Episode Description

On this heart warming episode, Renu Tiwary interviews Marina Maese Provencio, Laura Valles-Salas and Martha Cota about their friendship spanning decades.


Please note this transcript is automatically transcribed and may contain errors.

Lifelong Friendships: Marina Maese Provencio, Laura Valles-Salas, Martha Cota.

Renu Tiwary: Mental happiness is often associated with having close great friends. Here’s a story of three amigos with Mexican lineage who have shared the ups and downs of life together for nearly 60 years. This friendship started with their parents and now their spouses and kids join the group as well. We interviewed them to find out their secret for this.

So, Laura, Marina, and Martha, I met you guys a few months ago, and I was amazed at the kind of friendship you all hold together, including your spouses and I wanted to find out the secret to this, because, really, friends are more than worth their merit and gold when they’re true friends. You’ve been friends since kindergarten, is that, how many years is that?

How many years since you first met as babies?

[Laura, Martha & Marina]: September, it’ll be 59 years. That’s awesome. Isn’t that crazy? Yes, it is. Yes.

Renu Tiwary: What I actually wanted to know was that, and I have met many people who sort of, who are friends and then they are no longer friends, they move apart. And especially in today’s age, I find that and I think it’s great for, you know, that the mental stamina that you all must have had, because I’m sure every friendship goes through ups and downs and for the benefit of others, I would really like to sort of hear how sort of your progress in teenage years, when you got married, you got spouses and then, you know, The family, you know, it needs, takes its own time and would love to hear from you, sort of, you know, each one of you.

Martha Cota: Okay, well, I think, I think one of the reasons we got along so well is because we’re all pretty easygoing. We don’t really we’re not mean girls. We’re really not. We all went to an all girls high school. Marina and Laura, no Marina and I went to the same all girls high school. Laura went to a different one, but we always kept in touch.

And you know, it, it’s just the friendship wasn’t work. It didn’t feel like work. It didn’t feel like you always had to keep working at it to keep it going. It just kind of seemed to take a very natural course.

Renu Tiwary: So Laura, I wanted to know if, was there any time in your, especially in the growing years, you know, when the girls are growing, when you felt that, oh my God, this is just really, you know, this is not going, this is so rude, this is so bad. And did that ever happen?

Laura Valles-Salas: No it’s really I think it’s like Martha said our friendship has always been so easy. It’s not like we were always, always in touch because of course, life takes you in different directions at certain points, but I always felt blessed that no matter time went by, we could reconnect and pick up where we left off.

And I think that’s what’s always made, you know, the friendship so. So easy and so special.

Renu Tiwary: What about once you all got married and you had did because the spouses it’s okay for the like, you know, three, three of you were very much alike. Once you got married, you know, spouses, they have their own personality.

Did they get along the same way ? You sort of managed through that, the thick and thin of it all.

Marina Maese Provencio: My situation is a little bit different because I had two different spouses.

My first husband was not an easy person. In fact, because of him, I lost kind of contact with Martha and Laura for, I’m going to say, about five or six years, because he just kept me apart from my friends, kept me apart from my family.

And once I divorced him, I reconnected with Laura and Martha, even though during that time I would talk to them here and there, but it wasn’t like we didn’t socialize as much as when I was married to my first husband. Once I divorced him, I reconnected with them and it, I mean, we just, for me, it felt like I had never lost contact with them.

We just picked up from where, where we left off and. I never felt that my friendship with them was any less than it was in the beginning. And one thing I did want to say, like what Martha was talking how our relationship was really easy. I think it was easy too because our families knew each other too growing up because we all went to the same school.

And our parents knew each other really well. As long as I told my parents I was going out with Laura or I was going out with Martha. . They didn’t worry about where I was going or what I was doing because they knew we took care of each other. Right. . Same community. . . .

Renu Tiwary: So did your parents migrate to America or have they been there for a long time?

Marina Maese Provencio: My mother came from Mexico and my father was born here in the United States.

Martha Cota: Same for me. My mother came from Mexico and my father was born here.

Laura Valles-Salas: Okay. And the same for me. My mom came over when she was 15 and , my dad was born here.

Renu Tiwary: Many times I find being a migrant to Australia myself and the migrants have a very special relationship and they want to keep it going.

But that was the biggest influence in my life was the Mexican side of my family and all of the traditions that came with that, that was the biggest influence in my life.

Mine as well, because we were closer to my mother’s family than we were to my father’s.

And the same for me too, because my dad was never close to his family.

So we always did everything with my mom’s family. . It’s awesome that three of you have a social like and you found each other. It’s like, you know, like God meant you to be together, you know, I think one of the things that also helped us was that, or not helped us, but kind of put us in this, on this path was that we all went to Catholic school.

Martha Cota: And I think that played a major part because from kindergarten through the eighth grade, we were in the same classroom. Right. You have that bond, you know then like I said, in high school, we split up for four years, but I still saw Laura all the time, all the time, you know, that never stopped. And Marina, I saw her every day because we took the bus together to high school every day.

Renu Tiwary: You think the family values being the same also helped in that? Do you think that could be a part of it as well?

