By Cecilia Rice
This is often the tale of the Rice kin, and of Liza, their significantly mentally-retarded eldest daughter. it is a tale approximately what it used to be like transforming into up in a wide, rowdy family endlessly within the thrall of this unknowable, unreachable baby. while she used to be small Cecilia constantly believed Liza wouldn't live to tell the tale to maturity, that she may by no means be her “problem.” yet she did continue to exist. With heat, knowledge and humor, Cecilia unearths how her relations got here to think about “the Liza challenge” as their very own and the way, in the course of the passing of time and a mysterious technique of reputation and forgiveness, their fears and resentment changed into fierce loyalty and abiding love. this is often greater than a memoir concerning the problems, demanding situations, and infrequent rewards that include taking care of a disabled baby.
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Additional info for Always Liza to Me: A Memoir for My Silent Sister
With Elizabeth we had now become astute at reading body language; we could perceive the wrench in her screams, and the sorrow that subdued our parents. We were siblings watching on as the segmentation of our family picture became set forever. Our parents were acting on advice, that it was best for all of us, but the most vulnerable was to be banished. Below the surface it filled us with anguish, with a fear of what can happen if you are made the wrong way. If you do not perform you might be sent away.
Mum 23 a l way s l i z a t o m e had asked a priest if, in her circumstances, it would be permis sible to use contraception. The answer was NO. Mum did not defy the Church. Dad’s asthma worsened. Now they had five children under five years old. There were others in a similar position: Mum’s friend Peg had two sets of twins and a total of six children under four. But no matter how burdened our parents felt, there was great excitement when Damian arrived at the end of 1962. ’ announced Dad. ’ ‘Damian John,’ he smiled.
Perched high in the hills we would see the outskirts of the city stretched out below. Home. We would look for the milestones carved out of sandstone and count them down. Always miles and miles to go. ’ We would arrive home as it was getting dark, have Weet-Bix with warm milk for dinner and go straight to bed. The trip seemed even longer when it was close to Christmas and we were counting the minutes until Santa arrived, anticipating all sorts of flamboyant presents before the modest realities of the big day.
Always Liza to Me: A Memoir for My Silent Sister by Cecilia Rice