That Went Well
Adventures in Caring for My Sister
By Terrell Harris Dougan
(Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781401323295, 224pp.)
Publication Date: January 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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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.
Terrell Harris Dougan's weekly humor column ran in the Deseret News for thirteen years, and won an award from the National Federation of Press Women for best humor column. As an actress and model, Dougan has been in hundreds of TV commercials and voiceovers. She also served on the founding Board of the Sundance Film Festival. She served as President of the Utah Association for Retarded Citizens for eight years, and on the Board of National Association for Retarded Citizens for two terms. She lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"Irene is a very special lady who makes others feel better about lots of things. Her sister Terrell shares her shadow, just like my dad shares mine."—Kim Peek, the original model for Rain Man
"Terrell Dougan writes with humor, humanity, and complete honesty. In this tale of two sisters - one who never gives up her dolls, one who never loses her pluck - she takes readers on a thought-provoking, endearing journey through life. Along the way, she shows readers the changing social attitudes of the last half century, and her personal odyssey from resistance to acceptance."—Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister
"Dougan gets very personal in the final sections, exposing the nerve and dedication necessary to foster independence in a sibiling with special needs. A touching, surprisingly funny tough-love narrative."—Kirkus Reviews
"With heartache and humor, tenderness and honesty . . . Dougan inspires us to remember the kindness, joy, and grace that forever remain life's possibility."—Andrew Bridge, author of Hope's Boy
"Enormously touching, funny, wise, breathtakingly honest, and compellingly readable."—Judith Viorst, author of Forever Fifty
"Funny, and wonderful, and horrible, and happy and sad."—Muffy Mead-Ferro, author of Confessions of a Slacker Mom