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Going Live

Going Live today as writer Carol! So so exciting! I'm over seventy, but in my heart I'm that girl full of vim and vigor facing down the bull. Stories have always sustained me. I wrote novels to tell other people’s stories, and now I’ve embarked on a memoir trilogy to tell mine. My story spans the globe, from the H…

 - Foggy Water

The Mikvah

Walking round Jamaica Pond is when I do my best thinking about writing. This day it was about the mikvah, the ritual immersion in water to rid oneself of impurities, that I took a few days before my first wedding in 1966. The promise was that God would forgive all past sins and give me a new beginning, an idea that I was very taken with. The mikvah…

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Meeting My Sister

I am back from my trip to meet my sister. Being with her was extraordinary. It was almost a replay of when I saw her for the first time when I was five: a bit shy, but bonded. Such joy to hug her and be hugged by her. The next day we began talking and didn’t stop. My Italian wasn’t adequate, but fortunately enough of my German came back…

 - Dagmar, Carol, Yola

One of the best days of my life!

I saw my sister, Dagmar for the first time when I was five years old. This was in Frankfurt in 1950. My mother had left Dagmar with her mother when she came to South Africa with my father, after the war. Dagmar and I don't have the same father. Just before we went to Frankfurt my mother told me I had a sister, but it was a secret for her, my fa…

 - Foggy Water

Nearly didn’t make it.

I nearly didn't make it. There I was reveling in amniotic fluid, getting the hang of becoming, when a rush of caustic liquid flooded my protective sac- with one purpose. To expel me! Not exactly: for trying to abort me was not on my mother-to-be's mind when she decided that breast feeding was not for her and took a daily dose of Epsom Salts…

 - Dagmar, Carol, Yola

Only Child With Two Sisters

"You're an only child with two sisters," is what my family historian cousin said to me after reading the posts about finding my sister who lives in Rome. We had the same mother different fathers. Surprise, surprise another sister! Same father different mothers. This sister I never knew, or knew of until I was a teenager. My father was married b…

 - My first wedding in 1964

First Wedding

My first wedding. 1964. I was twenty and on my way to London the next day. My mother, South Africa, they were all behind me now. My husband was gay, but he loved me so much he’d promised he would change. I knew he would, I’d read the books they said he wasn’t born that way. Of course not, and we’d already slept together, onc…

 - Second wedding to Paul Stopforth

Second Marriage

1981 Paul and I were married in Luderitz, South West Africa. A wonderful day! When I was 12 my mother and stepfather-to-be were married. I'd been saying for the five months we'd lived together that they were married, but now, when someone said they were living in sin (people said these kind of things in 1957, and children like me took …

 - Carol in London

Checking Myself Out

I was standing in front of the full-length mirror checking myself out. Do I look fat I wondered? Then I began laughing. It seemed absurd: a seventy-year old woman worrying about whether she looked fat! I thought about my mother: At 87 she was complaining to me about not having bought any new summer clothes, and what "people" would think. Two …

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Yola’s Shrine

My mother died three years ago today, and I want to honor her. In 1945, at twenty-years old, she came to South Africa from Czechoslovakia, the country of her birth. Her father and most of her relatives died in Auschwitz. She and my father divorced when I was young, but she never forgot and always thanked him for bringing her to South Afri…