. He saw your potential past your imperfections and stood by you no matter what hit the fan! And when it did, he was a leader and took accountability for all of it, saying,”


“Don’t worry about it. Everything’s going to be fine!”

This is a hard hit because even now, I can hear him saying this, and hear his laughter ringing loudly despite any negative news you brought his way. That laughter made you laugh, and if you weren’t feeling great, you forgot it in his sunny company.


This is how he would want us to be now: happy.


I don’t ever believe death is a loss, because God said in I Corinthians 15:55,

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

So WE WIN!!! This death, Mike, is your first step to eternal life in Him, and so we celebrate your amazing life, legacy, love and laughter.

You maintained through all of the hills and valleys our Heavenly Father brought you through, and taught others to do the same.


Today’s Wordz blog post is dedicated to you and the phenomenal life you lived despite your trials. You helped me name Wordz & Rhythmz when I started writing and performing poetry professionally back in 2002. I love you for being a great friend, father, mentor, business advisor and simply just being YOU.


All of us who knew you are better because of your friendship. I can only commit to living and leaving a legacy such as great for my own family, with no regrets whatsoever.


Rest in heavenly peace, my dear friend. We shall see you when we get there…


You Are “Mike” Sunshine

By LaShanna R. Tripp

© 2020 Wordz & Rhythmz LLC. W&R Publishing.


You are…

“Mike” Sunshine

My only sunshine…


When everything doesn’t line up right

Fighting a good fight

And bringing light

Into sordid situations


Raising your babies

Instead of raising hell

If only other supervisors

Could take this lesson

They would never fail


And the only failure I had

Is not having enough time

But I cherish the time

Spent well in your laughter

And know the heavenly angels

Are singing with you

In the hereafter


The elevation of your soul

As it now resides with our Holy Master

All of the pain in your body

No longer keeping you down

In this COVID-19 pandemic disaster


I am at peace for you

Because this world

Has seemingly lost its mind

And you are now safer

You’re so much better


You are “Mike” sunshine…

My only sunshine

You made us happy

When skies were grey

We have our memories

We have our families

We’ll never let your sunshine go away…


This song by Fred Hammond is dedicated to you…