A Story

by Pete Fromm
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Great story!

I really loved this story. You truly captured the humanity of your characters. It was a bit of a downer, but the wearing on the people in this situation is transmitted on a gut level—we really empathize. And admire their strength—including the human frailties—as they are. Eloquent, understated writing, powerful.

Beautiful story, Pete. Holds the poignancy that many of Elizabeth Strout's stories hold, the startling realization that we're aging and vulnerable and will one day be children again. God, I got all choked up -- a testament to some very nice writing.

This story makes me glad I signed up for Narrative.

What powerful writing. I found a bit of myself in each of your characters, and I had empathy for them and thus myself. Thanks.

This story evoked, for me, my mother's death from brain cancer. I was an adolescent at the time, and for many years carried shame at my behavior during her illness. After I became a parent myself, I knew she'd never blamed me, so mostly let go of the shame. Reading this story was like having her speak to me with all the wishes she couldn't articulate, all the things I was too young to understand. It allows me to forgive myself and for that I'm profoundly thankful.

This is where the line between fiction and nonfiction is blurred, and there's poetry too. What a wonderful achievement!

Terrific story, if a bit depraved.

A wonderful story. Thank you.

Thank you for your depth of detail and for taking us both places--inside and outside. The humor, the anger, the plain truth, and the reason to write and to read, are here. Way to go!

A fine example of delving into the inner voice of someone who is disabled, but who is still thinking and feeling like someone who is not. Her voice comes alive in my head and the story avoids the "Hallmark moment" and subsequent melodrama. It reminded me a bit of Jayne Anne Phillips's Lark and Termite. Great work! I only wish I could write this well!

At times I was barely able to make out the words, but swiped away my tears as quickly as possible so I could. How did you put so much into this small space? If I manage to visit my son in Missoula, would you mind putting your hand on my head on the chance some of your DNA might take root?

A brilliant, moving, original story. A great paradox: an MS victim who cannot remember simple names, yet inside her writer's brain has sophisticated reflections, detailing the inner complexities of memory.

My son, Geoffrey, died at eight years old from ALD--a cousin to MS. This story evoked memories of watching him slip away piece by piece. It was the myline sheath of his brain that was destroyed, not just his peripheral nervous system. Thank you for so eloquently expressing how diseases like these can undermine the family but never destroy it. Geoffrey will always be my healthy, funny, clever, bright and athletic son of six. That is there, beating in the core of my memory. You've reminded me that we all have this regardless of loss of a loved one from Alzheimers, ALS, MS, ALD, or Parkinson's: our memories of those people we love, healthy and whole become the best part of who we are. Good writing. Thank you again.

Painfully beautiful. Beautifully painful.

Honest, real, and untouched. I am curious if this is written from personal experience?

Good story! Many fine moments in it. Congratulations.

Well done. I'm a new reader of Narrative. I'm so glad I signed up. What an eloquent piece about such a difficult subject.