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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Neither-Nor: A Young Australian’s Experience with Deafness
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I have no memory of the funeral but am sure that the epicenter of that day’s grief was my father and me. Family members have told me that throughout the ceremony, I was wrapped in a shawl in my father’s arms. My warmth, smell, gurgling, and promise of a new life must have been a surreal contrast to the cold stillness of Mum’s coffin.

I believe it was then that the devotion Dad had for Mum was transferred to me. I became his reason for living, his hope. This love and protectiveness wasn’t one-way. I am sure I sensed Dad’s profound distress and clung to him. My survival depended on him and, being too young for speech, it was a baby’s only way of nurturing and protecting him.

I know there was one certainty during that very uncertain time: the urge to compensate for the loss. Something special was going to happen. That powerful feeling gave me a passion for life. And this book reflects that passion.

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