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Reviews from
When Johnny Comes Marching Home


fictionalized reality

  34 total reviews 
Comment by
gypsycaravan
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
The story is told with all the emotions, anger, frustration, depression, and even a sense of a possible bargaining with God at the end. The style, metaphors, grammar and punctuation are excellent. The title is perfect for this piece about a too-common war. Thanks for posting.


 Comment Written 26-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 26-Jul-2014
    I was hoping by choosing the title, that the music and lyrics would drift into the reader's head...'We'll give him a heroes welcome then, hurrah, hurrah.'

    You are very generous with your allocation of stars, but this one does reflect what I have witnessed and I thank you for your accolade.
Comment by
cynthia s
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Hi there, I missed this prompt, which is just as well, your piece rocked me to my core. Your ability to create emotion with words in fantastic. I hope to god this isn't about you. I too, oddly enough watched my very, very best friend till her very end. Her Mom went through this while her asshole husband was having an affair. Now 30 years later I have the monster, once 6 years ago, now its back: big time. Metastised brain, bones, liver.stage 4. I did tons of radiation and chemo, but now two months after my 'break' its growing back.This just may get me back to writing again, thank you.


 Comment Written 24-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 24-Jul-2014
    Darling dear woman, I have been spared the disease, but not being the friend that walks the path with those, like you who have endured so much. There are no words for me to express my heartfelt wishes that the governor doesn't make that call and grant you clemency that you have people who share your soul's melody, that you can talk to, cry with and eve laugh with.

    Do write and write honestly. Hugs, ingrid

reply by cynthia s on 25-Jul-2014
    thank you, I am now again writing!!!!

reply by the author on 25-Jul-2014
    You go, Girl!
Comment by
Selina Stambi
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Hello Ingrid,

As a former cancer patient, this was an emotional read for me. Beautifully, heartbreakingly well done.

A worthy win.

Until next time,

Sonali :)


 Comment Written 23-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 23-Jul-2014
    The great word you used was 'former.' I'm so glad you've won your battle. Thanks for the read.
Comment by
DALLAS01
Level 1 Pro
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
I appreciate the harsh reality, not only of the illness, but of all the collateral damage that ensues when an entire family is affected. People are not, and cannot be expected, to be heroes and heroines under such stress; especially children. Hubby isn't going to do an about face now. Tragedy does not always bring out the best in people and act as an adhesive to pull all elements together. This is a perfect portrayal of the domino theory thundering down on this mother.


 Comment Written 23-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 23-Jul-2014
    I do appreciate the 6 stars. This story needs no explanation and while the characters here are not real, I've watched this happen and its heartbreaking.

reply by DALLAS01 on 23-Jul-2014
    Truth isn't always pretty.
Comment by
amada
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  Rank:  158
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Review Stars
  Rank:  90
 
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Congratulations in winning the contest. This was a brilliant story, more so because it's nonfiction. A lesson for all of us who complains of a headache. Best life to you.


 Comment Written 22-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 22-Jul-2014
    Oh the characters here are fictitious, but the circumstances were real. Thanks very much for the review and kind words.
Comment by
Cumbrianlass
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
This was almost too hard for me to read. I watched my husband die of lymphatic cancer, and this brought much of it back. Well written, Ingrid. A real kick to the heart, this one.

Av



 Comment Written 22-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 22-Jul-2014
    And the baby you were carrying...As I was once told, the Gods looked down and selected those who they deemed worthy and to those they piled on the challenges, for they were ones who would learn and grow with the lesson.

    Having said that, I'm expecting to be hit by a thunderbolt and instantly turned into a 5'2" blonde with big boobs, a small waistline, a fat bank account and an empty head. There have to be some rewards for this crap, wouldn't you think?

reply by Cumbrianlass on 22-Jul-2014
    Well, don't change before Thursday or I won't recognize you.

    x
Comment by
royowen
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  Rank:  1
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Review Stars
  
 
 Rank:  2
 

#1 Ranked Poet!

