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The Depths of Memory  by Cairistiona 10 Review(s)
MarianelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/9/2015
So bittersweet and beautiful story. I had tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart. I saw the video too, it was amazing.Im thinking about my mom and my grandmother. If they ever catch these symptoms I will try to find out what it is that bring them a small measure and peace and joy to help them feel better. Thank you!❤️

Author Reply: Aw, thank you, Marianel... it makes my heart glad that a story touches someone in such a real way. My own family members with Alzheimer had passed away before I ever heard about this particular therapy technique, but I have a feeling it might have brought a measure of peace to my aunt in her last days. I hope you never have reason to use music like this with your mom or grandmother!

*hugs* and thanks--

cairi

layneReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/24/2013
That is absolutely beautiful. I teared up at the end of it.

Author Reply: Thank you, layne! So glad you were touched by this!

FiondilReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/20/2013
As poignant as this story is with its theme of end-of-life issues, I couldn't help laughing in the beginning at Aragorn's bemused responses to the old woman. He is so young here and probably not as confident about himself as he will be later in life.

A beautiful portrayal of Aragorn attempting to act as a healer and helping the mother and daughter connect, if only in spirit. Iva is such a well-drawn character and you did a good job of showing her to us and make us feel, along with Aragorn, for her plight. Loved the Ranger song. Very apropos and I'm sure Aragorn will indeed sing it to his own children and have a laugh over it.

This story richly deserves its placement in the Teitho contest, Cairistiona. Well done!

Author Reply: Thank you, Fiondil! Such kind words!

I'm glad you got a laugh out of Aragorn at the first. I imagine that even though he's wide-eyed and inexperienced, he has *just* enough confidence to get him through most situations, even ones like this, that completely catch him by surprise.

I'm glad you liked Iva... in short stories it can be hard to make a character come across as multi-dimensional and not just an archetype, so your words reassure me greatly.

I like to imagine Elessar singing that to his children, and maybe getting a little misty-eyed at the memories... and that would be a story for another time, perhaps. :)

Thanks again for the kind words!


MP brennanReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/19/2013
Hey Cairi!

Just wanted to let you know how much this piece moved me. It was beautiful. Tissues were definitely required. I loved Aragorn's uncertainty and how, in the end, he was so moved by it all. Iva broke my heart; she was so desperate for some small sign that Iris was still there and so grateful when she got one. The story as a whole is so sensitive and human that I thought it must be yours. It got my vote and was very deserving of its place in Teitho.

Author Reply: Aw, thanks, MP. Glad you were touched by this one, and thanks for voting for it! I sometimes think I need to stay away from Teitho because everyone guesses which one is mine, but it's too fun not to, now that I have time again. :) Anyway, there was a lot of personal experience that went into this one, so hearing that it moved you makes my day. Thanks a bunch!

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2013
I already told you twice how much I liked your story, but I had yet to tell you how much I liked the way you portrayed young Aragorn. I loved your still insecure but oh so caring, warmhearted, kind and compassionate Chieftain.

A most loving a truthful portrait of Aragorn if you ask me.

Author Reply: Thank you, Estelcontar! You know how much I strive for "truthfulness in Aragorn" in my stories, so your words really hit the spot. Writing young Aragorn is still fairly new to me, so I want to be sure to get the balance right between inexperience and innate ability/wisdom/etc. In other words, I don't want him a bumbling idiot nor do I want him a prodigy. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the story!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2013
A beautiful, touching and very moving story, which got one of my votes. I love your portrayal of Aragorn here how he still tries to help when confronted with a seemingly hopeless situatiion.I love his tenderness and compassion. Your OCS too were excellent and I felt very real.I love stories that explore real life situations in a M-e context.It is always a treat to have a new story from you.

Author Reply: Thank you, Linda... I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. I imagine Aragorn probably ran into his share of situations where he felt unequal to the task, especially when he was still young and inexperienced. I think even if he couldn't do much for a patient, his very presence and compassion would bring improvement at least to the spirit. Thank you for voting for it--I confess when I submit a story, I don't read or vote that month, so I haven't read your story yet, but well done on your own 2nd place finish. :)

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2013
"Iíve been waiting for one to come along."

What a heartbreaking, long wait this woman must have had, never losing hope. Dear Strider. It's quite a lesson to learn that our best is often all we can offer, but it's often enough. A very lovely story.

Author Reply: Thank you, shirebound. I think it might have been difficult to spot a Ranger going by... I doubt they had much reason to wander boldly through Archet. Like all healers, Aragorn would have had to learn the lesson of "my best is good enough" very early. Even he couldn't save them all. Thanks for reading. :)

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2013
What a beautiful, although so very sad, picture of dementia. No wonder Aragorn felt so helpless, and so shaken, by it - and yet what a blessing he gave to Iva.

Author Reply: Dementia simply is very sad, though even in the tragedy, there are moments to treasure, like this one that Aragorn gave Iva and Iris. I've watched too many of my own loved ones suffer from it in their later years; I suppose it was a bit of therapy for me to see how Aragorn as a "new" healer might respond when thrust so precipitously into a situation like this. Thanks for reading!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2013
As one who has dealt with a client suffering from early-onset Alzheimers, a too common experience for those who already know Downs syndrome, I've watched the retreat of the spirit as the condition robs its victims of identity and memory. Song often helped to bring RA back to herself, if only for a moment or two. Thanks so for this one.

Author Reply: You're very welcome, Larner. There's just something about music that touches the spirit when nothing else can. Little wonder Tolkien used it as the foundation for creation. Thanks for reading and commenting!

FantasiaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2013
Cairistiona, I think that I'm less lucky than Strider, because I have been crying while reading this beautiful short story. I couldn't hold my tears. It is really very touching and sad, but beautiful nonetheless. Iris is a lucky woman, she has a devoted daughter, there are many people in our times that can't count with the care and compassion of their relatives or society. it is a comfort, to think that your old folk are living in the old happy memories.

As a bright note, loved how young Strider is here and how bewildered he acts, first for having someone nice to him, second, trying to figure out how to treat old, very old people and how old the mother must be, compared to the daughter and third, how amused he was with the song. And he is such a compassionate young man, the promise of a great King.

Thank you.

Author Reply: Thank you, Fantasia... so glad you were touched by this. I tried to lighten the mood a little, here and there, with some humor, as that's how I usually find strength in situations like this. And I really like to think of some of my own relatives still living within the depths of their memories even when they were no longer within reach of us. There's such a comfort in that.

Thanks for reading!

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