Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, along comes an adult who connects with you, makes you look at yourself completely, and accepts you regardless of your screw ups.
Martha was that kind of parent. She was lovely, kind, compassionate, caring, funny, sarcastic and she was my best friend's mother. For years, I considered Martha to be a second mother of sorts. She took me into her home when I needed some space from my own family, gave me the encouragement I needed, and taught me so much about the type of woman I wanted to become.
When my own children were born, they immediately became attached to "Auntie Marfa", as they referred to her as. Not too long ago, my daughter Eryn commented that with the birth of her own child just around the corner, she wished that Auntie Martha was here to see it.
On July 5, 2001, Martha passed away. She was so young, and not done living her life. She left grandchildren, a daughter Kris and 2 sons, Jay & Sean. The people who gathered at her funeral were from all walks of life. She touched so many lives along her path of life. Police officers, politicians, long time friends of her own children, and loads of family who adored her. She was a team mom for her sons baseball at Northridge Little League, she was a supporter for her daughter's cheerleading, and she was an outstanding friend to me. She drove a brown Mustang, loved to cook for her family, doted on her grandchildren and made sure to listen when wayward kids would walk into her home, seeking out advice. Let's just say there was always room for one more at Martha's house. She had enough room in her heart for anyone that needed some love.
Her memory never fades. I recall, with a broad smile, the time that her daughter and I were with her, driving up Reseda Blvd, from Davy's Fish Market. We were right near Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Kris and I were kidding around, as tweens do, and my eye glasses flew out the window. "Girls, girls, stopping acting so silly", Martha exclaimed. Of course, we had to stop on a dime, and jump out to find my missing specs. I looked through old photos and recently found a picture of Martha with my daughter Eryn, having a tea party. It was something else. She was just the best.
On this day, I remember the day I met Martha in 1979, the day she died, and the day I delivered part of her eulogy along with Bob Baker and then Monsignor Fatooh at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. I reassured her 3 adult children, sitting in the front row, that they had the best of moms, and that every time they looked towards the heavens, see a star, and dream just a little, their devoted mother would be with them. Always and forever.
I miss you Martha, have never forgotten you and love you always.