By Cecilia Rice
This can be the tale of the Rice relatives, and of Liza, their critically mentally-retarded eldest daughter. it is a tale approximately what it used to be like starting to be up in a wide, rowdy family ceaselessly within the thrall of this unknowable, unreachable baby. whilst she was once small Cecilia continually believed Liza wouldn't live on to maturity, that she might by no means be her “problem.” yet she did live to tell the tale. With heat, knowledge and humor, Cecilia finds how her relatives got here to think about “the Liza challenge” as their very own and the way, during the passing of time and a mysterious technique of recognition and forgiveness, their fears and resentment became fierce loyalty and abiding love. this can be greater than a memoir in regards to 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
You could say her lack of time, her drained affection, were evenly distributed, except that she was openly more anxious about Elizabeth. Obedience and good behaviour were expected from the able children and if we misbehaved she would get cross. Now as a mother I can feel for my parents, trying to juggle the complications of those early times. ’ 28 5. departures For Mum it became increasingly difficult to restrain Elizabeth and to protect Damian; impossible to hold Elizabeth to give her the attention she needed and nurse a baby at the same time.
It wasn’t fair. How could Elizabeth not know she was hurting us? She was a scary monster. If she was on the rampage we knew we had to keep out of her way because she would attack us and there was nothing we could do about it. At times Mum would tie Elizabeth to a chair with stockings so that she couldn’t go for the baby or any other child who happened to be around. Later Mum would say that Elizabeth was more aggressive with Margaret than with me. Elizabeth reacted differently to each child, just as she does today; the more animated, the more likely she is to take a swipe.
When Elizabeth was gone again, the quietness sometimes felt strange and new, it had to be filled. The rest of us could be rowdy and defiant. Mum would feed us early and eat with Dad when he came home. Boiled chops with capers and white sauce, yuck. Stew, okay. Sausages and mashed potatoes, yum. Blade steak, okay. Vegetable soup, yum. Beef fritters, yuck. Peaches and ice-cream, yum. Bread and butter pudding, yuck. The four of us would sometimes find our dinner hard to digest. Far easier to muck up.
Always Liza to Me: A Memoir for My Silent Sister by Cecilia Rice
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