Substitute Mother

May. The month in which Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in the United States.

While not all females are mothers, all females have mothers. For some, thoughts of their mothers bring smiles and fond memories. For others, the opposite is true.

This Mother’s Day will be my first without my mom. She died the day before my birthday last November, less than seven weeks after she turned 95. A life well lived. I miss her bunches and think of her with fond memories and tears.

For that reason, this article will not be a tribute to her. The pain of her loss is too close for that.

Instead, I am writing about Mrs. B, my church youth leader during high school who was not only my teacher, but my forever friend and substitute mother for decades to come. Perhaps you were, or are, as fortunate as I was and have someone like her in your life.

I’m not quite sure how our relationship changed from mentor/mentee to mother/child and forever friend, and I couldn’t give you a specific date or event when it evolved. But I can tell you, I’m extremely grateful God placed her in my life.

Mrs. B was someone who listened, gave good advice, and walked the walk. She was someone I looked up to. Someone I wanted to imitate. Through our weekly Bible classes, I learned a lot about how we are to grow more and more like Jesus every day. Through Mrs. B’s life, I saw what that looked like.

The week before I graduated from high school Mrs. B took me shopping. While we ate lunch at the restaurant, she listened as I spoke about my future husband. I remember we both giggled like school girls. She later held my surprise shower at her home. The way she acted, you would have thought she was the one getting married.

When my parents retired and moved twelve hours away, Mrs. B became my substitute mother during my pregnancy. At a time when inter-county phone calls cost more than regular calls, she phoned daily during the final weeks after I was diagnosed with toxemia to make sure I was all right.

Once my son was born, Mrs. B treated him as if he were her own grandchild. He couldn’t have asked for any better gift. Nor could I.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Courtesy Bing Images

When my husband was in a life-threatening car accident on his way to work, Mrs. B was there to comfort, counsel, and care.

She didn’t even complain the day I got us lost driving through Washington, DC after we had been at the hospital. Instead she thanked me for the scenic drive past The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Plus…she immediately pulled together a group of volunteers to drive me back and forth until I became more confident with the drive and wouldn’t get lost.

After my husband and I divorced, Mrs. B showed me nothing but unconditional love, support, and acceptance. She understood. There was no judgment or condemnation. A more precious gift you’ll never find.

When I remarried three years later, Mrs. B was unable to attend the wedding. That particular Saturday she led a woman’s event at her new church in Florida. While I missed her physical presence at such a joyous time in my life, her call to let me know she was with me in spirit and so very happy for me meant more than I could say.

Right before her husband died I called Mrs. B. As she handed the phone to Mr. B I heard her say, “Little Sandy’s on the phone, Babe.”

Little Sandy.

I smiled.

The woman I never called by her first name, even though she often invited to do so, exhibited the love of Christ to me in more ways than she will ever know. All the way from Little Sandy, to grown-up Sandy.

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, wouldn’t you agree?

There are those God uses to bring us into this world, and there are those he chooses as substitute mothers to walk beside us when our physical mothers aren’t able to. If you have someone like Mrs. B in your life, you are indeed blessed.

If you have the opportunity to be someone like her, don’t hesitate. Take God up on his offer to be a blessing to another. You’ll be glad you did.

I wish you well.


Sandy Kirby Quandt

Sandy Kirby Quandt is a follower of Jesus with a passion for history and travel. Passions that often weave their way into her stories and articles. She writes articles, devotions, and stories for adult and children publications. She is a regular contributor to Guideposts devotional books, as well as a conference speaker. Sandy has won multiple awards for her writing, including several years in the Young Adult category of the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. However, her greatest honor came when she received the Right Stuff Award at Space Camp for Educators. Looking for words of encouragement or gluten-free recipes? Then check out her blog at

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