A tribute to my Mom
“Jennie” (Lucille Mae Vartanian) Bilezikian
10/08/1917 – 11/30/1991
Martha Mae (Bilezikian Atikian) McCool
MY FOND MEMORIES OF OUR MOM (MUMMY), ARE AS CLEAR TODAY AS THEY WERE THROUGHOUT OUR CHILDHOOD.
Our Mom was a wonderful, fun loving, caring, patient, and warm hearted mother and friend who also possessed incredible culinary expertise!
Mom was ahead of her time during the 1940’s and 1950’s, always selecting the freshest fruits and vegetables (during the summer from Dad’s organic garden in our large back yard), and preparing wholesome meals all cooked from scratch.
Mummy’s apple pies were memorable. She made her crusts from scratch, the flakiest ever, and the apples were picked fresh from our back yard / organic apple trees. In fact, many of the members of the Women’s Education Club were envious of Mom’s talents. It was always noted that the meetings held at our home had the greatest in attendance; the ladies always lingered, hoping for either a recipe, or a sliver of pie to take home to hubby!!
I distinctly remember when my maternal grandmother traveled from California to Massachusetts to enjoy the summer with us, she was astonished and even heartlessly admonished Mom for wasting time by not utilizing frozen packages of veggies, and adding water to cake mixes!!
Mummy enrolled in Drivers-Education” in the late 1950’s while we were in elementary school, and a short time later, she was awarded her driver’s license. Once she earned the badge of “Chauffer”, she took great pride in taking us shopping, or for a spin throughout Newton and the surrounding areas . . . I even remember some of those Newton High School Boys tooting and waving at us . . . she was adorable behind that wheel and could have easily passed for the beauty queen at Newton High School North.
Mom was a good sport, as well. Periodically, Dad used to take the 3 of us (kids) fishing to have fun but also to give Mom a few hours of peace and quiet (usually on a beautiful Sunday afternoon) and enjoy the day without the commotion of 3 children. The ironic part is that we would invariably return home with an enormous water filled bucket containing our “catch of the day” enjoying their last swim during the car ride back home. Little did those fish know that our good hearted Dad would leave the fish preparation for Mummy. In those days, I guess it was considered “Man’s work” to catch the fish, and “women’s work” to clean, scale, and cook the fresh catch of the day!!!
As we entered college, Mummy always encouraged us to bring friends home for Sunday dinner. As I recall, the dining-room table was always extended in order to accommodate everyone comfortably! News of our hospitable family spread and friends always looked forward to visiting.
Mummy was the perfect role model. She was a devoted mother and wife, and passionate about her responsibilities to raise us properly, in a very good home environment. She set a wonderful example for us to follow and she was greatly loved. She was always there for encouragement and to lend a helping hand. Mummy was consistently cheerful and good hearted; we feel fortunate to have had such a terrific Mom.