Letters: Obituary, Monk

Listeners respond to the remembrance of a brief life and offer a correction to the story earlier this week on the biography of jazz great Thelonius Monk. Robert Siegel reads from listeners' e-mails.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Time now for your letters. And first, a correction. We aired a story this week about a new biography of Thelonious Monk and we said the jazz legend was diagnosed initially with manic depression and then bipolar disorder. Well, listener Joyce Richardson(ph) of Arlington, Virginia points out that they are in fact the same disease.

Yesterday, we honored the brief life of Baruch Levi Blum who was born earlier this month who lived for 10 minutes. His parents knew that he wouldn't survive long after birth, so they turned to a photographer to help capture their brief time with him.

While many of you appreciated out story and added your own, Dr. Allen Bloom(ph) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama writes this: Your moving story recalled one of the most inspiring patients I've met in 30 years as a family doctor. Upon learning that she would be having an anencephalic baby - one with no brain - she chose to complete her pregnancy. These are the words that she later told me. He lived 12 minutes, I wanted him to live long enough to be born, to let his four grandparents hold him and when it came time to die, he would die in my arms. We were granted all three of those things.

Brenda Hojonsky(ph) of Rayland, Ohio also had photographs taken of her stillborn son. She writes this: My favorite picture taken by the hospital staff is a dark, somewhat out-of-focus shot of my three sons holding their brother. I was in surgery while they had their first moments with him. And it's all I have to assure myself that they got their time with him.

Thank you for your stories and all of your letters. To write to us, go to npr.org and click on contact us.

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: This is NPR.

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