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As I said before, Dr. Warner was haunted by the memory of Sarah since the day heabandoned her at the hospital. He and Edith had an unwritten rule that they wouldn't talk abouther, but every year on her birthday, June 18, he broke the rule. On June 18th, 1970 Dr. Warnermade a life-changing decision when he said:

"Edith, I can't stop thinking about Sarah, especially today on her birthday. She's 18 yearsold. She's a grown woman. Don't you wonder what her life is like and what she's like?""No. I put her out of my mind and I never think about her unless you bring her up. Tome, she's dead. I don't want to talk about her. I want to keep her dead. "

Edith sat rigidly trying to block out Dr. Warner's words, looking down at her tightlyclasped hands.

"I've decided to find Sarah."

"What will you do when you find her?"

"I'll visit her."

"Why? She won't understand who you are."

"We don't know that. Edith, I've been racked with guilt for these last 18 years. Iabandoned my child. I have to make up for that or I can't continue to live with myself. I thoughtI could get over the guilt with time, but it's gotten worse. Especially because I learned aboutDown Syndrome. Edith, we shouldn't have institutionalized Sarah. We didn't know better so wetook the advice of Dr. Knox, who we thought was an expert, but he wasn't. Recently, I'velearned that there's hope for children with Down Syndrome. The future for these people doesn'thave to be like Dr. Knox made it out to be. I've seen films of these kids who've had intensiveeducation and stimulation and some of them are unbelievable. They talk and socialize withothers and they work in sheltered workshops and some even in regular businesses, likeMcDonald's. I talked to Dr. Gottlieb at the med school. He's a specialist in infants. He told methat years ago doctors routinely told parents to institutionalize their handicapped kids, but nowresearch has shown that these kids can be more productive than anyone ever imagined. Edith, saysomething."

"I don't want to see her. Ever. I don't think I can cope with that. I've spent years buryingher, and now you want me to resurrect her.'

"We have to. We won't be able to live with ourselves if we don't do something."Edith collapsed in tears. Mark held her tightly, but she shoved him away."This is the biggest test of our lives. We have to find Sarah and be the parents we shouldhave been 18 years ago."

"Mark, I haven't felt one ounce of guilt since we got rid of Sarah. It was the right thing todo. It was the only way we could get on with living our lives the way we wanted to. It took me ayear to get over her birth, and now you're asking me to go through the same thing, but onlyworse. You're asking me to be with a retarded person. I've never been with a retarded person inmy life. Have you?"

"No, but now is the time."

"Mark, what are we going to tell people?"

"The truth."

"People will think we were cruel to abandon her."

"We were."

"No, we weren't. We did what was right. We did what we needed to. What kind of a lifewould we have if we had kept her? We would have had this freak that we would have had to hideaway.

Mark, if we get Sarah back, people will know that I was defective. I produced a damagedchild. Not you. Of course, it wasn't Mr. Perfect Mark's fault. It was mine.""Edith, you weren't defective. It wasn't your fault that Sarah was born retarded.""How can you say that? It was my fault because I was too old."

"Oh Edith, it wasn't your fault. It wasn't something you chose to do.""If I had known she was going to be retarded, I would have had an abortion. Even if I hadto use a coat hanger. And I wouldn't have let you stop me. I couldn't knowingly bring somethinglike that into the world. I would never choose to have a child like that.""I wouldn't have stopped you. If we knew, it would have been best to abort the baby toprevent all this heart ache. But we didn't know. Anyhow, we don't get to choose our children.Fate chooses them for us."

"Are you saying that Fate cursed me with a retarded child? What did I do to deserve sucha curse?"

"Edith, it's not a curse."

"Then what is it?"

"Maybe it's a gift."

"Are you crazy? Being retarded is a gift? It's the worst thing that can happen to a childand parents. Mark, I can't stop you from what you're planning to do, but I want you to know thatif finding her causes problems in our lives, I'll hold you responsible. You'll be the one whoruined our lives. We've lived without her for 18 years without a problem. Why create one now?""Oh there's been a problem for me every day for the last 18 years. I've had this guiltfestering inside me. It's eating away at me. It's changed my view of myself. What kind of mandeserts his child no matter what the child is like? I've thought of myself as a moral person, but Ican't continue to look at myself that way without doing something about the biggest mistake ofmy life."

"Mark, I know you're going to ruin our lives. Finding her will be a lot worse thandeserting her. And if it turns out that way, I'll leave you. I'm warning you. I can't stop you fromdestroying your life, but I won't let you destroy mine."

He didn't really believe Edith would leave him even if he found Sarah. He knew sheneeded him too much. She couldn't live without him. They had always had a marriage ofinequality. He made all the decisions, and Edith went along with them. The only thing Edithcontrolled in their marriage was the money, and she doled it out generously, never questioningwhat Mark wanted to buy, even encouraging him to splurge on things he hadn't even thought ofbuying. But still, she sent a message that she could turn off the money tap if there was a reasonto, and bringing Sarah into their lives could be a reason.

