I am in the middle of a personal explorative journey through South Africa’s history that began with the riveting experience of reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.  Captivated by Mandela’s unwavering devotion to reconcile the nation of South Africa and his courageous forgiveness of his oppressors, I read this book in its entirety in just a few sittings with tears streaming down my face and a passion burning my soul.

After Long Walk to Freedom, I read Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa by Antjie Krog.  After Mandela became president in 1994, he established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and appointed Archbishop Desmond Tutu as chairman.  The TRC was established after the abolition of apartheid and gave victims, as well as perpetrators, an opportunity to stand before the entire national and international community and share their…

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In Honor of my mother (and all mothers) on Mother’s Day…


She still sends hand-written letters, regularly, to her six children and 16 grandchildren.  Letters recounting the colors of sunsets she watches from her screened-in porch.  Her envelopes hold pressed flowers from her garden and newspaper articles with fascinating tidbits underlined or highlighted.  She used to race us down the winding country roads in our red suburban, a cigarette dangling from her lips, Neil Diamond blaring from the speakers.  The brakes would slam.  “Look at the daisies!  Someone jump out and pick some for me.”  And someone would.  Eagerly.

One of my mother’s greatest talents is enchanting an entire room within moments of coming through the door.  Countless occasions have warranted men, women, children and dogs to look up from what they are doing and either stare, smile, run or wag into her magnetic presence.

Is it her raspy voice that always remembers and calls by name the person to whom…

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