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During our first Sunday morning meetings, Dr. Warner talked with me about what Iwanted to do with my life. We talked about me getting an education, and he assured me that hewould pay for all costs and that I could live with them as long as I needed to. He wanted me tohave two priorities; first Sarah, and then school. He said that I had to think about a time in thefuture when I would get a job and live on my own. That was scary. I was comforted by thethought of living with the Warners forever and not having a life of my own, but I knew that was

not what I really wanted. I was so lucky to have a safe haven while I planned the rest of my life. Ididn't realize how important it was to have financial security until I went out on my own. I justtook it for granted that I lived in a gorgeous house that was cleaned for me and that all my foodand clothing and expenses were provided to me. I don't think anyone coming out of aninstitution ever had it as good as me financially. Although we talked about me eventuallyleaving, I wasn't sure it ever would be possible because I wasn't sure that Sarah would ever stopneeding me. She wouldn't go to sleep unless I slept in the twin bed next to her, and only after shefell asleep could I go to my own room. She had a nice relationship with Dr. Warner, but it wasn'ttoo different from her relationship with Mrs. Brown, warm, but not loving. They were justpeople who were good to her. She didn't love them. She knew that I was the only person in thathouse who loved her. And of course, Edith, was a non-entity, a person we rarely saw.Dr. Warner said that I had to become normal in the eyes of the world or I would never beable to get a job or an education if people knew about my past. He said it wasn't something Ishould be ashamed of, but I had to recognize that telling the world about my past would damagemy future. I felt that way even before I spoke to him. I was ashamed of being a prostitute andbeing called retarded and I felt I had to hide my past so people could look at me as Mary Reilly,the human being, and not Mary Reilly, the retarded hooker.

He said that first he wanted me and Sarah to have physical exams to make sure that wedidn't have any medical problems. He planned to have me tested by a psychologist to get anaccurate IQ and educational level. Once he had this information, he wanted Walter to go to courtand void the ruling declaring me incompetent. This ruling was obtained automatically when Iwas admitted to Southern. Of course, I didn't know this and didn't even know what being ruledincompetent meant. How it meant that I was a sub-human who couldn't make decisions formyself, who couldn't vote, who couldn't live on my own, and who couldn't sign legaldocuments. He wanted me to be declared competent in the eyes of the law. Next, I needed to geta social security number. This was necessary for me to get a job. I had never heard of socialsecurity. I'm so glad he did that because in five years I'll be eligible for social security. I canretire then, but to tell you the truth, I don't ever plan to retire. I love what I do. It's not reallywork, it's a way of fulfilling a need I have to help people who need help, to be there for peoplewhen no one else is there for them. To be the person I needed when I was 13 years old. He even

wanted me to register to vote so that I would be a full-fledged citizen. I didn't understand thevoting process since I never had a civics course and never knew anyone who voted. I didn'tknow who was president in 1971 when I was set free. I had never heard of Richard Nixon. OnceI registered, I voted in every election, even local elections for aldermen and mayor.The first time we talked about my education, I told Dr. Warner that I wanted to get acollege degree even though most people would say that was impossible. But not Dr. Warner. Hesaid that anything was possible. He said that he was going to be my benefactor. I didn't knowwhat that word meant so he explained it. He told me that he was repaying me for giving him hisdaughter back. But he was doing more than that. I think he was doing a good deed, no more thana good deed. He was giving another person a life, and there is no greater act of kindness. He saidthat was part of his atonement. He was atoning for his not taking responsibility for Sarah, and hewas atoning for society not taking responsibility for me. You might ask how one person canatone for society, and I would answer that any change must start with one person, and he wantedto be that one person.

First, a medical examination was set up for each of us. For Sarah, there was also genetictesting which confirmed that she had an extra chromosome 21 which was the cause of her DownSyndrome. It didn't really matter that we learned this, because we knew Sarah had DownSyndrome by just looking at her. The doctor who Dr. Warner sent us to was Dr. Rosenberg, thefirst lady doctor I'd ever seen. She was wonderful - competent, supportive, and warm. She foundthat Sarah had a heart defect, specifically a ventricular septal defect that was not found at birth,or if it was, it was ignored. There was no mention of it in the medical report from Southern. Shesaid that it didn't seem to have affected her so far, but that this should be monitored regularly.Sarah did have a hearing loss as was suspected by the people at Southern, but Dr. Rosenberg didnot recommend a hearing aid as she did not think this would help Sarah's communication. Shefound that Sarah had high blood pressure so she prescribed medication for this. She also foundthat Sarah was border-line diabetic and prescribed a medication for this as well as a sugar freediet. Having a sugar free diet for Sarah was hard. She loved desserts and candy. She thought fora person with Down Syndrome who had not had good medical care for her first 18 years, Sarahwas in remarkably good health.