Edith worshiped Mark, especially because of his intelligence. She was dazzled by hismind. Edith had never gone to college and was not a bright person. She went to a finishingschool for the daughters of the rich where etiquette was a more important subject than

academics. She read only a few things - sections of the Wall Street Journal that had to do withher financial interests, the society section of the newspaper, and writings about her ancestors.She had no idea what was happening in the world, and she didn't care. She marveled at Mark'sease with people. Although she had friends, they were like her - women who were onlyinterested in material things and social status. Edith was not comfortable in social groups,especially if she didn't know the people in the group. Although they'd been married for manyyears, Edith continued to be in awe when Mark entered a group where he didn't know anyoneand acted as if he had called a meeting of his best friends. He was magical with people. Everyoneliked Mark. Everyone respected Mark. Everyone wondered why Mark married Edith, other thanfor her money. Maybe there was more. He was not known to fool around on the side. He wasdevoted to Edith. Maybe he even loved her before Sarah's birth, but not since.With this battle over Sarah, Mark was seeing a new side of Edith, one that he didn't like.When she talked about Sarah, she became a different person; she was visibly consumed withhatred. When she spoke Sarah's name, her face shriveled and she looked like a skull. Hecertainly didn't love this Edith. He was beginning to wonder if he had ever really loved Edithfor herself. He wasn't ashamed to admit to himself that he married Edith for her social status andwealth. He mingled with millionaires and even billionaires, only because he was married to oneof them. He loved being with rich people almost as much as he loved being with his intellectualcolleagues at the university. He basked in their life of affluence: going off to their summer homein northern Michigan, traveling to England whenever they felt like it, and going into a store andbuying whatever he liked without looking at the price tag. Mark was a man who straddled twoworlds. He thrived in the world of the mind where he enjoyed exploring ideas, and he thrived inthe world of the affluent where he enjoyed the perks of his wife's wealth. But underlying his loveof both of these worlds was a love of himself. He viewed himself as a special man, a unique man,one blessed with a great mind, a charming personality, and most importantly a conscience. Hetried to govern his behavior and his choices in life by doing the right thing. He hadn't done theright thing when he abandoned Sarah. Now his conscience was thrusting him in a new direction -the search for his daughter, a search that might jeopardize his position in his academic and socialworlds and his marriage. He knew the risks, but he couldn't turn back. He had to repair thedamage done to his view of himself. Was his drive to find Sarah and "do the right thing" more

about his egotism, his desire to prove himself the perfect man? Or was he being driven by theneed to find his flesh and blood and do right by her? BothDr. Warner knew that if he was to find Sarah, he had to start with the doctor. He had tofind Dr. Knox which turned out to be easy since he was still practicing. Dr. Warner called himand told him who he was. Dr. Knox immediately remembered him. When he said that he wantedto find Sarah. Dr. Knox tried to persuade him from doing this. He said, "Let sleeping dogs lie."That was it for Dr. Warner. "Let sleeping dogs lie." He had let the sleeping dogs lie for 18 years,and now they were rearing up and they were hungry and they were angry and they were baringtheir teeth. After much insistence, Dr. Knox relented, and told Dr. Warner where Sarah was. -Southern State School for the Feebleminded. When he heard the word feebleminded, heshuddered. He pictured an institution like he'd seen in the movies - bars on the windows, peoplelying on cold floors of cells, wild, filthy, out-of-control people, and sadistic guards. Was thatwhat he was going to find at Southern?

Dr. Warner knew that he couldn't find Sarah without Walter's legal help. He didn't knowwhat obstacles he would meet, and he needed to be armed with an expert lawyer, and there wasno lawyer more expert than his son. But Walter didn't know that he had a sister. He thought thatSarah had died 18 years earlier. He would be the first person who would learn of the Warners'secret. Dr. Warner asked Walter to come to the house to discuss something very important.Walter was apprehensive about the meeting, fearing that one of his parents had a dreadeddisease.

First Dr. Warner had to get Edith's help or at least her approval to tell Walter. When hetold her he had invited Walter to the house, she was furious. She didn't want to be present, butshe knew she had to be. She had to get Walter's help in stopping Mark from taking thisdangerous first step in finding Sarah. That was the only way she could stop him from thissuicidal search for Sarah. They met in the library, a room rarely seen by Walter since he movedaway from home. His father looked directly at him, but his mother cowered in the corner of acouch avoiding his eyes. Then he spoke the words officially starting his search for Sarah."Walter, we've called you here to tell you a family secret that we've kept hidden fromyou for 18 years. You probably can't imagine your parents as having a deep, dark secret, but we

do. Your sister Sarah didn't die when she was born. She was born retarded, with DownSyndrome, and we followed the doctor's recommendation to institutionalize her and forget abouther. We institutionalized her, but I never forgot about her. I've lived with the constant thoughtthat I abandoned my daughter. On June 18th, her 18th birthday, I realized I couldn't deal with thisany longer. I told your mother I wanted to find Sarah."

Walter was in a state of shock. He was 28 years old, and learning that he had a retardedsister who lived in an institution. His first reaction was to dissuade his father from doing this."Dad, don't do this. Forget about her." This was the second bit of advice for Dr. Warnerto let sleeping dogs lie, although he didn't say those exact words."Mother, how do you feel about all this?"

