Episode 47 Transcript

Published: Thursday May 16, 2024

Honoring Mothers: Stories of Love & Legacy 🌹🌹

Alycia & Marty Celebrate Their Mothers’ Impact


Alycia Anderson: Welcome to Pushing Forward with Alycia, a podcast that gives disability a voice. Each week we will explore topics like confidence, ambition, resilience and finding success against all odds. We are creating a collective community that believes that all things are possible for all people.

Open hearts. Clear paths. Let’s go.

Welcome back to Pushing Forward with Alycia. I’m Alycia. It’s our first Mother’s Day to have a podcast. I invited Marty.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Hey, everyone.

Alycia Anderson: We thought we would come together and fire off some questions to each other about our moms and celebrate them and their memories.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Yeah, we love our moms.

Alycia Anderson: First question, you ready?

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: I am. Let’s go.

Alycia Anderson: Marty, who was your mom?

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: My mom. Her name is Peggy, and she was born in Idaho. She was the eldest child of her family. Her mother was a farmer’s daughter and her father was the eldest son of a well to do family in Missouri. Her father was a traveling salesman. Her family relocated to Southern California, the San Gabriel Valley, early on in her adolescent years, she would become the valedictorian of her high school. And she was very intelligent.

She was accepted in the loyal of Marymount an all-girls school in Whittier, CA, but her life would change when she became pregnant out of high school. And it set her on a track of being a lifelong mother.

She would have nine children, one miscarriage, and I’m her only son.

Tell us a little bit about your mom.

Alycia Anderson: Beautiful. My mom, her name was Marsha. My mom passed away when I was seven years old. So, the memories that I have are few to be honest. But I do have a lot of memories through stories that others have shared with me.

My mom grew up in Ohio and then moved to Southern California with her family. She was Swedish and Hungarian, so she had bright, bright blonde hair and super tan skin and was really beautiful. She had lots of style like her fashion style was super cute.

She was one of three children, the youngest. She went to school to be a dental hygienist and she with that work helped put my dad through law school.

She was really proud to be our mom.

And from what I hear of all of the stories of her life, of the people that knew her in the past, she was very sweet, very loving, very kind and just somebody that you wanted to be around. She was the love of my dad’s life.

The first time he saw her, she was floating down the river on an inner tube and he spotted her bright blonde hair and said that was going to be his wife one day.

My mom, she did pass away when she was 32.

We were really young too. I was only 7, so she’s always been in my heart. But I had very small time on Earth with her.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: I wish I would have met Marsha. She always looks like a beautiful lady in the pictures, as you said, and she had an amazing story.

Alycia Anderson: Family meant everything to my mom. She put her heart and soul into us as kids, and she put her heart and soul into her marriage and into her parents and my dad’s parents.

And she wrote letters to us after she passed away and some of the things that she wrote in those letters was really her sorrow for having to leave us behind and not being… not having the opportunity to be present in her children’s lives.

And I’m sure that was really difficult.

It was actually the last thing she wrote in her letter, which was to never forget that family is the most important thing in the entire world, and that we need to lift each other up and keep each other close. So family was really, really important to her.

I was lucky enough to know your mom, and I’m excited to hear what you have to say about how family was important to her, because I know how important it was to her.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Yeah, family was everything to my mom as well. She was a big advocate of putting your family first and lifting your family up. She proved that and backed that up by being at every single activity for every one of her children, for every one of her grandchildren.

My mom had nine children. I’m only son. And so, with eight sisters, it was really kind of a, you know, a tough deal for her to be able to raise us all, and there’s a caveat.

My dad left our family when I was five years old. After my accident.

I’ve always felt like it kind of broke his heart and he always wanted his son. And then his son was injured and. Uh, he had drinking problems and other stuff, but he was a very hard worker and ended up just moving on, but yet left my mom with this major task to raise all these children to provide for a household without being the breadwinner for 30 years. To be jumping straight into the workforce to finding a way to create something out of nothing in a matter of seconds.

She was very resourceful and intelligent and brilliant, and she would read and she would find ways to get the things she needed and she would go back to school and get her degree at 50 years old in communications.

And so, she was really just truly a warrior for underdogs and an amazing friend. She’d always be there for you, as I said, she was a lifelong student.

She was my biggest fan throughout my whole life, and she really took on the role of both father and mother for me.

Alycia Anderson: Nine children. Let’s just lift her up for a minute.

Single mother, nine children, and she made it happen.

And a beautiful, strong, resourceful, compassionate, loving way.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Thank you. I miss her dearly as well as mom passed away in 2014 and it’s a different world without your mother. As you’ve known. I’m so happy that you had a chance to know my mom, to have her be your mom.

I’ll always remember my momma’s big smile.

Alycia Anderson: I’ll always remember your mom’s big hugs. She would hug you like a snuggly bear, just like, totally consuming you with love.

And I’m so happy that I got to know her too.

She taught me to be a much stronger person than I probably was before I had met her because she was a very… she was probably the strongest woman that I have ever met in my life.

You’re listening to Pushing Forward with Alycia.


Alycia Anderson: Welcome back to Pushing Forward with Alycia, it’s our first Mother’s Day to have a podcast.

What was the biggest advocacy work that your mom did for you?

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Yeah, the list could go on and on and on truly. But I would say that my mom stepped up and was the biggest advocacy work she did for me was when it came to my health.

And, I nearly died several times in my life, and the first was when I fell out of a car and I spent two years in a body cast.

She would continue the work of making sure that I had braces and was able to walk every single day of my life. And she had some very tough moments. I had gange green at the age of 13, and I had nowhere else to go. I was treating it myself. I was thinking I was tired of doctors. I was being…

And I laid down in my mom’s bed when I was finally I had enough, and I couldn’t do it anymore.