Dr. Rosenberg also found that I was in good health, which is surprising when you thinkof the lack of medical care I had all my life. I also had a female examination because of myprevious history of prostitution which Dr. Rosenberg knew about, and because of my having ababy at such a young age. She was the one who told me that I'd been sterilized. She was awarethat I didn't know this so she gently told me this heartbreaking news explaining what theprocedure was and the result. She told me that this done after I delivered my baby, andunfortunately it was not an uncommon practice. I asked her if it was reversible, and she said no. Ididn't think that I wanted to marry and have children, but this was a decision that was made forme. I thought of Sarah and felt that she was given to me because you were taken away from meand because I couldn't have any more children. That news changed my relationship to Sarah. Shewas no longer my younger sister; now she was a baby given to me by God. At first I wasn'tbothered by the sterilization, but with time I have become angry about this. To take away myright to have a baby is one of the worst things a government can do. I asked Dr. Rosenberg ifthis was legal and she said that it isn't now, but in the past it was in many states and it was evenupheld by the Supreme Court. The famous justice Oliver Wendell Holmes used the argumentthat three generations of imbeciles are enough meaning that retardation is inherited and must bestopped by sterilization. It's like what happened in Nazi Germany. They sterilized all theundesirables, which of course included the retarded. But then they went much farther and killedthe retarded because they couldn't be considered part of the master race. When we were finishedwith the medical exam, Dr. Rosenberg took me in her arms and held me close as she said, "Mary,I know you'll have a good life. You'll overcome your past. You are a special woman." Here wasa doctor telling me these good things and even hugging me. Where was a doctor like Dr.Rosenberg when I was growing up? How different my life would have been if I had people likeher in my past life.

This sterilization issue makes me think of genetic testing and aborting retarded fetuses.Now through pre-natal testing a woman can find out if she's having a Down Syndrome child or achild with any type of genetic condition that leads to disability. Recently, there have been moreand more abortions of fetuses with Down Syndrome. I think for some families, this is a goodthing, but then I wonder about the purity of retarded children. I think of my babies back in thebaby ward at Southern. They represented humanity untouched by sin. Now we won't have suchbabies. I suppose that's good for parents who can't cope with having a retarded child or pay for

their expensive medical and educational costs, but I wonder about God in all this. Does He wantus to kill babies because they're not perfect? And what is perfection? Today there's talk ofdesigner babies - fertilizing eggs with certain sperm so that the babies have traits like highintelligence or great athletic ability or good looks. That's dangerous. I hope we don't go there.Sorry, I got sidetracked on this issue, but it's something Charlie and I talk about. Years ago, Italked to Dr. Warner about it. We saw a future where there were no retarded babies. And yetwith all our genetic testing, there are still a lot of handicapped babies being born. Probablybecause of all the premies who are being saved and because of us ignoring what we're doing tothe environment and how this impacts on developing fetuses. I suppose there will always behandicapped babies. Maybe God wants to remind us how we should treat the least of us. Andmaybe God wants to remind us that we're not perfect, and never can be.When I fell in love with Charlie, I was worried that he wouldn't want to marry mebecause I couldn't have kids. He convinced me that he loved me the way I was. We've made agood life together despite not having any biological children so God has been good to me again.He gave me a man who has accepted me as I am, with all my shortcomings. And I've been veryclose to Judy's kids. I feel like I'm more than their Aunt Mary.

When Dr. Rosenberg examined me, she found that I needed glasses. I'd noticed that whatI was reading was getting blurrier, but I never thought it was because of my eyesight. I thought itwas eye strain from reading so much. I was sent to an optometrist who examined my eyes andprescribed glasses. I picked small, black rimmed glasses which were in style then. I've alwayshad a few pair of glasses that I try to coordinate with what I'm wearing. Sounds dumb, but I likethat. I think glasses make me look like an intellectual. Someone once asked me if I consideredgetting contacts. I answered no because then I wouldn't look like a librarian, a career I mighthave considered in another life.

Our visit to the dentist, Dr. Gargulo, was hard for Sarah because she was petrified of him.She wouldn't open her mouth so he had to put her to sleep so her teeth could be examined andfixed. She had lots of cavities since she had never seen a dentist while she was at Southern. Shehad three teeth pulled because they were too rotten to fill. Dr. Gargulo did a great job of cappingher broken front tooth. When she woke up from the anesthesia and saw her new tooth, she triedto pull it out. She couldn't understand how she had grown a tooth while she was asleep.

I had never seen a dentist in my life so my mouth was a cesspool of cavities. Dr. Gargulotaught me how to brush and floss and I've done so every day since that first visit. But it hasn'thelped prevent the constant problems I've had with my teeth over the years. I dread my sixmonth check-ups when the dentist tells me what teeth have to have root canal or be pulled. If Ihadn't started going to the dentist when I did, I probably would have had to have all my teethpulled. I'd really look great then.

Next I was scheduled for complete psychological testing by a psychologist, a womannamed Dr. Vargas who was with the University Psychological Clinic. I was a nervous wreckbefore the testing. The IQ test results would be my official exit from mental retardation. I wouldno longer be Miss 65 IQ. I told her why I was so nervous and she put me at ease. By the timeshe started testing I was laughing. I found many of the test items easy, in fact very easy. And themore I realized that I knew the right answers to the questions, the more comfortable I felt. Thenshe gave me educational achievement tests to measure my reading and math skills. And finallyshe gave me personality tests. After all the testing, she told me she would report the results onlyto me since I was an adult, but that if I gave permission, she would also report the results tosomeone else. Just think if I hadn't been declared legally competent, she wouldn't have to reportthe results to me, but rather to a legal guardian. I asked that Dr. Warner be present when she gaveme the results. On the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, my Verbal IQ was 95, myPerformance IQ was 110, and my Full Scale IQ was 102, solidly in the average range. When Iheard the magic number above 100, I cheered. I was no longer Miss 65 IQ. Now I was Miss 102IQ. I wanted to paste the results on my forehead for the world to see. She found my reading tobe at the 6th grade level and my math at the 4th grade level. She said that what she found mostastounding was the personality test results. I seemed to have a strong sense of self awareness. Ishowed little anxiety and no signs of depression. She was more amazed at my mental health thanthe results of my IQ testing. She asked questions to find out how I was able to have such goodmental health despite what I'd been through. I told her I thought it was because of my strongbelief in God, my discovery that I was a good person, and my basic disposition as being apositive, happy person. I described my depression and mental paralysis when I was a prostitute. Itold her that I think that genetically I'm programmed to be a happy person but only in the rightsurroundings. When I was in an environment where I was a sex slave, my basic disposition couldnot be expressed. If I was happy in that environment, I would be mentally ill. So like everything

else, both nature and nurture interact. Just think that if I continued to live in the environmentwhere I was a sex slave, I would have been a very different human being. I would have beendepressed, angry, hostile, and perhaps suicidal. At Southern, my natural disposition could beexpressed for the first time. And of course, finding God and the love of Judy and Sarahtransformed me into the person I should have been from the start of my life. I wonder if therewas ever a time when it would have been too late for the real Mary Reilly to be expressed.Would living as a prostitute permanently kill the goodness in my heart? I think so.Based on the results of the testing, Dr. Warner hired a tutor to help me study for the GEDsince I couldn't go to college without a high school diploma. I had so much to learn. I used tothink of all I missed socially by not going to high school. But now I thought about all I missedacademically. Joan, my tutor, was one of Dr. Warner's students at the university. We hit it offimmediately. She had endless patience and a great sense of humor, both of which she needed forworking with me. She tutored me three afternoons a week. My reading and math skills jumpedahead quickly, but I had so much to learn in Social Studies and Science. I was starting fromscratch. I spent all my time studying. When I was with Sarah, she worked on her coloring booksor her paper dolls while I learned about photosynthesis, the Constitution, and graph reading.It took me two and half years of intensive tutoring and studying, but at last I got myGED. And then I enrolled in Rogers Park Community College. I can still remember that firstsemester. I was so excited to be in a school with other students. I hadn't been in a school sincemy terrible experiences in fourth grade. I took English, College Math, American History, andPsychology. I liked all the courses, but the psychology course was my favorite. I knew thatwould be my major when I got to a four-year college. By majoring in psychology, I was hopingto understand myself better as well as the people around me - like Cora Jensen, Judy Smith, JackMiller, Dr. Warner, and Edith Warner. I loved going to class and listening to my teacherslecture. To me, every word they spoke was a gem of wisdom. I never cut a class. At first I wasafraid of discussion classes fearing that if I spoke everyone would know about my past.Gradually, I realized that I knew as much or more than the other students in the class so I beganspeaking up. Some of my teachers complimented me on my hard work. After hearing theirpraise, I was ecstatic. I used every free moment to study and it showed. For my first semester I

