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Duncan native Jamie Battiest is a wife, mother to five kids, three of which she formally homeschools, and most recently a published author.
Battiest said her love for writing has developed since grade school when she began writing short stories and poems. Despite devoting much of her time to her family and the education of her kids, Battiest said her writing has slowed down but she continues to jot down ideas.
In January, Jamie Battiest published her first book “Death Care” through Tate Publishing.
“This book I wrote when my fourth was an infant,” she said. “I would be up at night nursing her. Different incidents had happened. I just had all these thoughts. When I was up nursing her, I would type on my computer. It developed into this book. As for writing, I jot stuff down all the time.”
Battiest is also extremely active at her home church, Gospel Beams Church, with her Christian walk being a large part of her life, as evidenced by the material of the book. The idea for the book came from hearing of a friend’s car accident. Battiest said she had tried witnessing to her friend before but was always blown off. Even though her friend was not injured in the car accident, it made her stop to think and share her thoughts with Battiest.
“She said, ‘I always thought that whenever it came my time to die, I would have a chance to look at eternity, cry out to God or whatever. If I would have died in that car wreck, I did not have time to think about anything.’ I got to thinking about that and how many people my husband and I know that have died suddenly. That is what this is. It tells the stories of five people. They are true stories. Names are changed to protect identities. They are true stories of people who have died suddenly.”
The stories include the tale of her husband’s friend who died suddenly while rappelling and her friend from high school who died from an aneurysm.
“We live everyday,” she said. “We make plans for the future. We do not ever think about death. We assume when we get up in the morning that we are going to work and coming home that night and going to bed. We never stop to think or ask ‘What if today I do not come home and what happens after death?’ We are born. We live and most of us do not live to 100. In light of eternity, that is not very long.”
The book provides answers to common questions regarding death and what happens after people die. Battiest has also included references to materials so readers can do their own research.
“I mostly wanted this to be a quick read, an easy read that would get people thinking and asking those questions,” she said.
Battiest said she hopes that this will reach people who would not normally listen to family or friends about Christianity but would sit down and be intrigued by the stories of real people.
“I am really excited about it,” she said. “I look at it as an opportunity to make an eternal impact on people. If we come into this life and do not affect anybody, that would be a very sad thing.”
Battiest will be presenting her book at a local book signing from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Cherry Berry in Duncan. She will be giving the first 10 people who stop by, a free copy of the book.
The book can also be found at the Duncan Hasting’s store, or ordered from retailers such as Amazon, Christian Book Distributors or Tate Publishers.
Battiest said she has ideas for two or three more books that she may develop in the next few years.