What a wonderful story. Relay for Life is an amazing event. The committee did an incredible thing by honoring this gentleman while he could participate. He is a true vision of what hope is. May God bless this man and his family.
JR - thank you for your response.
I do have another question: when you wrote, " I feel readers won't fully grasp the severity of Mr. Navratil's cancer by simply saying something along the lines of, "He's very sick," or "He is close to death."", do you really believe that readers are too stupid to understand the meaning of "terminal cancer"? I am pretty sure that most readers DO INDEED understand the meaning of the term, and "the severity of Mr. Navratil's cancer". I do believe you underestimate the intelligence of your readers. Not everyone needs graphic descriptions to understand how serious cancer is, especially terminal cancer. As for me, spare me the details; of course, I can't speak for everybody.
Thank you for the conversation.
By all means SugarMagnolia, I think that's a great question. I spent about two hours with Mr. Navratil, and I can assure you he is well aware of his deteriorating situation. His whole mission during my interview was to show people that even in death, there is hope. The sentence you reference also best describes what was happening at the scene. I feel readers won't fully grasp the severity of Mr. Navratil's cancer by simply saying something along the lines of, "He's very sick," or "He is close to death." I admit, the opening sentence is one that makes you somewhat cringe at what this man is going through, but I believe I brought it back by saying this "Oh, boy," he said, his gasps turning into soft wheezes and then eventually - a smile. "That was sweet." Again, I reinforced the fact that even though this man knows his situation, he still takes the time to smile and view his life as something wonderful. He was also completely surprised and overwhelmed by what members of the Victoria County Relay for Life did. He kept repeating throughout my interview how thankful he was for what everyone did. A great question, SugarMagnolia, I appreciate it, and thank you for reading.
This is probably going to be deleted, but I mean no harm or controversy here; it is just my opinion.
The first sentence reads: "Guttural gasps for breath escaped Bill Navratil as his weak, jaundice-tinted hand reached for the oxygen mask."
Does anyone see this as too descriptive, in the wrong way, and a little disrespectful? I understand a writer trying to convey a situation in a vivid way, but to me this seems a little over the top and not necessary to the conversation. Some things are very private, and should be treated with dignity. I would say the wording is not appropriate, but my opinion is that the whole sentence was just not necessary.
I would sincerely like to hear the reporter's reasoning for including such a graphic, disrespectful sentence. I truly am curious why the reporter, and by extension, the editor, felt it necessary to include this information.
I am so sorry to read this sad news of his illness. My oldest daughter was in middle and high school band and we took her instrument there whenever it needed fixing, or the constant purchasing of reeds for it. He was such a warm, caring man. I wish you the best , Mr Navratil, and know that you touched many young lives with your kindness to all the musicians in town.