By Cecilia Rice
This can be the tale of the Rice family members, and of Liza, their critically mentally-retarded eldest daughter. it is a tale approximately what it used to be like becoming up in a wide, rowdy loved ones perpetually within the thrall of this unknowable, unreachable baby. whilst she was once small Cecilia regularly believed Liza wouldn't live to tell the tale to maturity, that she may by no means be her “problem.” yet she did live on. With heat, knowledge and humor, Cecilia finds how her kin got here to consider “the Liza challenge” as their very own and the way, throughout the passing of time and a mysterious technique of reputation and forgiveness, their fears and resentment become fierce loyalty and abiding love. this is often greater than a memoir in regards to the problems, demanding situations, and infrequent rewards that include taking good care of a disabled baby.
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Additional info for Always Liza to Me: A Memoir for My Silent Sister
Wham! As the strap was whacked onto the table. More laughter. ’ We were always warned. When trouble was brewing, the funny became much funnier. Tiny giggle. ’ Strap, strap, strap, strap. One each, followed by tears and wails.
Maybe because he was new to our family we didn’t notice his absence. Maybe we shared a longing to retrace our footsteps, to be taken back to the time before the terror unleashed by his arrival. Naturally Damian doesn’t remember it. He knows he went away but feels it was for his own good. Even as a frail old woman Mum recalls the details vividly. It was heartbreaking for her to weigh her love for one child against the other, to choose who should go and who should stay. It still reverberates. Aunty Shirley says she loved having Damian and it was hard to hand him back.
I had managed not to be sent away like Damian had, and now Margaret and Elizabeth. Things were much quieter at home with just two little brothers but I was sleeping in my own bed and I had our fairy music box to keep me company. It was fun to have baby Damian back, to cuddle him and tweak his little toes and wave his rattle with him, even though he cried a lot. Mum still felt sorry for what Elizabeth had done to him and I was able to help Mum with bottles and feeds without having to take it in turns to nurse the baby.