A brief background of the family
Growing up as a child and teenager, I didn’t feel that close to mum and dad. They were busy working hard and partying hard. But I do have some fond memories of my life with them. I always loved their compulsory dancing and dress up parties, and hanging out with all their friends who I felt very close to.
From the 1960s, once mum and dad started making money, they travelled overseas a lot, especially mum, and I would stay with the ‘Youngs’. The twins, Robyn and Kerrie Young, were my best friends.
I started to value mum and dad only in my late teens. I started to like them as people, not just as my parents, but how positive they were and how they really did squeeze the best out of their life. I saw their many talents and interests, and I loved to be in their company.
I was an artist, and definitely inspired by them. Our house was like an art gallery, full of striking contemporary pieces, African tribal artefacts (many with large penises) from mum's travels to Africa, and huge weavings with golden threads.
Mum was the queen of entertaining. Her table settings were so tasteful and an art piece in themselves. Dad used to film and edit all their parties, outings and general fun times at home. I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t a tripod standing there recording the event. Once dad retired he continued to film, edit, photograph, sculpt…
I married Ronny when I was 21, and had Yasha the next year and Sunny 2 years later. Ronny wanted to live in Israel, which sounded like an exciting adventure at the time. In march 1982, when I was 27, we left Oz for Israel. I was sad to leave mum and dad and uproot my life, and I wasn’t sure anymore why I was going. I felt I was being dragged along by indecision and uncertainty. I was so young and not evolved, and unable to express my thoughts and concerns.
I missed not having mum and dad near me over those 18 years, and then one day, early in 1998, after Saba Israel (Ronny's dad) and Leslie told me they were returning to Oz, it became clear that I also wanted to return ‘home’. I wanted to spend the last good years with mum and dad, before they got too old and sick.
1998 was a very tough year. I drove myself crazy trying to decide whether I was making a mistake to leave Israel, my family and friends, or not. The dice somehow dropped on the ‘to leave’ option. It was an upheaval for the whole family. We left Yasha (21) and Sunny (19) in Israel and returned with Yasmin (14 1/2) and Gil (12 1/2). Ronny and I hadn’t been getting on for years, but he was prepared to go back, maybe it was a way of saving our marriage or keeping the family together or both.
We returned in December 1998. It was depressing, even though it was what I had wanted. We all adjusted somehow and the years passed.
In a nutshell, each member's life unfolded in its own way.
Yasha returned to Oz a year after we arrived because he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Sunny remained in Israel, possibly feeling abandoned by us. She became a midwife, and married Amir in 2008. Mia was born ion 2010, the twins in 2012 and Eitan in 2017 Yasmin returned to Israel in 2010 to help Sunny with baby Mia. She married Liad in 2012 and Alma arrived in 2014. Yasmin stayed in Israel, preferring the vibe over that of Oz. Ronny returned to live in Israel in 2013 and lives with Michael Harari and his son, Meir. Michael lives downstairs and Ronny lives upstairs. Gil finished school, travelled, and after a few years began to study medicine. He chose to specialise in psychiatry.
And mum and dad grew older and were happy that I was around.