Skip to content

siblings of folks with disabilities: two new books and an article

March 28, 2009
by

ridingthebuswithmysister

Check out this article http://www.oregonlive.com/living/index.ssf/2009/02/a_journey_of_love_and_discover.html

Two new books dealing with this topic are “Riding the Bus with my Sister” and “That Went Well”

from Riding the Bus with my Sister, by Rachel Simon:

From Publishers Weekly
This perceptive, uplifting chronicle shows how much Simon, a creative writing professor at Bryn Mawr College, had to learn from her mentally retarded sister, Beth, about life, love and happiness. Beth lives independently and is in a long-term romantic relationship, but perhaps the most surprising thing about her, certainly to her (mostly) supportive family, is how she spends her days riding buses. Six days a week (the buses don’t run on Sundays in her unnamed Pennsylvania city), all day, she cruises around, chatting up her favorite drivers, dispensing advice and holding her ground against those who find her a nuisance. Rachel joined Beth on her rides for a year, a few days every two weeks, in an attempt to mend their distanced relationship and gain some insight into Beth’s daily life. She wound up learning a great deal about herself and how narrowly she’d been seeing the world. Beth’s community within the transit system is a much stronger network than the one Rachel has in her hectic world, and some of the portraits of drivers and the other people in Beth’s life are unforgettable. Rachel juxtaposes this with the story of their childhood, including the dissolution of their parents’ marriage and the devastating abandonment by their mother, the effect of which is tied poignantly to the sisters’ present relationship. Although she is honest about the frustrations of relating to her stubborn sister, Rachel comes to a new appreciation of her, and it is a pleasure for readers to share in that discovery.

That Went Well by Terrell H Dougan

That Went Well by Terrell H Dougan

 from That Went Well

Meet Terrell Dougan’s sister, Irene: a woman in her sixties who still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny–but who also enjoys playing those characters for the children at the local hospital; whose favorite outfit, which she’ll sneak into whenever Terrell’s back is turned, consists of Mickey Mouse kneesocks and shorts; who wins over the neighborhood kids by hosting two fire trucks at her lemonade stand; whose fridge bears a magnet: NORMAL PEOPLE WORRY ME.

When Irene was born, her parents were advised to institutionalize her. They refused and instead became trailblazers in advocating for the rights of people with mental disabilities. The entire family benefited, with a life rich in stress, sorrows, hilarity, joy, and overwhelming kindness from strangers. Terrell has found that the only way to get through the difficult moments is to laugh–even in the most trying of times. In her moving, funny, and unforgettable memoir about life with Irene, Terrell Dougan shows that love, humor, and compassion are enough to heal us, every single day.

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. Masako Stillwell permalink
    April 18, 2009 5:30 pm

    What an amazing article. Her experience helped put things into better perspective for me.
    Masako

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: