I wish You Time

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops time ticking away by collecting a lifetime of photos of her daughter who died.For the New Year I wish you time. Precious, beautiful, amazing time. This is my wish for all my online and offline friends, and family, and especially for my beautiful smart friend who is now running out of time.

Time is not something you can really gift another person, no matter how much you love her. You can spend time with someone and help them, comfort them, and perhaps get them to stop thinking about time for a while. We can wish them time. But I haven’t figured out a way to actually give it away, to extend someone’s time here on earth.

Long ago, my colleagues at work gave me their unused sick-days so I could have time with my daughter who was in a hospital hours away from work or home. That was the best gift ever. If only there could be some sort of global pooling of unused or unneeded time, where people could drop off or sign away a day or even an hour of time from their own lives, to donate to one who is too young to die, or too loved to let go of. Like blood banks, we could have collection centers for people to leave off small portions of their time.

Time is something few people have in excess, and you can’t even buy time. For yourself, anyway. When my house was under construction, I told the woman who cleans, “Don’t come in next week. Here’s the money. Please do something nice for yourself that morning instead.” It was the closest I could come to giving away time.

Weekly, I spend an afternoon with my friend who is dying, listening to her stories and sharing my own. I worry about taking up too much of her remaining time. But she assures me our time together is a gift.

So I’m wishing you all time. Time to spend with the ones you love, and to do the things you’ve been wanting to do but had no time for. Time to see your children grown and settled. Time to see your face age like your parents’ faces aged. Time when you stop counting the ever-increasing years gone by from when loved ones died, and you instead begin to hear their voices calling you closer. I wish you time to know you’ve had enough time.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s hoping you have many more coming.


What do you wish for, for 2019?



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6 thoughts on “I wish You Time

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Yes, time and supporting love from others when we need it. My goal for 2019 is to learn to hear again through the new computerized cochlear implant. I expect challenges and joy. I love your wish of hearing the voices calling me closer. I hope hearing again will bring me more into life now.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I am so excited for you, Elaine. A computerized cochlear implant! I hope it works brilliantly. Come back to the world and community and sounds of nature, Elaine. I want to hear about your progress and new adventure. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

  2. Gladys Botie

    I’m still hanging in there. I’m body weak when I need to move around from place to place in the walker. But health wise I’m eating 3 meals a day and enjoying physicao strength. It’s moving around that is a problem. I have 3 Doctors who prescribe dioretcs to reduce the flow of liquids to my lungs and heart. They don’t seem to be making much progress. I go periodically to the Holy Cross Heart Failure Clinic regularly and hope I;m getting help there. Death does not defy me mentally. I’ve lived a good life. I’m just no quite ready yet. So I’m still working with the doctors and hoping to feel better. Don’t give up on me yet! –i love you and appreciate your concern. Mom

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Yikes, Mom. I haven’t been able to get you on the phone, and you aren’t responding to my emails. So I never expected you to show up on my website. So good to “hear” from you. You sound much stronger and more hopeful than I imagined (not being in contact all this while). I’m not giving up on you. In fact I just purchased tickets to visit you. Sooner than you think. So if you are getting this message, you will not be surprised when I show up at your door in a couple of weeks. I’m sorry that all the clinics and doctors don’t seem to be “making much progress” for you. As for death itself – I think part of making friends with death is to accept that it is in the ever-growing-closer future for which one might prepare for more and more as time goes on, but we shouldn’t consume all the time we have left with such preparation and consideration. Maybe it’s better to keep filling our time with things we love as much as we can, with one eye open to the ever-draining hourglass. Thanks for this surprise, Mom. I love you too. Can’t wait to share this with my sisters.

  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, thanks for an insightful and generous look at TIME. At my age, I find it speeding by faster and faster. I used to say occasionally to my husband, “Before you know it we’ll be dead.” Now he is and I’m not–YET.

    Wonderful photo collage of your daughter!

    I don’t wish for anything in 2019. I hope I can just let it be–whatever it is.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Cheers, Lynne. OMG, yes, it keeps speeding up, even when we think it can’t possibly go any faster. Yikes! – You said THAT to your husband!?!
      Well, I’m gonna wish you a few things for the New Year, even if you can’t bear to. Some of my readers have suggested “peacefulness” and “serenity.” And I seem to be caught up in seeking comfort. So I’m wishing you all of these in addition to Time. And thank you so much for being a faithful reader.


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