Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Tom - the greenhouse worker
Full of herbs, full of memories
You mockingly state, “A greenhouse full of germs”
Your characterization of your disease is “losing juice”
Missing words, synapses disrupted
Inside your mind’s inner realms
A retrieval system gone awry
You search for simple words, like “wall,” that most of us take for granted
Excavating to find the missing words
And I, many states away from you
Am touched by your story, your voice
I sit in my after-hours traffic
With cars passing me like they want to fly
I sit and I listen, suspended in the world of your loss and frustration
You reach for something deep inside of me
Evoked by your honesty
Losing juice, but finding hearts through the radio waves
(This was written for a total stranger Tom DiBlasio from Chantilly, VA who was interviewed by Noah Adams on "All Things Considered" and aired on
December 12, 1999)
Dear Noah Adams at NPR – "All Things Considered,"

Thank you for taking me on the journey of Mr. DiBlasio and his family and the disease, Alzheimer’s, with which they must live every day.  They are swept up in a world that only those impacted by such a condition can understand.  Right from the start of your piece, I felt a part of their family, their frustration, their fear, and their courage, if only for a short few minute radio segment.  Thanks to NPR’s commitment and compassion.  You bring people together.  Stories like his create a bridge for us to reach out to others’ lives, their heartaches and their joy.  I can only trust that the science and effort of those in the medical profession can shed light on Alzheimer’s for Mr. DiBlasio’s and others’ sake.  And thank you, Mr. DiBlasio for your courage to tell your story to me and others. 
Jean Marie Gunner 


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