The Official Writing Challenge
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I'm still weeping as I write this comment. Your story was so touching, so real, and brought back such sorrowful memories of my own last visit with my earthly father. Death is a difficult subject to write, and especially when it is a loved did a splendid job, and a great tribute to your Pop. GOd bless.
Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for this heart-felt and touching story.
Very hard to read. It brought back the sounds, sights and smells of the time of my mother's passing. Very hard, but very beautiful. You brought to mind vividly the contrast between life (kids, home, church) and death.
This was touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!
With little recourse but redundancy, I must reprise the chorus: beautiful story.
This was a beautiful reminder to us that we had better reach out now to those we love before the moment passes. My favorite lines: "Why must we tiptoe around the hard things in life?" and "Is it reasonable to want to fill years of conversational gaps; to fulfill relational destiny?" I was in this same position with my dad when he passed away, trying to make up for years of distance.

I would have liked to see more in the conclusion, perhaps omitting the introduction of the "drooling boy" since he is not mentioned in the remainder of the article; in that way you would still be under the word count. There are only six sentences in which to finalize the sense of no more time left. I guess I just remember how crushing that finality was to me, and wanted to sense it here.

But I agree with the statements of how touching this story is. Thank you for sharing an obviously difficult subject.
Simply beautiful and a great reminder to say the things we long to say before the time is gone.
Nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. Vivid - I remember that phone call too. Very well done.
This is a winner for sure. Excellent... and exquisitly insightful.
Chills! I haven't been there yet, but thought we were close to it a couple of times with my father. I don't want to think about it even though we are secure in our Heavenly place with God.

You've captured your poignant relationship so well. 'God's timing' even for that moment - even for us.

Beautifully written all the way.
Read this a couple of days ago, but didn;t leave a comment. Just found it again as a result of your hint. Saw the title in the list, thought 'Oh yes, that's the dandelion fluff story'. Which is a big compliment, because I read them all. I thought the story was wonderful, memorable (obviously), and I particularly loved that turn of phrase
This brought tears to my eyes. Very touching. And a great reminder to us all to take the time to spend with those who are special to us. I can see this beautiful piece speaking to many.
It brought tears to my eyes. It brought me back to the last days of my grandpa.
Being that my father just entered a nursing home and I have not yet been able to go see him..this story touched me in a very personal way..still wiping tears. I could see the grip of the hands and the desires of each of them to say the words they wanted to share. But didn't. I loved your story...thanks for writing it so well.
The description in this story painted such an incredibly clear picture of the nursing home, form the dim lights to the boy to the crisp white sheets. And yet, unlike some stories I have read both here and onther places, the descriptions don't seemed forced, as if you had a thessarus open beside the computer. You simply allowed our sensory memories to walk through the halls with you.
You made me feel so grateful for my relationship with my dad and my precious memories of him. Although there were, of course, conversaional gaps in our days they seemed an easy silence, an enjoyment of each other's company instead of something to be made up. Thank you.
This is a masterpiece, heart-wrenching, yet beautiful; the best entry I've read this week.
That's just beautiful. It makes me cry too. And it brings back memories, only of a grandfather......

As far as a literary comment goes, this sentence was great: "My high heels tap the linoleum with staccato precision; shadows creep along the walls like escaping fugitives."
Beth, this was truly beautiful. It really tugged at my heart, especially since we recently had the death of a parent. So many issues of life were present in this article...the importance of touch, the bonding of hearts, meaningful spoken words, the busyness of life, the frailty of the elderly.