pitched but gravely voice. The
rising inflexion, the voice of anxiety perhaps, until she tells us, the
listeners – me sitting in my car
driving on auto-pilot – she has problems with her trachea.
tell them,’ she says. ‘And the best way to tell them, the only way to tell
them, is the straightforward one: My mother cut my throat.’
he had not noticed that his wife had been praying more than usual.
Queensland in the late 1980s when the mother of two-year-old Susannah had been
ordered Isaac to make a sacrifice of his son.
sheep skin rug on the bench.
She put on the oven. She
sterilized knives and when the voices took over she went to her daughter, who
had put up her hands to fend off the blade, and proceeded to cut her throat.
her daughter had turned blue. The
voices told the mother then to put her child into the oven, but part of this
mother’s reason must have prevailed, the voice over tells us.
daughter in the oven. Then she rang
the police station nearby.
to operate on and save Susannah. He had her transferred to the main Brisbane
marvel,’ the girl tells us. ‘It’s
only now as an adult that I can look back on it.
rug. As if I can look at myself. I can still see the blue stitches in my fingers where the
knife cut when I tried to fend it off.
But I have most trouble with my mother today, not so much that she did
this thing, but that she will not talk about it. She never talks about it and she has not said she was
not see herself as particularly strong, but she has a belief that given she has
survived then she must be here for a reason. there must be some purpose.
but something else must have happened in that mother’s mind to cause her to
want to make this ultimate sacrifice.
sight of his daughter in the hospital, a two year old in a nappy with tubes
coming out of her neck.
friend had come along to help him to clean up.
father says. And my imagination
kicks in all over again.