Laura Valles-Salas: Well, I definitely think the connections were, there was a lot of likeness in in the way we were brought up and in our values. So yes, I’d say that that definitely plays a role.

And I mean, we all have multiple siblings that are, you know, a huge part of our life as well, and that all of us have gotten to know each other’s family as well. So I think, having all those like minded qualities definitely draws to a long, long term friendship.

Renu Tiwary: How has that helped you? You had the mental sort of the health of it all.

And I feel friendship is very important, you know, to be able to talk to somebody when you’re down. So when I said you had, you went through the divorce, so that would have been a very difficult time. How did that help? How did this friendship, particular friendship, help you come out of it, you know, and regain your normal sort of, you know, normal status again?

Marina Maese Provencio: Well, my first divorce, I never told them anything that I went through. My second divorce, they were there with me. But you know, the thing that was, I think that I felt very important and that was very that held my heart the most was that they gave me advice, but they were never critical of anything that I did. Of any of my choices.

Laura & Martha: Don’t make me cry, Marina. I know, and as I was telling them, it’s really because I can see. You’re gonna make me choke up.

Martha Cota: You know, it’s, it’s funny. I think as close as we are, there’s certain things that we don’t find out until much later. Like Marina was talking about her first marriage, you know.

We all knew Lance, may he rest in peace, could be not as friendly as maybe had hoped he’d be, you know, but I never ever ever imagined that she was going through so much and it made me really sad when she shared with me everything that was happening and I had no idea. I had no idea, you know, and I think, I think through the years we’ve kind of learned that It’s okay to kind of share and just let it out, because your friends are going to judge you, your friends are not going to criticize your choices.

Laura Valles-Salas: So I think in many ways it’s easier to tell a friend than it is to tell a family member. , . Well, I think, I think that’s key though. Having friendships that you feel it’s okay to unleash feelings with and that you’re not going to be judged by whatever those feelings are. It’s going to be just to unleash it and help you feel better.

And that’s, I think the greatest part about friendships is being able to just be you and being accepted for who you are. So that’s what I, I’ve always appreciated. In both Marina and Martha. Do you all meet as a family like a big family each all of you were all together or we’ve travelled together several times.

Marina Maese Provencio: Every year. I try COVID put a dent on it, but we try to host a Christmas party, a holiday party, I guess. And we always see each other there for sure. We go to concerts during the year. We make sure that, you know, even if it’s just to go out to dinner, to go to a play, to do something that we do something so that when it’s been a while that we don’t see each other.

You know, and I would say these two girls are much better at kind of pushing me along in that way, then I can get caught up with watching my grandsons and you know, but they’re good about come on, let’s go do this. Let’s go do that. So ,

Laura Valles-Salas: Martha is the only one blessed with grandchildren at this point.

Marina and I only have dogs. We live through vicariously through her grandparenthood. My grandsons love them. Yes, so cute.

Renu Tiwary: What is the one thing that you look forward in the future with your friendship? Sitting in rockers, rocking our day away.

[Laura, Martha & Marina]: That’s very cute. I like that. I can think about that. I know. I like it. That’s great. I like it. I do too. I do too. Maybe we’ll all end up in the same home. We’re going to have to talk to our children, huh? , we already told our kids. It’s like, do not put me in your house. Do not put me in your house. Put me in a decent place. Go check on me every now and again. And if Marina and Laura can be in there with me, better for me. That would be fun.

I do look forward to traveling with you guys and seeing the world and experiencing being with you guys. And for me, I have to include good health for us, you know, good health because life changes in an instant, you know, and we’ve all seen that.

Laura Valles-Salas: You never know what’s coming around the corner. . But I, I, I, the same, I, I love that we share each other’s celebrations with each other, our family celebration, things going on with our kids. And so I, I look forward to more of the same, more of the traveling, more of just the being part of each other’s life.

Martha Cota: and appreciating what each of us is going through. You know, one of the questions you asked for you was if our spouses were similar. I’d have to say no. I’d have to say no, but they got along really well. , they really did get along very, very well. That was kind of nice that they weren’t necessarily similar, but they got along fine. They got along just fine. That’s right. And my kids still love her ex husband. [laughter].

Renu Tiwary: Good terms all around. We vacation together, our families, our kids, everybody. And we had a great time. What about your kids?

Martha Cota: Well my son and Marina’s son have condos in the same complex. So they see each other regularly and you know, they’ll go out to dinner sometimes or they’ll talk and they’re close, you know, they’re literally across the hall from each other as things would happen.

Renu Tiwary: In my mind, these, these kinds of friendships are worth more than gold over the years, especially after migrating out. You realize that You know, it’s something else that’s much more important, which you, which I took for granted when I was back. I appreciate that you all have the same values because unless you had those values, you wouldn’t keep this going, you know Do you ever get people looking at you and having jealousy that you hold something so special?

[Laura, Martha & Marina]: People are amazed that we are still friends. I agree. I agree. , well, and there’s not too many people that you meet in life that you’ve known for some amount of time that we’ve known each other, other than people related to you. ,

Renu Tiwary: That was Marina Maese Provencio, Laura Valles-Salas and Martha Cota

(end of transcript)

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