Mary Fisher's Heroes

Mary talks about the "silent epidemic." 
Rita Donnally with her son, Kevin at the Hospice of Greater Grand Rapids. 

A Mother's Love.
    When I opened the door to Kevin's room, his mother stood up from the side of his bed and came to hug me. We talked for a moment, she introduced me to her husband, and then said, "The rest of the family's down the hall." Kevin was coughing. She went back to hold him.
    ....Kevin couldn't speak anymore, but he was responsive to his mother, and, later, to me. I leaned toward him to put our faces close to each other. I told him I understood, and that he was loved very much, and that his life was so important. He knew.
    ....When I was ready to go, Mrs. Donnally asked if I would step out with her a moment. I expected her to ask that I not use some of the photographs. "How are you doing?" she asked, almost affectionately. I told her I was doing well. 
    Then she asked about my parents. "This is different than you think it will be," she said, "harder than you can imagine." and she asked me again how my parents were doing. I told her my parents weren't really talking about my diagnosis very much. She nodded. "Sure...sure..." Her voice trailed off. "We were like that, too," she said, coming back to the present period, "I remember."
    "Tell your mother she can call me," she said. "I'll be there for her. I understand."
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