Interview with Marta Holden
Written by: Bianca Ghikas
The Father I Thought I Never Had
Author: Marta Holden
You can purchase this book at:
This book is the autobiography of Marta Holden, a person very dear to me that I have known for 47 years.
Marta’s struggles begun upon her arrival in New York to live with her father, the book is hair rising and you wonder why these things happen to nice people especially in their teens. As usual some of the worse perpetrators are found among the closest people to you.
“The Father I Never Thought I had” it is a true inspiration. Marta survived, but until reaching her plateau had to undergo all the psychological damage that her stay with her father caused. I am incredibly happy that she was able to find the well-deserved love with Rick and that she found her spiritual calling with Jesus.
I will never forget the day I met Marta’s mother, it was 1972 and I had recently turned 22, it was a beautiful but a bit cloudy summer day and I was working as a secretary bookkeeper for the optometrist Milton Teitel O.D. just east of Monarch Park on Danforth Avenue; I walked out of my office to take a brake and I saw this woman right at the corner crying unconsolably, she was not crossing she looked as if she was in great panic. I just could not let her suffer, I knew what suffering was for I had lost my dad 6 weeks after arriving in Canada on holidays and because we bought a cemetery plot and buried dad , we were considered real estate owners , thereby we stayed in this incredible country.
I approached her and asked what was wrong, she was terrified and kept saying “NO English , No English” so I told her “listen I speak Spanish, Italian, Greek….etc. let me help you” so she said “Español” , as I am relating you this story I get a little emotional … She was still terrified and I said to her in Spanish “come to my office, I will tell you what we went through a little over a year ago and if you feel like it, please tell me your story and I will help you”
Well the rest is history, I made sure she ate something and at the end of the day I took her to my home, I had notified mom that I was coming with a guest.! From that day on a special relationship was formed between us and she helped me get ready when I got married in 1974.
The whole story will be related at another time, suffice to say that we managed to get her permanent residence in Canada, get a job, get a place to live, and bring first Marta and then her brother to Canada.
I was shocked to find out that Marta dedicated a chapter to me in her book, I just did what all humans should do, help each other in times of struggle!!
I decided to interview my friend of so many years, and since we are amidst the pandemic and in isolation, I had sent the questionnaire to Marta and this is her reply:
“Interview with my beautiful friend Bianca, thank you for everything you’ve done for us. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. You are an angel from heaven, don’t you forget that!”
Bianca: How long have you been in Canada?
Marta: I’ve been in Canada 47 years. I arrived in Toronto on July 31, 1973 (the day before my 18th birthday). In my book I wrote 1972 but that’s when I arrived in New York.
Bianca: Having read your struggles in New York, I would like to ask how did it feel arriving to Toronto and finally be in your mother’s arms?
Marta: I was so relieved but at the same time scared! The funniest thing was that I’ve gained so much weight from eating Puerto Rican food that my mother didn’t even recognized me. When she finally realized it was me, she hugged me so tight and we both started to cry from happiness.
Bianca: Can you tell me a little about your life in your newly adopted country?
Marta: Well… we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you! You helped my mother when she was crying all alone on the street and you offered her comfort and shelter. The next day you helped us to stay permanently in Canada through your connections with immigration services.
In the beginning it wasn’t easy because we didn’t know how to speak English. I had to work in a factory making automobile parts and my mother got a job at the airport cleaning (big change of lifestyle after having her own business and maids to serve us all the time).
Bianca: Was it a struggle to try and form a new life?
Marta: It was extremely hard for me because I missed Argentina, my friends and my neighborhood. I did not know how to speak English, so it was hard to communicate with people. Canadians are very friendly and wanted to talk to me, but I could not. Thank God I knew some French, so I was able to read in French whenever we went to the grocery store and know the difference between a can of tuna and a can of cat food…lol
Bianca: Has your father ever tried to contact you during all these years?
Marta: I don’t remember, I tried not to think about him anymore.
Bianca: Have you ever forgiven him?
Marta: Yes, I did because unforgiveness can lead us to become a prisoner of anger, depression and despair, and keep us from being and becoming the person we were meant to be.
Bianca: Tell us about your relationship with your children and grandchildren.
Marta: I love my family. We’ve been through a lot, like any other family but they turned out to be honest, hard workers and they both have the greatest children. My husband and I adore our grandchildren.
Bianca: You mentioned in your book that you found God can you explain it to us in a little more detail?
Marta: Sure, early on, and for many years, I felt something important was missing in my life: a father who would love and protect me. I didn’t know that kind of father, but as I journeyed through life, I was shown through different experiences that I actually did have a father like that! In fact, I had a perfect Father, one in heaven who was with me every step of the way.
The truth is that throughout my life, Jesus has never left my side. He is my Heavenly Father!
Bianca: How did you meet your current spouse?
Marta: After all I have been through, I began to pray to God to help me find a good Christian man and sure enough, I found my current husband online.
The more we got to know each other, the more we realized that this was a Divine setup, a part of God’s plan. We had so much in common and the same values that we were in AWE! We dated for two years and we’ve been married for 10 years.
Bianca: Anything else that you would like to share with us?
Marta: I wrote The Father I Thought I Never Had because I grew up without an earthly father and when I finally was reunited with him, I realized that he was not a good father. Little did I know, throughout my life, over many years, my Heavenly Father was always there for me. No matter your situation, I hope you’ll discover that truth as well.
It’s important to let go of the past, but never run from it. We have to let God take us through things and allow Him to work in us so our mess can become our message.
Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come! There is a reason for everything, and everything is in God’s hands.
Jesus knows the burdens we carry and tears we shed. But He is the Healer of broken hearts and broken dreams. He can rebuild any broken life.
Trust Him, He never fails.