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Editor's Commentary on '18 Things I Know About My Father'

 , March 06, 2015

In “18 Things I Know About My Father,” Gabriel Edwards creates a “narrative album” of sorts, using short stories to share with us snapshots of his father’s life. While Edwards’s coverage of his father’s major milestones helps us to get acquainted with him, it is the small details in each story that make this piece most compelling. We feel the excitement and nervous anticipation before his first date; the delight from his first glass of wine; and the love he feels for his two sons. We empathize with those first feelings of unsteadiness, of losing faith in mental and physical faculties that most of us take for granted. As his disease progresses, despite significant cognitive losses, we continue to get glimpses of the person we came to know in the earlier portions of this piece. His devotion to medicine and love for his family are especially apparent. Even on that final day in April, he leaves this life surrounded by the things that he loved and talking about the people whom he loved.  

Rachel Elkin