She found me in her bed and she was like she saw all this horrible wound that I had and had to rush me into the hospital and explained to the doctors how she had no idea that this was happening. And over and over and over again, my mom stood up and stepped up… and was there for me.

Another one of the huge pieces of advocacy was just standing up for her only son in a gaggle of so many girls.

But my mom was always just… allowed me to be me and always had a special place in her heart for me and my family.

Alycia Anderson: She pushed you to be integrated in activities and sports. You got to play kickball and softball and sports and Little League and…

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Yeah, and every single one of those things was a major fight. And every single one of those things was the first time that that was happening.

Alycia Anderson: Yeah.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Every single one of those times, I wanted to do something and my mom made sure that I could.

Alycia Anderson: She used her voice of advocacy, really from day one when they scooped you off, up off of that street… that when you fell out of the car and started advocating for you loud to save your life.

And I think she saved your life many times.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: So, share a little bit of the advocacy work that your mom did.

Alycia Anderson: When I was born, the doctors told my parents that my life was not going to be sustainable. That if I did survive my disability and all the surgeries that I need, I would not have a life that was really worth living.

And the suggestion to my parents when I was born was to put me in a hospital. It’s kind of an institutionalized setting where I was not expected to make it.

And my mom in those moments knew that the decisions that were being made for me in that moment and in that path were being led by nothing but unknowns and assumptions, which in that moment for my mom.

She said no.

And from that moment it was kind of like her work to make sure that I would have the same opportunities in life that my twin sister would.

And so, like your mom, she advocated for me to be the only kid and, you know, integrated in mainstream classrooms in elementary school. She advocated for me to be in Jazzercise with you know all the other able-bodied kids. She advocated for me to be in Girl Scouts and have these same experiences that my able-bodied twin sister would.

And again like your mom, I mean they were going through the same thing at the same time.

The No was the acceptable answer when it came to little kids with disabilities. When accessibility wasn’t a thing. ADA wasn’t around.

So at the work of advocacy, our mothers, both of them. Were pioneers in it, and they had to be brave in that work or we absolutely would have been left behind in so many situations that we were not.

It instilled in me at a very young age how to be an advocate for myself, and today I’m recognizing on the many stages that I’m on today, that I have this awesome opportunity to share the lessons that my mom taught me through her advocacy.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: 100% our moms were there for us and loved us dearly.

What’s your favorite memory?

Alycia Anderson: My favorite memory.

My memories of her is when she was going through bone marrow transplants and she was in isolation and we could only visit her through a window.

But there’s one specific memory that I do hold pretty close to my heart.

It’s the memory of when she was home from her treatments. She had lost all of her hair. There was wigs all over our house and she was laying in bed with me one night and she wrote this in my letters too.

When she… before she passed away and she said that she’s always going to be a part of me. She’s always going to be with me. And whenever I’m lonely, or whenever I need her, I just need to lay in bed and close my eyes and talk to her.

That moment of comfort from my mom, I can still feel it right now.

It’s the only memory that I have of my mom kind of wrapping her arms around me and embracing me, which makes me kind of sad to say that out loud right now, but that moment has transcended comfort for me my entire life.

But because she laid there with me and said I will always be here with you, I’ve never ever felt alone.

Even when I’m rolling into an operating room and there’s beeping and lights and needles and medical noise around me. I just lay on that bed and I close my eyes and I talk to my mom, and I never have felt alone.

So, like, even though she died so young, 32, way too young. She’s been so present in my life and so powerful.

And I’m grateful for the comfort that I feel because I can feel her arms wrapped around me. Just like I felt when I was a six-year old little girl when she was saying goodbye.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: My heart breaks for you every time I hear you talk about your mom and how she was gone too soon.

Alycia Anderson: Let’s move. Let’s move to your favorite memory.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Having so much more time with my mother than you did, I have many, many, many fond memories and moments.

I was the last of her children to be at home with her.

It was just me and mom and I would cherish the moments of waking up and my mom being up, having coffee brewed and us sitting on the porch. And, opening the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times and sitting there reading all that is happening in the world.

And, having that phone sitting there with us.

Her picking up the phone and calling this daughter or this niece and nephew, or this one’s calling in or…

Alycia Anderson: She would sip, sip coffee, eat doughnuts, read the newspaper, talk about the day’s events. The sisters would call, and she would tell the same. Exact story…

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: Four or five times in a row.

Alycia Anderson: [laughter]

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: [laughter]… And you are the next Mrs. Anderson.

Alycia Anderson: I am, she would say you are the next Mrs. Anderson.

That was beautiful. That just came to life. I could hear her voice in my head. That was awesome.

What would your mother say her pushing forward moment would be today during this episode to wrap it up.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: I always remember my mom being huge on responsibility, on commitment, on following through with what you say you’re going to do.

So, I think that for my mom’s pushing moment, pushing forward moment today, it would be always think about what you promise you’re going to do and be sure that you can fulfill that promise.

Alycia Anderson: My mom’s pushing forward moment for the day, I believe would be and I I’ve said it once already.

That family is the most important thing in the entire world, and we need to hold each other tight while we have one another.

Our first Mother’s Day episode done. We did it.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: It’s like bringing them a bouquet of flowers and their favorite breakfast and giving them that big, warm hug and kiss and saying thank you for being my mother.

We love you.

Alycia Anderson: Some mother’s days, I don’t really feel like celebrating it, to be honest.

So, I think this was a really beautiful way to lift our mothers up, remember them, cherish them, say thank you to them for everything that they did for us.

And I know they’re shining down super proud of everything that we’re doing together.

Marsten “Marty” Anderson: You’ve been listening to Pushing Forward with Alycia and that is how we roll.

Alycia Anderson: Yeah, it is Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.

We’ll see you next time.