Here was Edith's chance to get Walter to help her stop Mark. She spoke passionately. "Idon't want him to do this. It took me a year to come back to life after Sarah's birth. Do youremember how I stayed in my room with the lights off for almost a year? I mourned for my lostdream child - a beautiful, bright charming daughter. I don't want to find the child I actually had- a retarded person, someone who might be dangerous. She might want to hurt us. Meespecially because I gave birth to her. She might be a monster. I don't know what to expect. Willshe be this big ugly mongoloid like you see in the movies? I'm petrified of what she'll be like.This whole thing might me relapse. It might make me lock myself up again, but not for just ayear, but forever. I want to keep her dead. I've buried her in my mind, and I don't want her back,but your father is insistent that we do this. I hope you can stop him. I can't. We have to stop himtogether. Talk sense to him. Make him realize what will happen if we find her. Our lives will fallapart. Our friends will leave us. We'll be disgraced."

"Dad, how could you do this to mother? This is going to destroy her.""Oh, she's just being melodramatic. She's blowing this out of proportion. Anyhow, I'llhelp with cope with this. Walter, I need to do this for myself if I am to have any self respect forthe type of man I want to be."

"Is that more important than Mom's mental health?"

"She won't want to live with me if I continue to be eaten away by the guilt I carry aroundfor what I did."

"Mark, I don't care about you. I care about me and my place in the world. What willpeople think of me having such a child? It'll be like I had Rosemary's baby.""Don't be a fool. A retarded child is not the devil's child."

"I don't know about that."

Walter listened to his father and mother argue back and forth, and then said, "What aboutLauren? What am I going to tell her? Maybe she won't want to marry me knowing that I havesomeone with retardation in my immediate family."

"If Lauren loves you, she'll marry you. Lauren is a well educated woman in law schooland she'll understand the research that shows that Down Syndrome is caused by a mother's age.She'll know why Sarah was born to your mother.

Walter, I need you to help me with this. I need your legal expertise to help me negotiatethe hurdles that I'm sure I'll face. Sarah was placed at Southern State School for theFeebleminded 18 years ago. It's downstate in Seymour. I need you to contact the institution andfind out if she's still alive, and if so what her life is like and whether we could visit her. Will youhelp me?"

"You know I can't say no to you, but I feel like we're entering a field of land mines andone could explode and destroy us all."

When Walter saw Lauren for dinner that evening, he told her about his meeting with hisparents. Lauren was not bothered by the prospect of marrying a man with a sister with DownSyndrome. She had friends with handicapped siblings, and had never heard that they had anyproblems. And she realized that Down Syndrome is not inherited so it wouldn't affect anychildren they might have. He was relieved at her rational, unemotional reaction. He wished hecould feel the same way.

The following day Walter called Southern and after speaking to a number of people, hewas finally put through to a Mr. Hutchison who was the assistant to the Superintendent of

Southern. Walter identified himself as the Warner family's lawyer as well as a member of thefamily and described his father's status at the university and his mother's family business so hewould appreciate the prominence of the family. He knew this would make a difference inopening doors in his search for Sarah. Then he asked the all-important question "Is Sarah Warnera resident of Southern at the present time?" There was a hesitation which meant the answer wasyes. Mr. Hutchison told Walter that he would have to seek legal advice before he responded. Hetold Walter that he would call him back within 48 hours.

Twenty four hours later Mr. Hutchison called Walter to say that yes, Sarah Warner was aresident of Southern State School for the Feebleminded. Walter, a man noted for his gift ofspeech, was momentarily at a loss for words. He hadn't realized it would be this easy. He saidthat the family wanted to know all about Sarah, and if advisable, they would like to arrange avisit. Mr. Hutchison told him that it would be best for Walter to speak to Dr. Phillips, theSuperintendent of Southern. He transferred his call to him.

"Dr. Phillips, I'd like to tell you about how Sarah ended up at Southern 18 years ago.When Sarah was born, my parents were shocked to learn that she had Down Syndrome. Theirdoctor told them to institutionalize her immediately and they did. Since then my father haslearned a lot about mental retardation and Down Syndrome. He feels overwhelming regret forwhat he did."

"What about your mother?"

"My mother is in a state of shock. She'll do whatever my father decides is best. My fatherwants to meet Sarah, but we're not sure of the best way to do this.""I don't know much about Sarah and before I make any recommendations, I want to findout about her current situation."

But he did know all about Sarah Warner. Everyone on the administrative staff knewabout Sarah's history of rape and abuse.

"I also want to involve Dr. Mather, our head psychologist, to minimize any psychologicalproblems Sarah might experience as a result of meeting the family she knows nothing about."

Walter thought to himself that his family, especially his mother, might need the help of apsychologist too. Their conversation ended with Dr. Phillips's promise to call back soon.Walter called his father to report the status of the search for Sarah. He mentioned hisconcern for his mother's mental health and recommended that she see a psychologist. Dr. Warnertold him that since Sarah's birth, he had tried to have Edith get psychological help, but sheresisted. She didn't want anyone to know about Sarah even though Dr. Warner insisted that apsychologist would and could never disclose such confidential information. After Walter's recentvisit, Dr. Warner had again suggested to Edith that she see a psychologist to help her handle theissues that she would face with the re-entry of Sarah into their lives. She was adamant in herrefusal to seek psychological help. She insisted that she wasn't the crazy one, but Mark wasbecause he wanted to destroy their family.

