chapter  26
6 Pages

What's a Mother to Do?

My daughter Lily, who runs off to Central America to he1p after a devastating hurricane; who writes a paper on humanitarian aid to read at a significant international relations conferenee; who picks up dead animals to respectfully place them on the side of roads and cover them with leaves; who investigates how the loeal hospital is dealing with non-English-speaking immigrants and reports what is lacking to the city authorities; who stops to offer he1p to a woman on the street who is being threatened by a loudly enraged man; who makes special visits to chat with those home1esswho sit begging in the doorways with their children; who stands up in the movie theater as soon as the film is over and boldly asks the audience to tell the management that the advertising poster for the film in the display window is sexist; who cares both empathically and thoughtfully for the ill, the emotionally hurt, the jailed (this is the short list}-this dynamo daughter is now physically downed with a mysterious and highly disabling illness ealled chronie fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS).