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Apigian-Kessel: In Lieu of a Bucket List, the Things I Miss List

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Old 05 Dec 14, 15:06   #1 (permalink)
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Post Apigian-Kessel: In Lieu of a Bucket List, the Things I Miss List

Thinking of the survivor generation stirs up feelings of love and respect. They occupy a special place in our hearts, where there still exists a bit of longing. We remember them with fondness for many reasons. They are irreplaceable.

To that end, I have created this list, which by no means is complete. I hope it makes you to pause and think of creating your own list of cherished memories.

It was during a recent, ordinary afternoon when I said to myself, I have to phone mom. My dear mother, Takouhie, passed away in 1989, but the need for her in my life remains strong. I was her youngest, as well as the one living closest to her. We shared many a late night cup of tea and some of her delicious home-made cookies or Armenian pastry. No one can take her place for wisdom and kindness. The emptiness remains. If Queen Elizabeth had her mum, the great lady in my life was my mother.

Takouhie triggered this column. She loved hearing the tic, tic of my fingers hitting the keys on the typewriter many years ago.

I miss sitting down to dinner and my father gently brushing the hair out of my eyes, saying, Tsakus, anoush aghchigus. That was just one of the perks of being the much youngest of his four children. I was dads little girl, and Abes baby sister.

I miss my brother Abe, my parents golden son, pulling up in the driveway of our family home like a homing pigeonas if he had extra sensory perceptionas our mother was removing freshly baked katah or cheese boereg from the oven. He was my parents first born and only son. Mother was just 17 when she had him. Abe was the light of her eyes. He preceded her in death by 4 years at age 60, the cruelness of a parent losing a beloved child.

Making snow angels was always a favorite of mine, along with having the wind in my face as I drove by bicycle down the Prospect Street hill at age 10. I never lost that love for fresh air.

Playing badminton as a pre-teen in our driveway with my friends with a shuttlecock made out of feathers, not a plastic one, would go on until the daylight hours diminished into darkness.

I graduated to cars when I got my job at General Motors. It was a slightly used 1955 turquoise and white Ford convertible, a beauty. Ive seen one just like it fully restored at a classic car show for a very high dollar amount, guaranteed to be more than the original purchase price.

A real estate closing always promised a check and was an occasion to celebrate by going out to dinner. It was a thrill each time, and better than you know what.

Nothing can duplicate inhaling the fresh fragrance of a little baby when nuzzling the nape of its soft neck. Add to that raising little children and having them call you mommy. If only I could go back to those sweet days.

Speaking Armenian has always been a special treat for me. I even miss going to Armenian school. Who is there to speak the language of our ancestors with now?

We had an agoump on Ferry Avenue in Pontiac and most weekends the Tashnatsagan community of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Youth Federation, Armenian school students, and the choir organized by Baron Kevork would gather there for a weekend event. Nothing can even come close now to the camaraderie that city held for its Armenians. People still ask me, What is new in Pontiac? I think to myself, What Pontiac? No Armenian is left there. I just smile at their lack of awareness.

As an adult, I truly miss the survivor generation of Armenian women I met in the St. Sarkis Ladies Guild in the 1970s and 1980s. They represented dedication to their Christian faith, strength of character, and lived with and overcame the human torture they witnessed in their villages of Historic Armenia. I remember each and every one of them, and recall their pride in out-doing each other in opening those ever-expanding koonts of dough for katah, to be sold to benefit the church. I just miss them all so much. Im not saying a few of them were not firecrackers and a handful to deal withthat, too, was part of their charm.

I smile when I recall the ride down Woodward Avenue trying to teach my mother how to pronounce the word fish. She always said feesh. I would prompt her by asking her to say fish, and she would say it correctly. Then I would ask her to say the word for tzoug, and she would revert to saying feesh. I gave up. Feesh was on the menu most Fridays at our home.

I miss the hissing sound my snow-laden gloves made when I came in to get warm after sledding on our neighbor Mr. Masons backyard hill. Id put them on the kitchen radiator. I never got scolded for the puddles that naturally developed.

Stairs were never a challenge. I used to trot up the Prospect Street house two at a time, several times a day. Cant do that anymore.

How I wish we still had another Friday night like we did in the late 1950s and 1960s at the Stockade Nightclub in old Dearborn. It was an almost all-Armenian crowd that gathered there to dance to village music played by then-teen Khachig Kazarian and his band. I had finally arrived to the adult world.


Thinking of the survivor generation stirs up feelings of love and respect. They occupy a special place in our hearts, where there still exists a bit of longing. We remember them with fondness for many reasons. They are irreplaceable. To that end, I have created this list, which by no means is complete. I hope it makes you to pause and think of creating your own list of cherished memories. It was during a recent, ordinary afternoon when I said to myself, I have to phone mom. My dear mother, Takouhie, passed away in 1989, but the need for her in my life remains strong. I was her youngest, as well as the one living closest to her. We shared many a late night cup of tea and some of her delicious home-made cookies or Armenian pastry. No one can take her place for wisdom and kindness. The emptiness remains. If Queen Elizabeth had her mum, the great lady in my life was my mother. Takouhie triggered this column. She loved hearing the tic, tic of my fingers hitting the keys on the typewriter many years ago. I miss sitting down to dinner and my father gently brushing the hair [...]
Thinking of the survivor generation stirs up feelings of love and respect. They occupy a special place in our hearts, where there still exists a bit of longing. We remember them with fondness for many reasons. They are irreplaceable. To that end, I have created this list, which by no means is complete. I hope it makes you to pause and think of creating your own list of cherished memories. It was during a recent, ordinary afternoon when I said to myself, I have to phone mom. My dear mother, Takouhie, passed away in 1989, but the need for her in my life remains strong. I was her youngest, as well as the one living closest to her. We shared many a late night cup of tea and some of her delicious home-made cookies or Armenian pastry. No one can take her place for wisdom and kindness. The emptiness remains. If Queen Elizabeth had her mum, the great lady in my life was my mother. Takouhie triggered this column. She loved hearing the tic, tic of my fingers hitting the keys on the typewriter many years ago. I miss sitting down to dinner and my father gently brushing the hair [...]
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