First off, the post that I wrote under “A True Story” is a genuine expression of the concerns currently filling my mind and heart. It is also a thoughtful reflection on the values that I have developed over my life and the source of those values. Finally, it is fashioned around a week “at home” when reflection on these was a natural outgrowth of my time there.
Some of the changes I made to the factual events were sort of literary vehicles. I put things in an order moving backward in time so that I finished with the most fundamental value. Some of the changes were a result of my audience; if I was telling the story to my kids I would say “Grandpa,” but on the blog, it makes sense to refer to him as JimI.
Some of the other alterations were to add emphasis: Like listing the names of others who were touched by cancer, like only describing the conversations that exemplified my experience in a place, and by identifying the location of my prior experience rather than the location of the meeting.
Finally, I would expect that no one felt betrayed to read the corrections. When you read the first story you knew it was stylized. Also, by only including the proper names Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John you might have suspected that I intended to connect the story back to a discussion of the Gospels.
So, imagine my children reading this story after my death. Imagine them arguing about my visit to Oakwood saying that there is no restaurant in Oakwood and one of them remembers me saying I never went back there. Taking the story as overly factual–as testimony rather than testimonial–is the smallest problem. The larger problem would be that they would be missing the point of the story.