Mary Fisher's Heroes
"The first time I met Kate Ryan, she was leaning over Christyne's bed, talking softly. And when they let me into their conversation, I discovered they were talking about death.
Christyne had suffered the assaults of racism and sexism and, as the final insult, a virus that wanted to take away what dignity she had assembled. And the question she faced - not with dripping emotion but with great resolve - was: Where shall I die? She worried about who would be near to help and hold her children at that hour. And she worried about who would be there to make decisions when she was gone.
Rosie's Place is not a hospice. But Christyne thought that, if she could, she would prefer to die at Rosie's Place. This was the place where, after a too-short life of too-frequent abuse, she had tasted unbridled, unqualified love.
| In other
places Christyne had learned not to tell people she was sick, because then
they rejected her. But when she came to Rosie's Place, they had embraced
her with affection and steadied her children with courage. And, if she
could, this was the place where she wanted to say "Good bye."
I took pictures while she talked. Then there was a moment of silence. And when I heard Kate say, "Yes, of course. Absolutely. I'd like that too. This would be a good place to die" - that's when I knew that Kate was no ordinary person, and this was not ordinary place, and that I had come home, too."
|Christyne Howard and Kate Ryan at Rosie's Place.|
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