Three days later Dr. Phillips called Walter. He briefly described Sarah's presentintellectual level and her functional skills. He said that Sarah had a complicated history that hewanted to discuss with the family in person. Walter asked Dr. Phillips to come to Chicago for aface-to-face meeting with the family. To hasten the meeting, Walter told Dr. Phillips that thefamily would pay for Dr. Phillips and Dr. Mather to come to Chicago. He asked that he mail allreports about Sarah before the meeting so that he could prepare questions.Dr. Phillips met with Dr. Mather to discuss if they should send all the reports. He wasconcerned about any possible legal ramifications of Sarah's physical abuse and rape. But heknew that hiding them could result in greater problems in the future if and when the familylearned about them. He called his supervisor at the State Department of Mental Health inSpringfield for advice. His supervisor told him that he would consult with the state's lawyers andget back to him which he did the next day. The speed with which everyone at the state levelacted was definitely due to who the Warner family was. He told him to fully cooperate with theWarners and not antagonize them in any way. He didn't want any negative publicity about thismatter. So Dr. Phillips sent Walter everything he had on Sarah: her history at Southern since heradmission including her placements in different wards; a medical report; a psychological report;and incident reports which described, in detail, Sarah's physical abuse and rape. No one hadanticipated that these reports would ever be seen by anyone outside of Southern so noinformation had been held back.

Along with the reports, Dr. Phillips sent a Polaroid photo of Sarah that had been taken afew days earlier. When Walter saw the pretty blond Down Syndrome 18 year old girl wholooked like a 12 year old, he instantly saw Sarah's resemblance to his mother. They both had thesame coloring and the same features, except for the eyes. He realized that Sarah was prettierthan his mother. There was a look of pure innocence about Sarah. Walter murmured, "Hello mylittle sister. You are so pretty. Little do you know the explosion that you will be causing in ourfamily."

Then he went through the reports starting with the medical report which described Sarahas having a history of chronic ear infections and because of lack of treatment or late treatment,the conclusion that she might have a hearing loss. It wasn't possible to test her hearing becauseshe didn't understand the directions from the audiologist. Because of her limited speech, it wasdifficult to find out if she had an ear infection unless she rubbed her ears repeatedly, and even ifshe did this, the attendants didn't always notice. The report also cited her low resistance to coldsand the flu. Every time there was an outbreak of something contagious, Sarah got it. She hadbeen hospitalized four times with the flu. She was below average in height and average inweight. She had the classical symptoms of Down Syndrome: slanted eyes, extra epicanthal lid onthe eyes, small ears, flattened nose, and single palmar crease.

The psychological report based on testing when she was 12 stated that her IQ on theStanford Binet Intelligence Test was 40 placing her in the moderately retarded range. Hermental age was like that of a four year old. The report described her as also having the functionalskills of a four year old: she could dress herself, wash herself, feed herself with a spoon and fork,and care for her toileting needs. She could not tie shoes or button or use a knife. Her receptivelanguage skills were described as being like those of a four year old. She could follow two steporal directions involving actions such as touching her nose and standing up. Her expressivelanguage skills were like those of a two year old. She primarily spoke in single words, but couldproduce two or three word sentences. The major problem with her expressive language wasintelligibility. Her speech was unclear and her message could not be understood unless thelistener knew her intent, or unless she used motions to supplement her verbal message. Thereport also described her as having a sweet, easy going personality up until the time of the abuseand rape. When Walter came to the words - abuse and rape - he had to stop and re-read them.

Everything he had read to that point had been as he expected, but these two words were chilling.His heart raced and he felt shaky. He went to the incident reports immediately. The first onedescribed the first case of physical abuse from the resident on her ward, and her resultinginjuries. He looked at the photo of her again and saw that one of her front teeth had beendamaged; she only had part of one of her front teeth. This made her look like a child who hadlost a front tooth. The second report described her transfer to another ward and the continuedabuse there. How could they let the abuse happen? Couldn't they stop it immediately? Couldn'tthey punish the abusers? At least they tried to help Sarah by transferring her to yet another wardto be with this Mary Reilly. But why did they wait so long? Why didn't they do something afterthe first time it happened? Another report listed periodic updates describing the effectiveness ofmy care for her and the improvement in her behavior.

Then there was the last report - the rape. It described in detail all aspects of the rape.Walter again looked at the photo of Sarah and saw this innocent lamb being raped by a brute. Hefelt himself growing angrier. He found no reference to who the rapist was other than he was anattendant at Southern. He needed to find out who this person was and what happened to him. Thereport also described my role in stopping the rape, or at least stopping the rapist before he wasfinished. There was a lengthy report from Dr. Mather describing the change in Sarah's behaviorafter the rape - the regression, shutting out everything in her environment, and refusal to eat.Again periodic reports indicated she improved under the care of this Mary Reilly. Now I waspart of the Warner family. These reports were their introduction to me.Walter wondered how he was going to share the reports of abuse and rape with his father.The guilt his father felt about institutionalizing Sarah would increase a million times after helearned of the atrocities that Sarah had experienced. He would feel responsible for them becausehe had allowed Sarah to be placed at Southern. Would this make him change his mind aboutseeing Sarah? Maybe he would back down. Walter felt that would be best for everyone,especially his mother, but he knew they had gone too far. They couldn't turn back no matterwhat they found. Maybe they could keep the information on the abuse and rape from his mother.He was sure she wouldn't be able to handle it. She sheltered herself from anything unpleasant inlife. Abuse and rape were more than just unpleasant. They were horrendous. They were not partof Edith Warner's world.

