Home from home
Most of us are lucky enough to have one special mother, but Vanessa's extra fortunate.
"My mother always shared us with her sister Elaine. We called her Naina, not aunty Elaine, just Naina.
I would visit her... well not visit... you couldn't call it visiting... we just turned up! Home from home.
I saw her as much as I saw mam, maybe more. Actually, sometimes I would go there to moan about my mother! Sometimes I got sympathy... sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I even got a clip around the ear... that was how close we were.
Naina was the only person who would tell me the truth about my hair and my clothes... and she'd tell me if I was getting fat!
Our Sunday ritual visits to mam's and then to Naina's was witnessed by the whole village from when I was very small to when I was married and with children of my own.
At Naina's funeral I read out a poem that we had writen... I had to do something to show everyone just how special she was...
Seeing mam give me the nod gave me the strength to read it out loud and clear... I did it for them both!
Within a month of Naina's funeral, mam became ill... they told us she didn't have long. The next few months were like a blur. This was the first time that we all had to cope without Naina.
Time became precious. There were sad moments... and happy ones... even funny ones. My mother's exasperation at my attempt at ironing... well I am only 32 - and she in all her pain - set about taking over from me. We watched her strength and love for us show as her determination carried her on, just for us.
Now, as I look at my own children, I know how lucky I was to have had two mothers.
Between them, they did everything for us. But that's what mother's do."