Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 21, 2014

Fight for life, love the fight

‘They’re literally a murderers’ row.”

Disgusted with herself and her world, Olivia Pope, the character Kerry Washington plays on the ABC show “Scandal” was sitting in the White House chief of staff’s office laughing hysterically and condemning her fellow politicos.

Part of the point of a show like “Scandal” is the intense absurdity. But, the day after this episode aired, as I went to a morning Mass on Capitol Hill packed with congressmen, I couldn’t help but wish that this reverent side of Washington, instead of the darkness of “Scandal” and the twisted chic of the Netflix hit “House of Cards,” would make its way into our culture.

There are people throughout this country and even in and around the Beltway who are beacons of light. I got to know Kathy and Paul through mutual friends. We share a healthy New York Yankees’ fan’s aversion to Red Sox Nation (and remember when you could afford to buy tickets to the game) and have attended a Pet Shop Boys concert together.

They’re good, fun, unassuming, kind and generous people. They’re also heroic, as is their youngest child, Margaret.

Maggie is one of those children who probably shouldn’t be alive by our modern “quality of life” standards. Her parents had to fight so that her life would be valued and given a shot in the face of adverse diagnoses (some of them incorrect). She was born with her intestines outside her body, and a whole host of other problems that foretold a short life, but Maggie is thriving six months on.

Kathy, who, despite being understandably scared during her pregnancy, never stopped battling for her unborn daughter, has had her own medical problems in recent days, not that she’d tell you about it. Despite that, she makes the difficult commute at least once a day to the medical center where Maggie is being cared for, to visit her daughter for at least a couple hours. “She is not complete unless she sees Maggie,” her close friend Casey says.

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