1). Dear Rony,
I knew your mother from our high school days; I went to Newton High and I think she went to Belmont High. We remained friends until about age 19 so when I went away to college in Vemonet and we lost touch. We shared so many hopes and dreams; hers were always about being a dancer. She was always going to dance classes and spent many hours at practice. We both wanted to know the world and experience all that we could. We went to coffee shops in Boston and loved Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.
I woke up this morning having a dream about her; we were together someplace and I immediately went to my computer to google her. I read yours and her story and tears have poured out of my eyes. She was always remarkable in a charismatic and almost fearless way; I admired her and loved her as a friend. I am so sorry to hear she is gone and so happy to know that she was able to have the joy of knowing her son.
Thank you so much for sharing the story of finding your mother. Clearly you have her genes of perseverance and the courage to explore new horizons.
All the very best to you and your family,
Paula Zibbell Ponce
2.) Hi Rony,
Unfortunately I don't have any photos of Alma from those early days; I don't think I even had a camera. I read through some of the letters on the link you sent, at least the ones in English and I don't remember that I received any letters from Alma when she was in Israel. I was at Goddard College from 1960-1962 and there were a couple of momnths during 1962 when I was in New York City doing a work/study program that was part of the Goddard Curriculum.
If you have copies of the letter or letters, I would love to read them.
When you wrote that you had just begin to translate some of Alma's letters to someome names Paula just a few days before I dreamt about her, I thought very much about Carl Jung and what he wrote about the idea of synchronicity. He said "synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance, namely a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) state of the observer or observer, Maybe, more simply put, it expresses that we are all connected at a very deep level which is almost beyond our comprehension. I think the more scietists study the brain/mind, the more we know that we effect each other's energy fields.
I only wish I could have connected again with Alma while she was still with us but maybe what was meant to be was only for you to hear from another source what a remarkable person she was even while a very young woman.
If it is not too much trouble and you can email the letters she wrote me, I would be very grateful.
3). Dear Rony;
The letters have to be to me and it seems I was writing back to her; I recognize some of the names she mentions.... Sam was a boyfriend she had for awhile; Lisa was a roomate of mine who went off for a year to Africa; Johnny Freedom was a boy I met at Goddard that I was very much interested in, a wandering boy who was not a student there.
I am now 70 years old and I was 20 years old when Alma wrote those letters. Did she make copies of them that you found? I don't remember her telling me that she was pregnant or that she was considering adoption. But it seems I was also writing to her; she refers to a few things I said in letters. In the first one she talked about my dad who had just had a heart attack at about the age of 49 and who did recover. I had been planning to go out to California that summmer with a couple of other students; a road trip but instead I went home to be with my family due to his illness. I am sorry my memory is so deficient but it is certainly me she was writing to; there was no other Paula Zibbell at Goddard during that year. We were both so young, so naiive, so ignorant; so full of hope to make the world a better place and also so impulsive and passionate. I feel so much compassion for that young woman of 50 years ago, going to find her adventure in a foreign country and having to sort out so many things all on her own. I wish there was more I could have done to be of help but I suppose I was lost in my own story; around September or October of 1961 at Goddard, I was just meeting and falling in love with a man who I married 2 years later. It was a stressful and difficult time for me for many reasons.
Please let me know if I can be helpful in any way or if there are any more questions I can try to answer.
Thank you so much for allowing me to read the letters.
4). Dear Rony,
I will not mind typing the letters and sending them to you. I will not be able to do it all immediately as I am working 4 days a week as a psychotherapist and also have paperwork and follow up of billing to do.
I am not certain that you will want to put everything that is in the letters in your blog; I am not very sure that Alma would want all the things she wrote privately to a girlfriend about her struggles at the age of 20 to be shared with everyone and anyone. You may want to give this matter some thought.
Also did she make copies of those letters or were they letters that she wrote but never sent? I am wondering why my mind does not remember knowing any of the information about her life at that time. Also seems unusual that she would make copies of those letters to me. Do you know if she kept a journal? I never remember her being interested in writing as one of her art forms; I think I remember that she played the guitar.
Please let me know what you think of my comments and I will look for a couuple of photos from that time. You can see current photos on Facebook under Paula L. Ponce and also on the Psychology Today website.
All the best,
5). Dear Rony,
Now that you have told me that Alma never sent me those letters, I understand why I didn't remember knowing anything of that time in her life. She wrote them and decided not to send them, for her own reasons which I will never know. Apparently she also kept them with her things for many years. Did she give them to you while she was still alive or did you find them after she was gone?