The Story Behind the Story: “Mom’s Goodbye”

About twenty-five years ago at a family gathering my cousin’s new husband mentioned in passing that he had walked into his dying father’s hospital room and his mother was lying next to her husband with his IV tube draped across her. A nurse walked in and made her get out of the bed and without arguement she did.

She was a very proper Irish woman with a lovely lilt to her voice and would carry her hand bag with her if she changed chairs in a room or walked into the kitchen.

I tried for years to do justice to this lovely woman and always ended up with a story in the 1500-2000 word range but never felt it was right. Last year I wrote a flash story in the 700 word range and I only became satisfied with it when I hit 100 words and then sent it out and Chris made my day by taking it. It was just one of those stories that took a while to brew.

About Paul Beckman

Bio: Paul Beckman’s story, “Healing Time” was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Pure Slush, Jellyfish Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, "Peek", weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. His published story website is www.paulbeckmanstories.com and blog is www.pincusb.com Paul lives in CT and is a photographer (both above and beneath the water) and a traveler.




  • Tony Acarasiddhi Press

    Brewing times may vary. You nailed it.

  • ∀NNE ELIZ∀BETH

    I could sense her Irishness in my heart, Paul. You’ve honored the dear woman in honest fashion. Thanks for sharing the background it’s really just a wonderful hundred words. Her “pocketbook from chair to chair” is preserved, it seems to me, in that final tear. How humbling it is when others make sacrifices just to please another. In all the universe, only you could line it up so beautifully.