By Cecilia Rice
This can be the tale of the Rice relations, and of Liza, their seriously mentally-retarded eldest daughter. it is a tale approximately what it was once like starting to be up in a wide, rowdy loved ones perpetually within the thrall of this unknowable, unreachable baby. whilst she used to be small Cecilia continuously believed Liza wouldn't live to tell the tale to maturity, that she might by no means be her “problem.” yet she did live on. With heat, knowledge and humor, Cecilia finds how her kinfolk got here to consider “the Liza challenge” as their very own and the way, during the passing of time and a mysterious technique of popularity and forgiveness, their fears and resentment become fierce loyalty and abiding love. this can be 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
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. Giggle, giggle, giggle. ‘If you kids don’t eat up now there’ll be trouble,’ Mum would threaten.
By now Elizabeth had been choking for fifteen to twenty minutes. When an ambulance arrived Mum and Dad jumped in, Elizabeth on Dad’s knees unconscious, all the while continuing to suffocate. When the siren started she was startled and coughed up the teat of her dolly bottle, breathing fully for the first time in about thirty minutes. 21 a l way s l i z a t o m e Elizabeth was admitted to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children for observation. Dad says now that this was the turning point for her.
The four of us other children would sit in the car with an aunt or grandmother while Mum and Elizabeth disappeared inside. ’ Five minutes took an awfully long time and we would get bored and squabble. Mum would come back and get cranky with us. It became part of our routine. Great-Aunt Dee, our grandmother’s little sister, was small and trim. They were of ‘Continental’ parentage and lived in a duplex. Nanny, who had grey hair and rimless spectacles, would cook spaghetti with real tomato sauce. Aunty Dee with white hair and grey-rimmed spectacles would make gnocchi.