As far back as I can remember, my Russian grandparents came over every Sunday. We all sat in the den, playing checkers and listening to comedy albums. But sometimes we listened to their stories. One stays with me the most, probably because my grandmother cried telling it. When she was three or four, her mother took her to the cemetery in the village. “You see that gravestone?” she asked. “Yes,” my grandmother said. “That’s your mother.” “You’re my mother!” “I’m not your mother. I’m your aunt. Your mother is dead.” This explains why my grandmother had an issue with trust.
Carol Starr Schneider is a writer living in Sherman Oaks.