#2 Ranked Reviewer
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
This was a gut wrenching story! Cancer is a foul enemy that punches under the belt an keeps it up, I was engaged with your story from the beginning, it was absorbing an articulate, an story of a struggle personal,and something that only a devoted mother could negotiate, well written, absorbing story! good luck !blessings, Roy.


 Comment Written 22-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 22-Jul-2014
    Sincere thanks for the read and review.
Comment by
N.K. Wagner
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  Rank:  122 (+2)
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  Rank:  231
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Couldn't read this story all at once, Ingrid. You've captured so many conflicting emotions. And you're right. At some point we cease to cope and just march on toward the resolution, whatever it might be. Superb work. :) Nancy


 Comment Written 22-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 22-Jul-2014
    Everyone can relate when it feels like the world is collapsing and there's not much more we can take. Thanks for all the stars.
Comment by
The Death
Level 1 Pro
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Hi, Ingrid.

It's a powerfully emotive piece! I appreciate your impacting narrative with such deep POV. Fortunately, I never had any such experience of watching someone battle against cancer. In India, it isn't that common, especially amongst the kids, but they do are of serious concern.

In the twenty years that I've lived, I came across many heartbreaking events/accidents which turned out to be life-changing, so I can relate to the pain those families and the patient undergo.

In this story, you've effectively captured how a single mother finds its impossible to keep her family united. Such diseases do affect the whole family--especially the younger ones.

There are a few issues I'd like to highlight:

# Here in Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto, the war continues daily, the oncology ward is full.

Do you think a dash would be more appropriate after 'daily'. It would be more influential.

# When a little boy or girl is released, saved by the team of angels that fight for their lives, there's always another to take his place.

Use 'the' in place of 'his'.

# Nothing, absolutely nothing is normal anymore; not for Johnny, not for Mary or Jacob, my other children and definitely not for me.

Put a comma after 'children'.

# She blames me for David leaving and she's not shy about letting me know that she thinks everything is my fault.

Avoid unnecessary use of pronouns. Replace by as you have the conjunction here.

# He hadn't even bothered to tell his own mother he'd decided he didn't want to be married.

The above sentence is a run-on. If you read it, you'll know how it's disturbing the pacing. It's probably because of the double negatives.

Consider edit:

He hadn't even bothered to tell his own mother about reluctance to getting married.

You're free to have your own. This is just a suggestion.

# And Johnny, there's hardly anything left of my child(--)a shrunken, wizened little man, skin and bones, barely creating a crease in the sheet that is draped over his tiny body as he sleeps.


You've narrated her emotions and pain in such a heartfelt manner. I could relate the living hell she(though fictional) must have faced. Certainly, 'coping' falls short of expressing the strength required to face such a trauma. Very well crafted!

Regards,
Anupam


 Comment Written 22-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 22-Jul-2014
    You have an incredible eye and I believe you're right on all counts. Thank you very much.
Comment by
Charlene0513
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
To Spiritual Echo,
I can truly relate as my son at the age of 17 yrs. of age was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The following year it returned and again 7 years later. So now both are removed and he lives on hormone pills for the rest of his life. The first time he was darn near death, needing a bone marrow.
But if every bit of chemo given kills another part of the immune system.Your life is literally hanging on by a thread.
You mentioned some very excellent outlets to turn to for help and you were quite expressive with your feelings when going through the motions of this dreaded disease.
Charlene


 Comment Written 21-Jul-2014



reply by the author on 21-Jul-2014
    I have walked together with very dear friends. My experience does not match your horrific journey. May your child flourish. He deserves a break. There must be serious depression issues and a heroic effort to appreciate life when so much has been taken. My sincere best wishes for you all to find serenity, purpose and strength in the love you share.

reply by Charlene0513 on 21-Jul-2014
    It is with a sincere heart and lasting and determined spirit that The God above abides in our children bringing them power, a strong will to live and a gifted purpose to achieve their goals in life.
    Blessings,
    Charlene
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