Walter was planning to meet with his father to share the reports and photo with him. Butfirst he wanted to think more about his father - who was this man who wanted to destroy hisfamily? He thought that he understood his father, a man he had always respected and loved. Butnow he realized he didn't understand him. He couldn't understand his compulsion to find Sarahno matter the consequences. And it wasn't because he wanted to help Sarah. It was because hewanted to live up to the image of himself as brilliant, charming, but most importantly moral. Thelast part made him unique. There were lots of brilliant, charming men in this world, but thereweren't that many who tried to live by a code of ethics. He had never talked to his father aboutmorality or ethics. As a lawyer, his views of morality were dictated by issues of legality. So hisworld view was much different than his father's. He tried to think of other areas where his fatherused morality to guide his behavior and the first area that came to mind was his teaching. Hewas more than a teacher to his students: he was a mentor, a friend, and a benefactor. Financially,he helped needy students in his classes. He had been there for a student whose father died in aplane crash. In fact, the student stayed at the Warner house for a while. He provided emotionaland financial support for a student with cancer. His financial assistance to his students wasalways done discretely. He didn't want anyone to know about this. He used Edith's money to setup scholarship funds for needy, minority students. To satisfy Edith, he used her money to set upthe Wilson Endowed Chair for the Study of English History. And there was his weeklyvolunteering to serve food to the homeless at an inner city black church's soup kitchen. He couldhave just given money to help with that, but he gave his time and personal commitment. Servingat a soup kitchen on Thursdays and sailing on Lake Michigan on Saturdays were certainly widelydifferent facets of a man he might not really know after 28 years of being his son.Walter wanted to be with his father as he went through the reports so he could help himcope with his reactions to these tragedies in Sarah's life. This was the first time he felt protectiveof his father. They had always had a relationship of equality. Neither had needed the other'sprotection before. They were strong men in control of their lives. First, he gave him the photo ofSarah. Dr. Warner gazed at it for a long time. Finally, he said, "She's pretty. I didn't knowretarded people could be pretty. She looks a lot like Edith. I wonder how she'll respond when shesees this. I never imagined that she'd look like this. I expected her to be ugly, even monstrous.She looks so innocent. So sweet."

Then he read the reports. When he got to the report of the rape, he wept. Her short lifehad been filled with chaos and violence. If they had not institutionalized her, none of this wouldhave happened. He caused his daughter to be brutalized. He'd always had this feeling thatsomething was happening to Sarah that he needed to know about. He wasn't a mystical type ofperson, but at the same time he sensed that Sarah had been in trouble and needed him. Andmaybe that was why he felt driven to find her. Now he was going to save her. He was going to bethe knight in shining armor, riding a white horse, charging into her life, scooping her up, andsaving her from any future cruelty. He was going to rescue her from Southern.They discussed whether they should share the reports with Edith, but they knew they hadno choice. She needed to learn about this before she met Sarah. But they weren't sure she wouldeven agree to meet Sarah. She was becoming increasingly resistant to having anything to do withher. When Walter or Dr. Warner mentioned her name, she said sternly, "I don't want to talkabout her. She's dead to me."

At his next visit to the house, Walter brought the reports. He sat next to Edith as he wentthrough each of the reports. When he got to the incident reports, Edith turned to stone. Violenceand rape were not part of Edith's life. She'd never witnessed a violent act in her life nor had sheknown anyone who'd been raped. She didn't want to know about this. It was too ugly to be partof her life. She had used her wealth to create a world of beauty and comfort, a world with stonewalls to keep out ugliness. Now it would be destroyed by Sarah. She couldn't claim theresponsibility for causing this ugliness. Sarah caused it. She caused the abuse and rape. She hadto be blamed. She couldn't accept blame for herself. When Walter finished going over thereports, she left the room without a word. Whenever they brought this up in conversation, sherefused to talk about it.

Before meeting with Dr. Phillips and Dr. Mathers, Dr. Warner set out to learn aboutSouthern State School for the Feebleminded, a place as foreign to him as Antarctica. At theuniversity library he found a book with pictures of Southern. He studied the old, Gothic stylebuildings and the pictures of retarded people sitting on benches vacantly staring into space.Seeing the dinginess of Southern and the pathetic retarded people shown in the picturesdepressed him and made him doubt if he should visit Sarah at Southern. He was seeing what hehad tried to visualize in his mind, and the reality was worse than he had imagined. Was he ready

for the ugliness that he would find? Edith was right. They had such a charmed life. He had agreat job which he loved; a successful, loving son who would soon marry and give himgrandchildren; and an adoring wife, or an adoring wife before he started on this road to findSarah. His relationship with Edith was deteriorating. There was a chip in their relationship thatwas widening every day he continued his search. Was it worth it? Yes, yes, yes, yes. It wasworth it to him. He was becoming driven in his search. It was the only way he could atone for hissin. His desertion of Sarah at birth caused her to be abused and raped. He was the cause of theevil done to his child. Why hadn't he put her in a private home for retarded people? Why hadn'the consulted with experts to help him do the right thing? Why had he just listened to Dr. Knoxwithout questioning anything? He was a man who investigates everything. Why didn't heinvestigate what Dr. Knox told him to do? He knew his emotional state at that time was a factor,but it still didn't explain what he blindly did. It was too late to ask questions; now was the timefor action.

