The Heroines

Valeria Martinez

is honored with a Brick from Richard Martinez.

It is with immense pleasure that I can share with you thoughts about my most favorite heroine.

In my lifetime, there has been many heroines who have influenced me by their actions and deeds toward others. Heroines such as Shirley Chisholm, Wilma Rudolph, and Mother Theresa. However, I have never found any other heroine who has been as successful, strong, wise, or loving as this heroine.

During the Great Depression years, this heroine helped raise four of her brothers by cooking and cleaning while working a part-time job and attending high school. She also survived the stress of waiting for several of her brothers to return home from war. She married and raised two daughters and four sons. She survived the stress of waiting for three of her own sons to return home from war. She survived watching her youngest child be run over by an automobile. She survived losing her husband at an early age to a heart attack.

In spite of all these personal tragedies she managed to instill in each of her children a love of family, friends, and life itself. She saw to it that each child received a deep religious understanding and an appreciation for the many blessings that each child would receive. She managed to attend and support each child's activities. She traveled across the state to attend football or baseball games, summer camp, or college graduations. She is now doing this with her grandchildren.

Somehow, between working a full-time job and caring for a family, she still found time and energy for her friends and her church. She volunteered to cook for weddings and funerals at the church. She helped her husband deliver Meals on Wheels. She traveled to the sick and shut in to offer them communion. She assisted new Spanish-speaking residents by acting as a interpreter. She never missed a friendly "hello" to neighbors or a passerby. She even found time to cook a warm meal for railroad transients when one of her sons wanted to bring them home so be could hear their stories. She never complained once when one of her sons brought home unannounced his softball team between games for a quick lunch; however, she did make him help her cook when one of the other teams also showed up for lunch.

You can see why it is so easy for me to select my favorite heroine. This person exceeds anyone's personal expectations and she does it with such grace and beauty, anyone would be proud to call her Mom.

It gives me great pleasure to share with you some brief moments of my mother, Valeria Garcia Martinez.

Submitted by Richard Martinez

July 28, 1998