life rattle show no. 1255

Presented on THURSDAY, May 2, 2013


Hosted by laurie kallis


"The Mourning"
by Victoria Martinez


"Bow and Arrow"
by Laurie Kallis


tonight's Show

Tonight's, on Life Rattle Number 1255, we acknowledge this weekend's celebration of Mothers with two classic stories of mothers lost.

Rather than creating a “Happy Mother’s Day” program, tonight’s stories focus on the yearning to hold onto the woman who brought us into this world, or to find them and make a connection. They speak of our undeniable need to have our mother’s love and comfort bestowed upon us.

Our first writer, Victoria Martinez, was born in 1953 in Manila, the Philippines. Victoria started travelling after college. She visited Asia and Europe, then lived in Muscat, the Sultanate of Oman, for three years before immigrating to Toronto in 1988. Victoria Martinez currently works as a legal assistant for a Toronto law firm.

Victoria writes of the death of her mother, Anselma Martinez, who was born on April 21, 1937, the fifth child of a brood of eight, to a poor farming family. A woman who had left school at eight, after the death of her father, to take care of her three younger siblings while the rest of the family worked on nearby farms. A woman who married when she was barely sixteen, gave birth to her daughter Victoria when she was twenty, suffered a stroke at the age of thirty-seven, and died when she was forty, as the result of a second stroke.

I wrote to Victoria about tonight’s program. She responded. “My mother has been dead for thirty-eight years now and I still miss her every day, wishing I could’ve given her all the good things that I and the rest of my family are enjoying now. Every time I am sick, I call her name out, which always seems to relieve the pain, like when I was small and she was there to kiss the pain away.
...I have so many wonderful memories of my mother. She told me many stories about our family and relatives. While I can easily write stories about my father, I find it difficult to write anything about my mother. It’s like I’m always holding back.”

Victoria's story, "The Mourning," left me stunned by its beauty, sadness and how incredibly universal it is in its depiction of the desperation we feel in that moment in time when we realize that we are losing the most important person in the world.

Tonight’s second story, "Bow and Arrow," a piece written by Laurie Kallis eighteen years ago, is about the narrator's learning of her adoption, and the first communication with her birth mother, Regina Kalbe, who died on April 25th of this year.

The follow-up story has not happened yet - so we offer you this "author's" update now.

“Bow and Arrow” was a featured story on the Life Rattle website for several years. A woman came across the story in her search for her friend Regina Kalbe. She contacted me and sent photographs of Regina taken when she was in her thirties, photographs of a woman who looked like she could have been me.

With any question of our relationship eliminated, I contacted Regina again. Perhaps because she had recently lost her own mother, perhaps because I had recently lost my “adoptive” mother, Regina acknowledged that I might be her daughter, and just over four years ago we met.

I am grateful for the time we had together, for the opportunity to learn about this woman who I am such a reflection of, for the opportunity to ease her guilt and regret, and for the understanding of who I am.

Tonight’s program is dedicated to the mother of Victoria Martinez, Anselma Martinez, and to the two mothers of Laurie Kallis, Betty Kallis and Regina Kalbe, and to all mothers and their children and the bond that they share.