V. Rita Agnes Moran
Rita was born at home, 35 Harbor View Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts on January 20, 1918. She had a difficult time entering the world since she was weeks overdue. Consequently, she wasn't expected to live, and for three weeks, she was constantly watched to see that she was alright and breathing.
When it came time for her to walk, she didn't seem to have any desire to take steps, she would fall, so someone always had to be there to catch her. Naturally, Bridget and Patrick were terribly concerned and so started the trek to doctors and hospitals. They pushed her in a wheel carriage when possible, but carried her when public transportation was used. Eventually the doctors were able to diagnose that she had Cerebral Palsy.
When it was time for Rita to attend school, none would accept her for her own safety. When she was eight, Rita was taken to Massachusetts Hospital in Canton, Massachusetts and attended school there for eight years. She was sent home when she became sixteen, since it was a facility for children with doctors and nurses always in attendance. She loved her life there and made many friends among the patients and medical personnel. It was as traumatic for her leaving there as it was for her to leave home eight years earlier.
Rita had a hard life in as much as she had a lot of internal problems, resulting in a few major operations as well as several minor ones. Her speech was affected by the Palsy, but once a person became accustomed to it, she was understood. She had difficulty reading since she could not pronounce her words properly and the means were not available, in those days, to overcome her problem. Thus, she was not allowed to go further than she did in school. However, this disability did not stop her from learning. Once home, she listened to the news daily and was well able to keep up with what was going on in the world. Among Rita's accomplishments was her crocheting, sewing and attending Church as often as possible. She was able to play cards. She would arrange her own cards and play them.
She ultimately walked well enough to even take a bus alone to church services out of her home parish.
Rita was very close to a number of priests and nuns and they prayed her through some hard times. From early age, she loved her God and He was the center of her life. When possible, she attended daily Mass. When physical ailments or weather prevented her walking to church, she listened to Mass on the radio or watched it on television.
Her daily routine consisted of making her bed just so, cleaning up her room, doing the dishes and helping her mother all around, even cooking. When all was done, she would sit with her booklets of prayers and novenas and then watch television
Rita at sixteen.
When Rita's mother had her heart attack and was unable to do much, Rita took over and did amazingly well. In the late seventies, cancer of the neck and a pacemaker slowed her mother even more. Nurses and housekeepers came on the scene, but everyone was absolutely thrilled to see what Rita was capable of doing. She was proud of her accomplishments.
From the very beginning, Rita's life was a struggle. The family was told, at her birth in 1918, that she would soon die. The Morans were then told she would not live past three. When she got passed three, they said she would never see eight. When she was nine, the doctors told the family it was very doubtful she would live past seventeen.
Sister JB, Ma and Rita
Rita Agnes Moran lived to be one month short of 75. In 1993, Rita was having such pain, that every single movement hurt. She was operated on and sent to a nursing home to recover. She never did walk or talk where you could understand her again and died December 16, 1993 of pneumonia.
This section was written by Catherine (Moran) Sullivan.
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