That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister

That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister - Terrell Harris Dougan,  Terrell Dougan,  Terrell H. Dougan This was a humorous, usually heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking book about a difficult subject. Terrell’s sister, Irene, suffered brain damage at birth and would forever be a child in heart and mind. After the death of her parents Terrell became primary caretaker for her sister. This book not only describes her trials and tribulations in that role, and the effect it had on her everyday life, but emphasizes that sometimes necessity is truly the mother of invention. Her family was the first driving force in Utah for establishing any kind of social support system for people with mental disabilities other than institutionalized care. The system did not always work for her sister, but than only spurred her into action for developing some sort of independent living situation that would work for Irene. Ms. Dougan is an amazing woman, who was also one of the pioneers behind the Sundance Film Festival.

There are two major things I took away from this book, one – I do not think I could handle a similar situation with the fortitude, grace and humor that Ms. Dougan did and, two – as Ms. Dougan so often points out, sometimes those we perceive as being challenged have a lot to teach those of us perceived as “normal”.