got an A in Psychology, a B in English and a C in Math and History. Not good enough for me. Iwanted all A's. And that happened in some of the future semesters.I loved having classmates, just as I did in kindergarten and first grade. I talked toeveryone, and most people were friendly. There were several girls I would have liked to havebecome friends with, but I knew it wasn't possible. How could I explain to them how I becameSarah's caregiver and how I came to live in such a fancy house? Two girls asked me to go to themovies with them, but after the third time that I said no, they stopped asking. One guy, a cuteIndian guy, asked me out. We had been studying together for a History exam when he asked if Iwould go out for pizza with him. I was shocked, but pleasantly so. I didn't want to hurt hisfeelings so I lied and said that I already had a boyfriend. He continued to stare at me in class,sorta like a puppy dog. I think he really liked me. What a surprise that was. I didn't think anyguy would ever be interested in me.

Let me tell you what the students at Rogers Park Community College were like. Manywere older like me, and almost all worked one or more jobs, and many of the women had kids.They were all motivated to get ahead in life. They were committed to making sacrifices so thatthey could get an education. There was a cross section of all ethnic groups - Blacks, Hispanics,and Indians, both Asian Indians and American Indians. I was amazed to meet two women whowere Indians from reservations in the Dakotas. Up to the time I met them, I thought all Indianshad died in the wars with settlers. My knowledge of Indians was based on T.V. programs. Thiswas the first time I was a minority - one of the few whites in a multi-ethnic school. I didn't feeluncomfortable. But maybe that wasn't really the first time I was a minority. Remember I was aminority at Southern - a normal person in a community of thousands of retarded people.While I was away at school, Sarah stayed in her room coloring or watching T.V. I hadsuggested to Dr. Warner that he place Sarah in an adult day care program for persons withdisabilities where she could get social stimulation and maybe even some pre-vocational training.He liked the idea, but when he told Edith about it, she vetoed it. I don't know why he checkedwith Edith. She had nothing to do with Sarah's life so why should she make such an importantdecision for her? He was also concerned that Sarah might not adjust because she couldn't beaway from me. He may have been right because when I was away, Sarah put herself on hold, justwaiting for me to return so she could resume living. When I had night classes, she stayed up

until I got back. As soon as I got into bed, she fell into a deep sleep. She was as dependent onme as ever, but she was more isolated than she had been at Southern. Now she had only me. Itold Dr. Warner that we had to start training Sarah to be independent, but he wouldn't listen. Iwas concerned that Sarah would never be able to sever our bond and I wouldn't ever be able tostrike out on my own. Not the way things were going. And I was ambivalent about this wholesituation. I wanted her to become independent so I could go out on my own, but at the same timeI wanted to continue living the easy life I had.

When I wasn't at school, Sarah and I spent time exploring the neighborhood. As soon asI walked out of that back gate door, I felt a sense of freedom that is indescribable. There was nofreedom at Southern. It was a prison. I blocked out my experiences in my old neighborhood inChicago when I went shopping. This was different. Now, when I walked down the street, I was aperson with an identity. Before, I tried to be invisible. I didn't want anyone to know who I was,or who my mother was. Now I walked down the street hoping my confidence as a successfulcollege student was evident.

Our first trips out alone without Michelle were to the park two blocks away. We swungon the swings and slid down the slide. We went to the duck pond and fed stale bread to the duckswho clustered around us. I loved hearing Sarah trying to imitate the quacking of the ducks. Irecalled Dr. Warner's first visit to Southern when he read the book on baby animals to her, andhe and Sarah made animal sounds. Now Sarah was hearing a real animal make sounds. How farshe had come. She was gloriously happy. After I told Dr. Warner how much Sarah liked animals,he took us to Lincoln Park Zoo where we saw every kind of animal imaginable. Sarah wasecstatic. She tried to imitate every animal sound she heard, even the hissing of the snake. And Iloved the zoo too - seeing animals I should have seen as a child, not as a 22 year old. I don'tthink people ever get too old for the zoo.

