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23 March 2006



What you've written is so full of pain that it is hard to read. I admire your ability to look at your family's past with understanding and with the implicit notion that redemption, last ditch though it may be, is always possible. Your last sentence is unforgettable.


Laura--sorry about the pain! I was trying to understand the pain of others and to see in both the complexity of human relationships and the simplicity of human action some fragments of sense. I wanted also, I suppose, to make my own story of it, composing, perhaps, in the narrative my own sense of rationality.


You certainly did what you set out to do, Larry. As always, I find what you write to be both moving and powerful.


Your description of the pain inflicted by W______, made my heart very heavy. I have known W______ S_____ for 41 years, he is my father. Your description of his behavior is what I have observed in different situations. I am very sorry that his behavior caused you, and your family, pain. It makes me especially sad to know that your mother died without an interaction with Dad, that might have provided her some comfort in her final years. His refusal to extend kindness to your mother, is one of the most disappointing behaviors I have heard of. I wish I had met you and your family. Your honesty and vulnerability speaks volumes. Thank you M Stotts


M—thanks for your most welcome note. Families are extremely—sometimes terribly—complex, which can create unruly as well as loving behaviors.

I was impressed by your father’s ability to tell stories as well as by his interest later in life to travel outside of the rural area where he had lived.

Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to meet you and your siblings some time—it always seemed strange to never meet a large flock of cousins who lived less than 30 miles from me.

With my best wishes, Larry

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