Dr. Phillips and Dr. Mathers met with Walter and Dr. Warner at Walter's 25th floor lawoffice in a building on Michigan Avenue. Edith chose not to attend. She wasn't ready to take thefirst step. She was still hoping that Mark would back out, and she'd never have to see Sarah.They reviewed the medical and psychological reports, but they all knew that the real focus of themeeting was the incident reports. Dr. Phillips explained the circumstances behind the two casesof abuse and the rape. Walter was most interested in what had happened to the rapist. Being alawyer, he wanted to make sure that the rapist had been punished appropriately. Dr. Phillips saidthat the matter was turned over to the police and to his knowledge Jack Miller, the rapist, hadbeen sent to jail. He had not followed up. And interestingly, Walter also never followed up tofind out what had happened to Jack Miller. Had he done so perhaps the tragedy of their liveswould have been averted. Perhaps he could have found out when Jack Miller was released fromjail and where he was after his release. No, he couldn't have prevented what happened. No onecould have.

Then they talked about me and why I was able to help Sarah.

"How was this Mary Reilly able to help Sarah?" Walter asked.

"Well we knew that she was normal and had helped other people in the past. She helpedthe dying in the hospital and now she works with severely handicapped babies. We placed Sarahin Mary's ward and had Mary work with her to bring her out of her catatonic state. She has thisspecial talent for reaching out to people."

Dr. Warner pounced. "What do you mean she's normal? Isn't she an inmate there?'"Yes. When she was admitted at age 13 she was tested and found to have a 65 IQ, but welater found out that was a mistake and she was normal."

"So why was she incarcerated? Why was she imprisoned in an institution where shedidn't belong?"

Dr. Mathers was visibly uncomfortable discussing this because he knew that I waswrongly imprisoned at Southern.

"We didn't have anyone to release her to. She had no family."

"What about placing her with a foster family?"

"I don't know. I can't answer your questions. Let's talk about your visit. Mary has to bethere when you meet Sarah because since the rape Sarah's fearful of strangers, especially men."When Walter and Dr. Warner got home, they described their meeting to Edith."Edith, Walter and I are going to arrange to visit Sarah. I'd like you to come. Pleaseconsider it. I'll do everything within my power to help you through this.""I won't go the first time. If you go back, then MAYBE I'll go with you, but don't counton it. I think you might change your mind about all this once you've gone there and see whatshe's like and what that institution is like. People like us don't go to institutions. If we haveproblems, we go to private sanitariums. Right now there's no way I could handle the trauma ofseeing my dead daughter. She is dead to me and I want to keep her that way. Mark, you'reacting crazy about this whole thing. I don't want anything to do with this. I feel like you'repulling me down into quicksand and I refuse to let that happen."

A visit to Southern for Walter and Dr. Warner was arranged for four weeks later. Edithwent to a spa with friends on that weekend. Dr. Phillips and Dr. Mather agreed that it would benecessary for me to prepare Sarah for the visit, and also be present to give Sarah emotionalsupport she would most certainly need. One day I was told not to go to work, but to go to ameeting at 10:00 in the Superintendent's office in the administration building. I wasdumbfounded. Me going to the Superintendent's office? What did I do? I imagined all kinds ofthings: I was being arrested for injuring the rapist two years earlier; I was being arrested forprostitution when I lived at home; I was being transferred to a different institution; andimplausibly, I was being released. I was a nervous wreck until the 10:00 o'clock meeting. Iwould have dressed up, but I didn't have anything to wear other than my two cotton dresses. ButI did have the pretty sweater Judy knitted for me. Although it was a hot day, I decided to wear it.I was told where the Superintendent's office was, and at 9:30 was sent off by the curiousattendants on my ward.

I knocked at the outer door of the Superintendent's suite of offices and waited forsomeone to answer. An attendant walking by told me to just go in; I didn't need to knock. I wentin and nervously told a secretary who I was and who I was supposed to see. It was only 9:40 soshe told me to sit on a bench and wait. At 10:00 a middle aged fat man with thick glasses cameout of an office and introduced himself as Dr. Phillips. He escorted me into his office andintroduced me to a Dr. Mather who was the Head Psychologist at Southern. Dr. Mather wasyoung and cute. He was the first nice looking man I'd ever seen at Southern. They asked me totell them all about myself. I started with my entry into Southern and your birth. They asked me totell them about my life before Southern. My tongue froze. How could I tell these men that I hadbeen a prostitute? Dr. Mather said that he knew I was forced into being a prostitute, but hewanted me to describe my life. And I did. For the first time ever I described the ugliness of myfirst 12 years to someone in authority. The only other time I spoke so freely about my first 12years of life was to Judy. I was surprised at how easily I could call forth those horriblememories. I thought I had buried them, but they were close to the surface and came gushing outwhen I took myself back to those days in Chicago. I must have talked for about 20 minutes andfor that whole time they were glued to my words. When I finished, Dr. Mather said that I was aremarkable girl to have survived such an awful experience and turn out to be such a nice person.

A psychologist called me a remarkable girl. A psychologist called me a nice person. I'd neverhad such glowing compliments in my life.

