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Reviewed by Danelle Petersen for Readers' Favorite
We Used to Dance by Debbie Chein Morris is a touching memoir in which she describes the life she shared with her disabled twin, Judy. Judy was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that makes it impossible for the sufferer to control their posture, balance, facial expressions as well as speech. But Debbie loved her sister regardless of her limitations, never allowing Judy's disability to interfere with their fun, coming up with all kinds of ways to keep herself and Judy entertained. Even in their adult years, Debbie always kept an eye on her twin. However, everything changed when Judy had to go into a nursing home. Debbie and her family suffered deeply at seeing Judy in such a place, standing by helplessly as Judy’s health steadily declined. This is their story.
Debbie's adoration of her sister is evident throughout We Used to Dance, and the support and love the family showed her was extraordinary and heartfelt. It was hard to read about the family having to give Judy up even though the law required it. Debbie's pain was apparent, especially in her journal entries. The powerlessness of not being able to do anything was overwhelming, as was the depression that came with Judy's and everyone's lives being uprooted in that way. But the family did what was necessary and had to live with the consequences. Placing a loved one in a care home is never easy and others who have gone through a similar experience will benefit from Debbie's thought-provoking memoir.