“Over the Rainbow” Video

“Is that to go priority or certified mail?” the clerk asked, eyeing the carefully wrapped package I clutched to my chest.
I would have been sending my daughter off to nursing school in Australia. Instead, I am sending the DVD of her singing “Over the Rainbow” made 8 ½ months before she died, to my web-master, at Ameriweb Hosting. For weeks I’d put this off, afraid to lose my only copy of Marika’s DVD. Then, sitting over dinner with friends who all had daughters coming and going, achieving and shining, I just wanted to talk about my daughter too.
“Way to kill the party, mom,” a small voice hummed from the back of my head.

Okay. She’s been dead over 3 ½ years so there’s nothing new to share.
“But I’m so proud of you,” I tell her life-sized portrait later. And inside me, she is still alive and singing. From not-so-deep within she tells me, “Go for it, mom,” when I pause to consider a red dress in a mail-order catalog. She says, “Sushi for dinner?” Now she’s saying, “Way to go, mom. You just showed all your readers how insane you are” and “Mom, TMI.” (Too Much Information)

Wait. I do not play the video over and over again. In fact, it took a long time before I could even watch this performance from the EAC Montessori School of Ithaca 30th Anniversary Musical/Reunion though I knew she always loved being seen and heard (please watch it). I am already filled with Marika. Her voice and starry eyes are the film through which I see the world.

Call me the crazy-lady. Maybe I deserve that title because for years, that’s how I labeled too many others. The ones who lost children and seemed to lose their own souls. The ones that looked liked they’d fallen to Earth from the edge of space, broken the sound barrier, their hearts, and every moving part of themselves in the fall. Is that what I look like now?

“Does it get better? Do you ever not think of your child?” I asked for months of everyone I found who’d lost a kid. And it turns out I’m doing nothing that eons of bereaved mothers haven’t done before. Only I’m coming out about it.

 

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24 thoughts on ““Over the Rainbow” Video

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  5. Mary Pare

    I had to stop the video twice and wipe the tears away. I didn’t want to miss a moment of it. What a wonderful memory for you to cherish and be able to share with the world.

    Hugs to you Robin xoxo

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you so much for watching, Mary. Marika loved being on stage and watched. I like to think she beams in excitement each time someone sees her video. I certainly feel warm all over sharing it. Cheers and hugs!

      Reply
  6. Kimberly Ryan

    Hi Robin, just watching this video of your precious Markia today. Carole told me about it but I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it before now. I too noticed the red shoes, and everything else about her, her shinning eyes, how she is reaching out with her voice, and what speaks loudly most of all is her choice of song which says it all.
    You and I know that Marika’s song will always live on in you. and now in this video you have shared with us, and for us to share with others as well. and yes you are right, so very right while being true to you…a coming out about it, about the pain and deepest darkest thoughts we have as bereaved moms.
    thank you for coming out about it, and for sharing your beautiful and precious daughter with us all,
    with love, kimberly

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I am so happy you watched the video. Now you know who my daughter was. And IS for me in many ways still. It makes me so proud to be able to share her. I was with my 2 friends and their daughters last night and I wanted so much to share Marika but of course I have to wait until someone mentions her. Otherwise it kinda dampens the party. And luckily one of the daughters is very sensitive to this and often will ask a question about Marika. So it’s a joy to be able to say and hear her name and share her. Cheers and happy new year and thank you for being out there.

      Reply
  7. Elaine Mansfield

    Excruciatingly beautiful, Robin. Thank you for making it happen. I love seeing Marika on her own on that stage. She had already been through the chemo wars, and her tenderness shows.

    You are not crazy. You are a mother who loves and grieves for what she misses–and your writing helps others make it through.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      So many thanks, Elaine. I’m so glad you have now “met” Marika after all you have heard from my readings. And I thank you also for your encouragement because, as you know, it is not always easy to write. And some days I wonder if I should just make a mighty bonfire with the manuscript and all the memories and emotions. But seeing it in print, right here, “your writing helps others make it through,” is like getting a big hug. Cheers!

      Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you so much for listening, Nancy. And for noticing those ruby slippers which were really important to her for that performance. I hardly notice them, being mesmerized by her eye makeup and face but she HAD to have on just the right shoes so I’m glad you noticed. Cheers for the holidays, Nancy.

      Reply
  8. Lucy Bergstrom

    This is stunning! What a charming singer she was/is. Thank you so much, Robin, for sharing her delightful song with us.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hey Lucy. It really just delights me that somewhere in a cozy home in Denmark you were being entertained by Marika. Wow! Thanks so much for “letting her in.”

      Reply
  9. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, thanks for sharing this beautiful video of Marika–a tribute to her and your love for her. I’m so glad you’re “coming out” about it, as I’m sure are many who have lost loved ones, especially a child. Your sharing helps us all.

    Lynne

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      It’s funny, Lynne, how so many of my friends are bereaved mothers now. We all need to “come out” with our kids sometimes and the other friends are too often uncomfortable about that. Thanks for being out there to listen to my sharing. Good holidays to you.

      Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you, Annie. Was just thinking of you last night as I wrote out my shopping list for Christmas Italian Meatballs and Spinach Ricotta Shells.It’s going to be a CiaochowBambina Christmas. Thanks for helping me fuel my days with your beautiful thoughts on food. Cheers!

      Reply
  10. Josie Barone

    Thank you so much for sharing behind the scenes in your thoughts and feelings of your daughter–though I have not lost one of my precious girls, your posts are a constant reminder to hold tight to them and treasure the good, bad and ugly moments for all they are worth. Thank you also for sharing her voice with us out here who now have an audible description of this girl we are growing to love through your posts. Beautiful heartfelt words flowed from her heart.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thanks, Josie. With all this writing and posting and friending, one main thing I hope to accomplish is to remind people that life is beautiful and short. If I can get folks to hug more and be grateful more, then I am happier. And what’s bringing tears to my eyes now is what you wrote of my girl, that “we are growing to love through [my] posts.” Cheers to you and yours.

      Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hi Diana. It’s so neat to run into you again, on Facebook and now on my site. Thank you so much for listening. And responding. It means a lot to me to “hear” from you. So cheers!

      Reply
  11. Mirella

    Hi Robin. What a beautiful voice Marika has!! She sings that song so wonderfully, love it! You should be so proud. I love the red ruby shoes too! We have to keep their memories alive and show the world what great children we have…what they left us and what they taught us.

    Like you, I find it difficult to look at my sons videos of his piano playing or any videos for that matter, but at the same time I am so proud and happy that those memories exist. I don’t think the pain and anguish get any better, maybe softer. Thanks Robin for your blog, I really enjoy reading it. Take Care. Mirella

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      It is so great to hear from you, Mirella. Thank you so much. Isn’t it amazing to have these videos of our children “live?” When the time is right you will find comfort in watching. Maybe even sharing. It felt so good to “come out” of the closet with my daughter. One day I hope to “meet” Paul in a video. Videos give so much more depth to the ones we used to love to watch in life, moving, breathing, smiling. Many cheers to you and Happy New Year my Canadian Sister.

      Reply

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