Otra Madre Mía

By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Sunday, May 12, 2013

A photographic image of Mary Hunt, age 9.

Mary Hunt, age 9, received love and care from nurturing neighbor ladies as well as from her own mother. [Photographer: C. B. Hunt.]

Although I no longer live in my hometown, I still check the obituaries there through my computer to see who, among my acquaintances, has recently passed away. When I read the obituary of a former neighbor lady this week, her accompanying photo transported me back to the neighborhood in which I grew up.

The details of her life reminded me of a time when all the women in the neighborhood watched out for the children that lived nearby. It was impossible for kids to get into trouble in that situation because some lady was usually looking out her kitchen window while she washed dishes or peeled potatoes.

A photographic image of a small kitchen.

It was not unusual for a neighbor lady to open her kitchen window and yell, "You kids get down from there or you'll break your necks!" [Photographer: Katherine Sparrow.]

The interesting thing is that some of the ladies that often took care of me didn't have children of their own.

One of them was a lady named Vedah (Vee'–dah). She and her husband lived next door to us for several years. Because she never gave birth, the world would say that she and her husband were childless. However, I always regarded her as my "second mother".

When Vedah had a day off from working at the bakery, she often included me in whatever she was doing. I went along when she had a hair appointment at the beauty shop. On another occasion, she and her husband took me with them when they visited a friend in a rural village in another county.

A photographic image of Vedah Treanor.

Vedah is dressed up in her Sunday best. [Photographer: C. B. Hunt.]

When she wanted to see a children's movie that had just come to the theaters, Vedah asked Mother if she could take me along because she didn't want to sit alone while the other women were there with their children.

Even after Vedah and her husband moved away, we continued to have contact with them. Later, she worked at the high school from which I graduated. She helped me in more ways than space here permits me to tell.

Vedah is not the only woman to have been a second mother to children to whom she did not give birth. When they fill their arms with children, they fill the hearts of the children with love while they give much needed support to the mothers of those children.

This Mother's Day, let us honor the mothers that, although they never gave birth, have given so much joy and hope to all around them.


Hebrews 13:16 – But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (New King James Version)

Hebreos 13:16 – Y de hacer bien y de la ayuda mutua no os olvidéis; porque de tales sacrificios se agrada Dios. (Reina–Valera 1960)

A photographic image of a woman coking a meal.

Come in! You look hungry! [Photographer: Merelize. Photo courtesy of]

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