It all began 76 years ago. Carol was born 27 days before me. She was a twin and weighed a mere 14 ounces. A frontpage story in the LA Times the next day was entitled: Baby X -The Miracle Baby. I, too, was premature, but weighing 3 lbs.12 oz. By comparison, I was the “Big Kid.” Both our moms, named Margery, really bonded in those fragile early neo-natal days. 16 years would pass before our paths would again cross, at my Sweet 16 birthday bash, but it was 35 years later when our friendship really blossomed. Our guardian angel made certain of this.
As I sat across from this lady at an oversized board table attending a Community Service- Learning meeting, I stared and stared at her. At the end, I ventured over and asked if she were indeed Carol Agress. THAT was it!
We often marveled at the AMAZING similarities between us, despite never really knowing one another. We each had poodles we’d named Jolie. We chose the same wallpaper for our homes. We even shared the same favorite color- yellow! Each of us had been teachers, PTA Presidents and created Community Service type committees as part of our leadership at our respective schools. In addition, though we hated to admit it, each of us ran inveterately late.
When our kids were raised, we pondered next steps. Again, so curiously, independently we both arrived at writing children’s stories. And so, our little business, Pazazz! - Service that Uplifts… Ideas that Inspire ( https://pzzcares.com) was born. We now have a whole little team of positive believers. With this cosmic connection, we were natural writing partners. Editors marveled at the seamlessness of our stories, unusual in collaborations. Always, we’ve felt incredibly fortunate to have channeled our love of kids and deep passion for them to grow to be kind, compassionate and giving people into our writing.
Ironically, (Carol passed away from heart surgery complications) our 3rd book, GOTTA HAVE HEART, launching soon, is about young Rio, who needs a little surgery to repair his heart. It's dedicated to Carol and supporting underfunded Pediatric Research to save lives and maximally impact future generations. (https://support.cedars-sinai.edu/CarolZaslow)
This precious lady, Carol A. Zaslow, was all about heart - never wanting to hurt anyone, forever being gentle, pouring endless amounts of love upon her 5 grandchildren - reading countless stories to them and dreaming up activities that would captivate at sleepovers. It was that love, warmth and fresh creativity she added to our stories. She delighted in the little details. Always, I will feel her voice. Together we shared a dream. Together we made it real. Never was there an argument or unkind word, only laughter, understanding, admiration, respect and love.
There was a deep fire in Carol that lay just below the surface. It was a quiet strength that powered her through life, just as it did in those earliest, so fragile months spent in the neo-natal unit, fighting hard to survive. Indeed, she called upon this strength as she taught in the Inglewood Public Schools, raised two women who are doctors and supported her marriage of over 50 years. Most importantly, was her determination to raise women who were giving, caring and kind toward others. Beautifully, Tracy and Carrie are actively raising their children and practicing their professions with their beloved mother as their role model.
I will forever be GRATEFUL to our guardian angel who saw to it that our friendship would flourish for many years. I will do my utmost to carry on our dream with my Incubator Buddy tucked so safely in my heart.
For more information on GOTTA HAVE HEART, including links to purchase the book, please visit: https://www.pzzcares.com/gotta-have-heart.