Monday, June 3, 2013

Remembering Carol Brearley

Carol Brearley
by Ellen Crocker and Marcia Foster-Austin

(Carol Brearley, member of WMSC and the Board of Directors, died on May 26, 2013. Ellen Crocker and Marcia Foster-Austin share some of their memories.) 

The first time Carol came to our Creative Writing class we went around the table and, as was our wont, read aloud a piece we had written. When Carol’s turn came, she shuffled through a few loose hand-written papers, pulled one out, and shyly read a poem. There was a stunned silence, and finally someone blurted out in awe, “Where did you come from?”

When we asked further, “No, she had not published these poems…” She had not even compiled them or typed them up because she truly did not know they were extraordinary. She had an exquisite talent to capture a vista, a sentiment, a moment in her life that resonated and touched us all. 

When a few of us went to visit her after she became sick, she was her gracious self, but still incredibly humble and unaware of the power of her writing. She did agree that she would allow us to gather some of her work and make it available to a larger audience. We hope we will soon be able to share some of her gems with you. 

Carol had been an athlete, and in earlier days she beat Ellen handily on the tennis court. But also on the tennis court she was tactful, merciful, and fun. She was grateful for the kindness of friends and of her ex-husband (and good friend) Gary and his partner Susie.

Carol came into our lives for a short time; we wish that we had had more time to share with her. She will be missed and fondly remembered as a woman and poet. 

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