Getting a Life

Getting a Life   Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a cover for her manuscript that helped her heal from child loss, and will now be shared on her blog.“Mom, get a life,” my daughter Marika often told me, mostly when she was angry with me. It was the last coherent thing she said to me, “Get a life.” And after she died I did everything I could think of to make a new life for myself, one she’d approve of.

Mainly, I tried to do all the things Marika loved to do. Things I’d never considered before. Like writing, blogging, and photographing. It was comforting to coop myself up at home for endless days crafting weekly blogs and a 200-page memoir about our journey together through the wilds of cancer. It was like duetting with my daughter. Or with her ghost. Writing and rereading the manuscript brought her back to me, made her come alive again and again. It helped me heal. I never needed to get the work published. It did enough just giving me a foothold to re-enter the world.

There’s a problem with getting a life, or getting a new life. Living isn’t just about doing things or maintaining one single mission. And people change. I’ve changed. Nine years after Marika’s death, I’m finding I need more time to watch birds, or to simply sit and do next to nothing. I want to spend more time in the company of friends, to listen to others’ stories. To listen to music, to maybe even dance. These days there’s never enough time to record meaningful material for my readers. It takes me forever to compose. Yet writing, blogging, is a connection to Marika and to my newfound community that I do not want to give up.

When Marika died, long before I could begin to write, it helped to read what others had written about their losses. So I’m hoping you won’t mind if I share bits and pieces of my own manuscript here, in my weekly blogs, over the next weeks. Or months. Just to keep in touch while I venture out to discover where life will lead me next.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Getting a Life

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you, Elaine. I decided my life was too short to spend all the energy and time trying to get an agent and a publisher, and do all the things a writer has to do. I was also sure my work wasn’t good enough. Plus I’m a wimp. But having promised two people, both now dead, that I’d share the story with the world, I figured I could put it on Facebook and my blog without too much stress. So when I started finding that I was spending too much time each week trying to write my blogs, it seemed to be a good time to re-structure and put out the manuscript. Don’t know how powerful it will be divided up into 400 to 900 word sections, and I still wish I’d been able to get some professional editing before exposing it, but I need to lighten up my life right now. I’m gonna “do it.” So glad to hear from you as I take this big step out.

      Reply
  1. Lynne Taetzsch

    I would love to read your manuscript, Robin. I remember hearing you read from it a number of years ago and finding it very powerful.

    Wishing you all the best in living your life your way!

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Lynne, this is so terrifying. Putting my manuscript out in the world via my blog and Facebook. But it feels great to read your encouraging words. Thank you. And I’m wishing you the best in living your life too. I really appreciate your being out there, reading my words.

      Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hi Rajinder. Welcome to my online home. Thank you so much for being out there and being encouraging. It’s kinda scary, putting this out there in the world after writing it for so many years. I love that you wrote, “Go for it!” It’s exactly what Marika would have said. Cheers!

      Reply
  2. Kelly Marie Dempsey

    I SO appreciate your writings, Robin. Keep it up. It helps me deal with the loss of my son Jack… Much love and hugs, Kelly

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Kelly, I’m very sorry you lost your beloved son Jack. I hope you have discovered ways to keep some of him close as you need, as well as what parts of Jack remain in you or around you. Thank you so much for reading. And for your note—it helps me to know I’ve helped someone else. Love and hugs to you too. Cheers, Robin

      Reply

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