Always Liza to Me: A memoir for my silent sister
Liza is different. She can't talk. She can't walk properly. She's funny-looking and when she upsets people, which she almost always does, trying to bite or scratch them, we have to tell them it' s not her fault; that she doesn't understand. Sometimes I don't understand either.
This is the story of the Rice family, and of Liza, their severely mentally-retarded eldest daughter. It's a story about what it was like growing up in a large, rowdy household forever in the thrall of this unknowable, unreachable child. When she was small Cecilia always believed Liza would not survive to adulthood, that she would never be her 'problem'. But she did survive.
With warmth, wisdom and humour, Cecilia reveals how her family came to think of 'the Liza problem' as theirs and how, through the passing of time and a mysterious process of acceptance and forgiveness, their fears and resentment turned into fierce loyalty and abiding love.
This is more than a memoir about the difficulties, challenges and rare rewards that come with caring for a disabled child. Eloquently told, Always Liza to Me is an uplifting chronicle of how even the most mixed-up of families can teach us great lessons and inspire great love.
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3 baby doll
4 brotherley love
7 the mountains
18 moving on
19 the inner corridor
20 the unforsaken
21 new millennium
22 mums outing
9 the outdoors
10 leaving childhood
13 margaret enquires
23 happy returns
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able adult asked Aunty Marian Aunty Shirley Auslan baby became bedroom behaviour birth birthday born brain damage brothers and sisters carers Cecilia centre childhood Cornelia de Lange couldn’t cried cuddle Dad’s Damian didn’t disabled doctor Dr Turner Elizabeth fear feel felt friends Gerard girl hair Hall hands Henry hospital Julian kids knew Lange syndrome later laughed live Liza Liza’s look Makaton Margaret mental retardation mother moved Mum and Dad Mum’s Mummy Nanny never no-one normal North Ryde nurse once paediatrician Papua New Guinea parents Phillip placenta play pregnancy problems remember response Rydalmere scratch seemed self-injury siblings smile sometimes Spastic Centre staff started stay stop story talk tell there’s things Thredbo told took trip trying turned twin ultrasound walk ward watched weekend wondered worry wrong