Palm Sunday, 66 years ago, I was Christened at The Brooklyn United Presbyterian Church.  There does not seem to be any pictures of that event, but it is a significant event in my life because it was the last week of my mother’s life.

However, on this day it seems very appropriate for me to write more about my mother.  The only things I know about her are what was told to me and or written to me.  My uncle, Robert, her brother filled in a lot of missing information about my mother’s life in several pieces of writings in the last 10 years.

My mother was born March 20, 1913, ninety-nine years ago in Cleveland Ohio to James Chylik and Mamie Loucka Chylik.

My grandfather was a printer for a Bohemian newspaper until he got lead poisoning and then opened up a grocery store on State Road in Cleveland.  It became the family business.

Mildred as a 5-year-old,  survived the flu in 1917.

However,  she contracted a strep infection when she was in her teens before the age of antibiotics and then got rheumatic fever which damaged her heart.  (This will be written about in the next blog)

When she graduated from high school, she apparently was very proficient in business, and was offered a job as a secretary for the state department.

But around this time, my grandfather had a stroke and she decided not to leave home, but to help with the family grocery store business.   That was a great decision that affected my future, because it was through that grocery store job, she went to a grocery convention in NY and met my aunts.  They introduced her to my father (In the blog Life and Love words) and the rest is history.  This picture was taken at The Paramount Hotel in New York.  (My Aunt Theresa on left and my Aunt Josephine, and my mother on right.)

Apparently she was very good at the grocery business and won awards for her store displays.  

My mother was a multi talented person.  Besides her work, she was a beautiful piano player and played for Eastern Star meetings and filled in as an organist at church.  Apparently, she played at many family holiday gatherings. (My Aunt Theresa and Dad are on this photo)

She also sang in the church choir.  Apparently she was a great organizer and arranged many family reunions that were a great success.  She also won baking contests and had a prize-winning pumpkin pie and pineapple upside down cake recipe.  (I have her cookbook which is one of my prized possessions.)

Mildred, I am told, had one of the personalities where everyone loved her. She was kind and generous and soft-spoken.  My father had the almost identical personality.  They were well suited for one another.

They had a three-year courtship, despite the fact that it was love at first sight (Life and Love Words).

This picture was taken at The Holasek farm where there were many family picnics and church outings.  There was no money in those days for entertainment and picnics were very important.

My mother and father were married on December 1, 1943 in the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church.  I have a letter which describes her wedding day to one of my uncles that was away in the navy at the time.  My family saved everything and it is such a blessing to have these letters.  And along with the letters, they took a lot of pictures!

I was born three years later which leads me to Palm Sunday and the day I was Christened.  Another letter to my Uncle Edward that describes my Christening was written by my father and my mother.  My father William Holasek wrote, “Now Marilyn must have inherited some of those traits from her mother, meaning poise, ladylike, reserved, quiet, well-mannered and just adorable.  Maybe Marilyn knew she was in church.”

Those lists of traits my father listed definitely didn’t last because not many people would now call me reserved and quiet:)

My mother wrote “Yes, Marilyn was a very well-behaved little girl in church and she looked like a little angel in that beautiful satin and lace long dress.  It will be a service that I shall never forget. . . .”

That is the part of the letter that always brings tears to my eyes, because it was probably the last letter she ever wrote.

So here I am 66 years later twice the age of my mother when she died.  I had the chance to enjoy every moment of my two children’s growing up years and saw both of them get married and have their own children.  I am very thankful for that and count my blessings everyday.

But one of the most important reason for blogging  is to leave my children and grandchildren with the stories of my mother and father and my family.  The written word is a beautiful thing.  Those stories can live forever. . . ____________________________________________________

On Easter, I will post and add to the story of my mother and father on Easter 66 years ago.

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