Existential questions have always been on my mind: why am I here? What’s the purpose of life, my life? What am I supposed to do?
Most of these questions remain so far unanswered while I grow … wiser one day at the time. But I do try to live my life in a way that it has purpose. I take each day as a brand new chance at something to create, something to leave behind so when I’m long gone people will remember me.
Several years ago, while on yet another quest to figure out who I was, I began writing. Doubting every word I wrote and myself a story took form. The more I wrote the more this fountain of creative juices rose inside me and before I knew what’s happening, I became addicted. My debut novel titled Hidden Heart was published in March of 2011. Since then three other novels spread their wings for the world to read them: A World Apart, Born In Vengeance and Born In Sin. Me Tarzan—You Jane is my latest novel out on December, 6th 2014. Several other stories are in process of being developed / edited / finished.
From an early age we learn that addictions are bad: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling—you name it. I’ve long acknowledged that writing is my addiction. But I’ll be damn if I ever try to rid myself of it. No rehab, no treatment, no therapist or counselor would ever convince me this addiction is bad. You know why? Because unlike all other addictions writing nourishes my heart and soul. Writing gives me purpose, part of me as my very heart and, “until my moment comes / I’ll say… I, I did it all…”~ I lived by One Republic.
They say behind each successful man, there’s a smart woman. I say behind each hero there’s a Marie.
The Letter by Marie Tillman is a heartfelt insight into her life after her husband’s death as well as a journey through all stages of grief she’s experienced since then. Pat Tillman’s life had been in the spotlight very little before he died as both he and Marie have shied away from the public eye, preferring the coziness of their home, the serenity of their relationship, the comfort of their love. The NFL player who gave up a successful career as a football player to enlist in the army became an icon after his death in April 2004. The circumstances surrounding his death still create a lot of controversy, including two congressional hearings and multiple investigations. Somehow Marie had to learn how to cope with the media infatuation with her husband as well as with all the attention she unwillingly received.
I applaud Marie for her ability to capture real feelings, real emotions making the book that much more intense, allowing readers a close look into a grieving heart. The book contains very little dialogue, but it’s easy to follow and finish in one sitting. Its simplicity, its reflection on life’s fragility and what matters most as well as how Marie chose to navigate through the murky waters of healing is done gracefully. From a shy lotus lily living in Pat’s shadow, Marie grew into a confident woman, working constantly to keep Pat’s legacy alive. She went through the stages of grief in her own way, at her own pace, and came out not completely healed but stronger.
The Letter is a compelling, poignant memoir, a true story of heroism and altruism behind the deadly lines of war.