Because Sarah liked animals so much I suggested to Dr. Warner that he get her a pet. Acat would be good because it didn't require as much care as a dog. We went to the nearby petshop where Sarah picked out a darling white kitten. Despite prompting from me to name itFluffy, she insisted on naming it Kitty. That became the clearest word in Sarah's vocabulary -Kitty. I taught Sarah how to put out food and water for Kitty. I tried to teach her to change thelitter box, but she never mastered it so that was my job. She loved Kitty and slept with her and

always held her in her lap whenever she sat down. I found it was easy to love a pet, especiallywhen she responded with purrs as I rubbed her belly.

Gradually, we expanded our walks in the neighborhood. We walked three blocks to theshopping area where we bought bread at the bakery or fruit at the outdoor stand. Mrs. Brownwould tell me what she needed and give me money for our shopping excursions. We also liked toshop at Woolworth's where I bought school supplies for myself and coloring books and paperdolls for Sarah. We'd have egg salad sandwiches for lunch at the lunch counter. How I misslunch counters.

Let me mention money for a minute. While I was living with Dr. Warner, I didn't realizethe importance of the money he provided me either directly or indirectly. He paid for everything- my room and board, my clothes, and my education. He even gave me a weekly salary of $50which he called my pay for being Sarah's companion. What an arrangement! I don't think anyperson released from Southern or any other institution had as much financial support as I had.My life would have been so different had I not lived with Dr. Warner. And I probably wouldn'thave gone to college without his help. But of course what was more important to me than hisfinancial support was his belief in me. That was invaluable.

After about six months, we walked to my dream destination - the lake. It was anexceptionally warm, sunny day for the first day of spring. Although I had lived in Chicago formy first 13 years, I had never seen Lake Michigan. To me, it was like the Atlantic Ocean -endless. All I could see on the horizon was water and a few ships. The sky and the waterreflected off each other making each bluer. I loved walking down Sheridan Road and then goinginto the underpass under the street to get to the beach. First, there was the busy street with lots ofpeople and cars, and then the dark underpass with the drumming sound of the cars overhead, andfinally, the blindingly bright expanse of sand and blue water. Sarah was afraid of the darkunderpass and the noise of the overhead traffic so I held her hand tight as we ran through it. Assoon as we got to the beach, I took off my shoes and dipped my toes in the cold water at theshore. Sarah was afraid of the water so she stood back and nervously paced until I came out. Iwould have loved to have gone swimming, but I didn't know how to swim. I still don't knowhow even though Charlie tried to teach me. And even if I could swim, I couldn't go in the waterand leave Sarah alone. I was afraid she would wander off because of her fear of the water.

Although Sarah and I openly lived in the Warners' house, I don't know if most people inthe neighborhood knew who we were. When we saw neighbors or servants on the street, they'dsay hello, but that was it. No conversation. No one seemed curious about the two people in theWarner house who didn't fit into the rich people category or the servant category. So who werewe?

When the Warners had people over for drinks or dinner or a big party, Mrs. Brown madesure we stayed out of sight and made no noise. We had to whisper even though we were in ourrooms and couldn't be heard. We couldn't even put on the T.V. in Sarah's room even thoughthere was often a band playing loud music that would drown out any noise. When they hadparties, I was tempted to find a way to peek and see what the women were wearing, but ofcourse, I couldn't. We always had the leftovers from the parties. We had pate, caviar, canapes,and petit fours. The only thing that Sarah and I liked were the petit fours. I had to make sure thatSarah never had more than two petit fours. She would eat ten if I let her. I'm not sure what theytold their friends about us or even if they told them about us at all. We were sorta likeRochester's crazy wife in Jane Eyre. We were hidden away in our attic. You wonder how I knowabout Jane Eyre. It's a book I had to read for an English course. I loved that book and have readit over several times.