Then they asked me to describe the work I did at Southern. When I described how Iloved my babies, Dr. Mather seemed to be overcome with emotion. He said that I had areputation among some of the attendants as a healer. My work with the sick and the dying in thehospital and my work with my babies gave people the impression that I could heal. Can youimagine Mary Reilly as a healer? But maybe there was some truth to it. Maybe kindness and lovedid heal; not disease, but sickness from isolation and loneliness. And maybe I stood out atSouthern because I was a rarity - a person who showed kindness to others in a place that wasdevoid of kindness, a place that only had cruelty and neglect.

Finally, they asked about my history with Sarah and our present relationship. I told themabout the abuse she suffered before she was placed with me and her progress since then. Dr.Phillips asked me about the rape. I asked him if this was about me stabbing the rapist with a pinand injuring him and would I have to go to jail for that. He laughed, and said no. I described theterrible event and how I helped Sarah recover. I told him that the abuse and rape made her actmore like a child and she was totally dependent on me, like a 2 year old with her mother. I saidthat she was better, but that her progress was still shaky. She trembled with fear when she sawmen who looked like Jack Miller and stayed away from male attendants even if they didn't looklike him.

When I was finished talking, Dr. Phillips told me why I was meeting with them."Sarah has family in Chicago who want to meet her. They placed her at Southern whenshe was born because that is the way people handled the birth of a retarded baby in those days.Now they feel guilty about what they did and they want to start a relationship with her. We'venever had a situation like this before so we're not sure of the best course of action. The family isrich and influential and well-known in Chicago so we have to be careful that we do not break thelaw in any way. Sarah's brother is a prominent Chicago lawyer and will be watching us closely.We don't want any negative publicity about this either. We hope the newspapers and T.V. don'tget a hold of this."

I couldn't understand how they could break the law, but I didn't ask about that. And Icertainly couldn't understand why newspapers and T.V. would be interested in any of this."We want you to help prepare Sarah for this meeting with her family. First, she'll meetwith her father, and we would like you to be present so Sarah won't be alone with a strange man.Mary, what should we tell her? How should we present this? ""She can't understand the concept of a father, especially HER father. She neverexperienced parents so she has no basis for understanding any of this. I think we should just saythat a nice man wants to meet her and become her friend. Why isn't her mother coming? ""She's having difficulty coming to terms with meeting her daughter."I didn't understand this, but I didn't feel comfortable asking him to explain. How could amother not want to meet her lost daughter? At that moment I thought of you, something I hadn'tdone for a long time. I thought that I would want to meet you no matter what.When I got back to the ward, Judy was eagerly waiting for me. She had come back fromwork early because she was worried about what the Superintendent wanted from me. We went tothe day room to talk and be away from Sarah. Although Sarah wouldn't understand what wewere saying, she would hear her name and understand that we were talking about her and I didn'twant that. Somehow Sarah picked up negative aspects of a conversation. She sensed whensomething was wrong from how people spoke, even though she didn't understand the meaningsof the words they were speaking. If I talked about something frightening or negative, Sarah grewagitated and moaned. She understood my body language and the tone of my voice, not somethingwe think retarded people can do.

After I told Judy about the upcoming meeting, she offered some good advice aboutpreparing Sarah to say hello, shake hands, look in her father's eyes, and smile a lot. Judywondered who these people were and why they were so important. We had no way of findingout. In those days there were no computers with internet access that we could Google; and evenif there were, they wouldn't be in an institution for the retarded; and if they were, the residentswouldn't be allowed to use them even if the residents were normal.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I was important, that the highest powers-that-be atSouthern were asking me what to do, and involving me in important decisions. I couldn't believethat I was being recognized for who I was - Mary a smart, kind person. I was soaring.On September 6, 1970, a Sunday at 2:00 o'clock, Sarah and I met with Dr. Warner in aconference room in the administration building. I dressed Sarah up as best I could and put Judy'sbarrette in her hair. Remember that was the barrette she got from Clarence. That morning, Ishampooed her hair and it glistened. She had such lovely, silky blonde hair. I told her we weregoing to meet a nice man who was going to be her friend. Judy accompanied us to theadministration building. It had been decided that I would talk to Dr. Warner in the conferenceroom before he met Sarah so Judy waited in the hall with Sarah. Sitting in the conference roomwas Dr. Phillips, Dr. Mather, and this tall, handsome older man. He looked like someone whowould play a minister or a doctor on T.V. After I was introduced, Dr. Warner thanked me forbeing Sarah's protector. His eyes kept welling up and he kept saying that he couldn't cry in frontof Sarah because she wouldn't understand that these were tears of happiness, not sadnessDr. Phillips and Dr. Mather left and I went out to get Sarah. I brought her in andintroduced her to Dr. Warner. We had practiced saying Mr. Mark, and Sarah said, "Hello Mr.Mark. How are you?" We had practiced it so many times that it was actually understandable. Dr.Warner who was working hard to not cry replied, "I'm fine. How are you Sarah?" Sarah lookedhim in the eye, smiled brightly, and said, "Fine." She showed no fear at being with a strangeman. Maybe because I was there with her or maybe because Dr. Warner sent the message that hewouldn't hurt her or maybe both.

