Peer Review by yapyapxy (Singapore)

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I remember white

By: Hallie3364

PROMPT: I Remember

I remember when I first walked into the hospital, everything was white. I remember the white latex gloves and white Cotten gown that I was enforced to wear. I remember the white walls of my fathers room, how I wished there was a painting to draw the eye. I remember the white of his sheets, the tubes sticking in his arms, the white monitors beeping lazily. I remember the pigment in my fathers skin had gone white from illness. I remember the cancer that developed in his white blood cells. I remember frowning at the bleakness of everything, it was much too barren for my eleven year old taste. I remember spending the night in the hospital, my father thrashing in his sheets screaming in agony. I remember nodding silently when his thin white fingers pointed out various military personnel that only his deteriorating brain could see. I remember the white chocolate covered pretzels I had shared with my father. I remember laughing till my diaphragm was sore and the color was returning in his white cheeks. I remember the white cigarette buds my aunt would flick into the pavement when we'd go out for air. I remember crying in another room when the lady with white hair gave suggestions on how to cope with death. I remember the white icing of his 33rd birthday cake, my family and hospital staff happily singing in unsoulful harmoney. I remember leaving the white room the last time I saw my father, his meager smile and departing words "I love you baby, I'll see you next weekend." I remember the trip up north I took in the white car, and the happiness I felt from the distraction of all of my troubles. I remember the black and white text of the Facebook blurring from tears as I realized my father had two days to live. I remember the blinding agony I felt when I realized he wouldn't be aware when I called him. I remember the guilt of never savoring my time with him, of never saying goodbye one last time. I remember another blurry Facebook post that informed me of my fathers passing before my mother could inform me herself. I remember the white rage at my mother for letting my brother stay ignorant to his fathers death for two days after. I remember burrowing my face in my hands when the white coffin was gently submerged into the Earth. 

Message to Readers

This piece is extreamly personal to me. My father died almost three years ago (July 30, 2014) of non hodgkin's burkitt's lymphoma. I wrote this because it is a huge part of me, something that affects me daily. Please share your thoughts!

Peer Review

The last line!

I could visualise the scene clearly in my mind. It was a closure, of sorts, of the father's suffering...though the passing of a loved one hurts the ones who love him the most.

How did you get over his death? Is it possible to?

Reviewer Comments

Thank you for sharing such a personal story, it must've taken quite some courage to do so! I hope the memory is not as painful as it used to be.

This personal piece evoked my own sentiments of regret for not spending more time with my grandfather. I loved its cohesiveness and flow, and the repetition of how the same colour white manifests in so many different moments.

Apart from some minor grammatical errors (was "fathers" a stylistic thing? I'm not sure because some writers like to skip the apostrophe), a suggestion would be to have some paragraphing for the ease of reading. Perhaps you can consider turning it into a poem (this is a minor, minor suggestion), with the repetition of "I remember" because I feel that the imagery might be better emphasised, but that's just an idea!

Another suggestion would be to think of how the narrator can describe the colour white in various ways in order to create a more striking imagery - the starkness of bright, white bedsheets, maybe, or the glossy white icing. I feel that might aid the readers in better understanding the narrator's moods as the piece progresses - especially if they begin to see white in a pallid, sickly hue (versus pure, or clean).

Keep up the good work and all the best in your writing endeavours! (I hope the suggestions didn't sound too harsh!)