Our relationship with Mrs. Brown was interesting. She'd worked for the Warners for tenyears so she didn't know about Sarah's birth until they brought Sarah home from Southern. Shewas a marvelously efficient housekeeper who kept the house running smoothly. She supervisedHilda who came in to clean daily. The house was huge so she was always working in one roomor another. We rarely saw Hilda, and she never talked to us other than to say hello. There weretemporary cleaners who came in to do big cleaning, especially the many windows in the house.Mrs. Brown did most of the cooking, and she was great. She had two kids who helped out. Herson Jackson drove us places in a Honda, and sometimes he drove Edith in her Mercedes. Dr.Warner had a Cadillac so there were three cars. The Mercedes and Cadillac were replaced withnew models every year, but the Honda was the same for the five years I lived there. Jackson alsodid some gardening although there was a gardening service that came regularly to mow and trimthe bushes and weed. The lawn was always perfect. There never was a weed in sight and theflowers bloomed in the different season. Daffodils and tulips welcomed spring, roses in the

summer, and mums in autumn. Jackson shoveled the driveway and walkway whenever itsnowed, which was often. He also repaired stuff. He was always friendly and smiling. Heseemed to enjoy working at the Warners. Unlike Michelle, Mrs. Brown's daughter, who alwayshad a scowl on her face, except when she was with her mother. To earn money for college, shedid odd jobs, like taking us shopping and taking us to doctor or dentist appointments.Mrs. Brown, I don't know if there was a Mr. Brown - he was never mentioned, was verysweet and easy going. She never seemed to tire even though she worked twelve hours a day, 8AM to 8 PM six days a week. She had Sundays off. When Sarah fell and hurt her knee, she wasthere to hug her and lovingly put a band-aid on it. I even shared problems I had at school withher. She always had sound advice to offer me. I remember telling her about seeing some kidscheat on a test in a Geography class and not knowing if I should tell the teacher. I explained thatthe test was being scored on the curve and so if the cheaters did well, it made it harder for usnon-cheaters. She advised me not to tell the teacher because the kids might find out and dosomething to retaliate. So I didn't, and I still got a B on the test. I think she was also discrete. Sheknew what was happening in the Warner house, but never talked about it. She was the one whocleaned up the whipped cream after the Warners' late-night escapades.I think it must have been hard being a servant in that house because Mrs. Brown wastreated as an inferior because of her position and because of her race. Edith openly spoke to heras if she was talking to a slave. If you could look down on somebody with your voice, then Edithlooked down on Mrs. Brown whenever she spoke to her. Even Dr. Warner talked down to her.She accepted such treatment without any apparent hard feelings because she was well paid. Shedidn't mind working long hours because she was paid by the hour. She also appreciated the jobbecause he had a limited education so there weren't too many jobs available to her. She told methat she only finished the sixth grade and that was why she was so glad that Michelle was goingto college and training to become a teacher.

The Brown family was the first black family that I had any experience with. There wereonly a few black residents at Southern and no black workers. Only whites lived in the houses inthe Warner neighborhood. All the families had black servants. I think Hilda was the only whiteservant in the whole neighborhood. There would be loads of black servants getting off the busesin the morning and then getting on the buses in the evening. It was unusual to see neighbors out

walking on the street so if you didn't know about the neighborhood, you might have thought thatit was a black neighborhood from all the black people on the streets. There were a lot of timeswhen other maids came to the house to talk with Mrs. Brown, especially when the Warners wereaway. They spent a lot of time gossiping about the people they worked for. I wonder what Mrs.Brown told them about Sarah and me. I wonder if she mentioned the late night whipped creamescapades. There were times when I heard Mrs. Brown laughing hysterically, but those wereonly times when she was with the other servants. I never really got to know Mrs. Brown. I neverfound out about her personal life other than she had two kids. I didn't even know where shelived. I knew her for five years, and yet I didn't really know her. I wonder if our relationshipwould have been different if she had been white.

Every summer the Warners went off to their house on Lake Michigan. At first, I thoughtthey might take Sarah, but they never did. I don't think Sarah would have gone without me evenif they wanted to take her. So we spent most of the summer in the house with Mrs. Brown andHilda. The Warners also went to Europe during the summer and over Christmas break. Theywere away a lot and we had the run of the house, or at least the downstairs of the house. I wouldhave loved to have gone upstairs to see the bedrooms, but I was afraid that somehow Edithwould find out. Even though she was thousands of miles away, I still felt Edith's presence in thehouse.

So that was our life for five years, and it was a good life for us. I thrived on the goodnessDr. Warner showed me, the intellectual challenge of school, and the love of Sarah and Judy.Although I knew that life couldn't continue like this forever, it was the best possible transitionfrom Southern to independent living that I could have had or that anyone could have had. Godwas looking down on me until that awful, awful day when my perfect world died a violent death.