I had told Dr. Mather to tell the family to bring things for Sarah since she couldn't chat.Dr. Warner took out a children's picture book with photos of different farm animals that wasdesigned for two-year olds. He showed each picture to Sarah, said the animal's name, and thenmade the animal's sound. "This is a cow. A cow says moo. Moo. Can you say moo Sarah?....Thisis a pig. A pig says oink. Oink. Can you say oink Sarah?" How funny it was to see thisdistinguished, well-educated man making animal sounds. Sarah didn't do well with saying theanimals' names, but she was better at saying moo and oink. When they finished going throughthe book three times, Sarah reached over and took Dr. Warner's hand and held it. He wasovercome by this simple act of affection. He visibly struggled to hold back tears. Then from a

bag he took out cokes and cookies. Sarah was delighted - this was the best part of their meeting.She ate four cookies and would have eaten more if I had let her. Then Dr. Warner showed her apicture of Edith and said that this was "Miss Edith". She was going to be her friend too and hehoped that she would visit next time. I said that we'd practice saying hello Miss Edith for thenext visit. As Dr. Warner rose to leave, Sarah waved bye-bye like a little child. Dr. Warnerwaved bye-bye back.

As we left the room, we saw Walter waiting for Dr. Warner at the end of the hall. WhenDr. Warner reached him, he collapsed into his arms. Then they went off to talk to Dr. Phillipsand Dr. Mather. Their evaluation of the visit was quite positive. They felt that this was a goodexperience for Sarah. Dr. Warner felt that it was the beginning of him being able to heal. Hewould become the father he should have been for the past 18 years.The next visit was going to be in four weeks, again at 2:00 on a Sunday. Edith stillrefused to meet Sarah. She was becoming more adamant in her refusal to ever meet Sarah. So atthis visit, Walter was introduced. Walter read the baby animal book with her and then took out acoloring book and crayons. He showed Sarah how to color a dog brown. She picked up a pinkcrayon and scribbled over a picture of a cat. She used different colored crayons to scribble overthe pictures on each of the pages. She smiled as she scribbled. She thought she was a great artist,and in her own way, she was. Then Sarah asked, "Cookies?" This was the best part of the visitand she couldn't wait until she had her snack. She again devoured four cookies and gobbleddown a coke.

Another visit was planned for four weeks later. Dr. Warner spent most of that time tryingto convince Edith to join him. Finally, she relented and agreed to meet Sarah. She told him shewas only doing this so that he would stop pestering her. Edith was nervous the whole drive downto Seymour. She fidgeted and refused to talk.

When I brought Sarah into the room to meet Edith, she was sitting alone at the end of thetable, far from where we usually sat. So we joined her there. Sarah said, "Hello Miss Edith. Howare you?" Edith looked at Sarah and said, "Fine, Sarah, fine."

Sarah touched Edith's white hair and then touched her own hair and said something thatsounded like "Same." When Sarah reached out to touch Edith's hair, Edith pulled back as if she

were afraid that Sarah might hurt her. Edith couldn't stop staring at her. She was struck by thephysical resemblance to herself. Although she had noticed the resemblance in the picture, shehadn't been prepared for seeing someone who looked so much like herself, but still lookedretarded. They read the baby animal book and then Edith took out a new coloring book andSarah eagerly scribbled on each page. The whole time Edith acted as if she wanted to beanywhere other than where she was.

When Dr. Warner brought out the snack, Sarah had her usual four cookies and drink. Dr.Warner and I also had cookies and a drink. Edith had nothing. She just wanted to get out of thatroom as quickly as possible. When it was time to go, Dr. Warner gently touched Sarah'sshoulder and said bye-bye. Sarah smiled at him and said bye-bye. Edith left without saying good-bye. She felt that she had done her duty. She didn't ever want to see Sarah again. She hoped thatthis one visit would satisfy Mark, but it didn't. When he asked her to visit Sarah again, she said,"I hate her. It looks like the devil took my face and twisted it into hers. I can't stand looking ather. And I will never ever again set foot in that insane asylum. Did you see those horriblemonsters? It's a place that no one normal should be allowed in. It's Hell on Earth. Those freaksshould be kept hidden from the world forever." Mark was speechless at the extent of her hatredof Sarah and Southern. He knew he would have to scale huge walls to get Edith to agree to hisultimate plan of bringing Sarah home.

Dr. Warner didn't visit in December because he and Edith were in London for threeweeks. He came in January and at the end of the visit Sarah hugged Mark. She just held himaround the waist. On the next visit, I tried to leave the room while Sarah and Dr. Warner werecoloring. I thought that maybe Sarah trusted Dr. Warner enough to be alone with him. As I putmy hand on the doorknob, Sarah became agitated and started moaning. She had been aware ofmy movements as soon as I got out of my chair. I went to her and put my arms around her andshe cried like a baby. She held me around the neck, not letting go of me for a long time. It wasobvious that Sarah still needed me. Perhaps she would need me for a very long time. Perhapsforever. Up to that time Mark had only seen Sarah when she was smiling and cooperative. Nowhe saw that there was more to Sarah - there was a frightened child needing constant protection. Iknew then that I would dedicate my life to protecting Sarah, but little did I know that I wouldn'tbe successful.

The visit on March 15 had life-changing news because that is when Dr. Warner presentedhis plans to bring Sarah home.