Centennial Hills mother, grandmother come through in times of need

Perhaps it’s called a mother’s bond because of its strength and unification.

Meet two Centennial Hills moms who have made their own definitions. One woman went across international borders to retrieve her grandchild. The other made her daughter’s childhood wish a reality.

Together, the women agree that Mother’s Day comes more often than once a year.

Followed footsteps

Melanie Estrada wanted to be just like her mom.

The message to work at Texas Station, 2101 Texas Star Lane , rang loud and clear on a Mother’s Day card when Estrada was in kindergarten .

“I thought it was precious at the time,” said her mother, Sherry Melton . “We talked about it all the time.”

Talk became reality a decade later when Melton helped secure Estrada a job at the casino hotel.

“It was a full-circle moment,” Melton said.

Melton , marketing coordinator for Santa Fe S tation, 4949 N. Rancho Drive , said the story is special to the family, as is the property.

“We have memories of things we’ve done together that involve Texas (Station),” she said.

Melton was a longtime secretary at Texas Station , and Estrada has been a restaurant hostess for about four years. Estrada met her husband at the location.

The couple have a 7-month-old child .

“She’s such a wonderful daughter and very thoughtful,” Melton said. “She’s a mom now herself, too, which is special.”

Melton said she doted on Estrada , her firstborn. Melton also has an 11-year-old son, Hunter .

“Growing up, I always knew I’d be a mom,” she said. “I was determined she was going to be a boy . When the doctor held her up, I was so excited (she was a girl). I spent all my money the first years of her life dressing her up and giving her the best of everything.”

The mother and daughter spend time together often during mall outings or side-by-side pedicures.

“My mom is always there if I need a friend,” Estrada said. “She’s always somebody that I know will have my back.”

For Mother’s Day, Estrada plans to fulfill one of Melton ‘s longtime wishes. The women are set to be seated front row at “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular .”

“I figured I’d get us the best seats,” Estrada said.

Reinvented mom

Vida Miller ‘s first name means life.

And when the Centennial Hills resident’s life hit hurdles, she met it with reinvention.

The 59-year-old mother of three , grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of three is about to start a new chapter and hopefully set an example for the brood.

In 1984 , Miller was a former teen mother, high school dropout and single parent of daughter Zenobia , then 13, and son Harr y, then 4. Times were tough in her native South Carolina , so she gathered her family and moved to Las Vegas.

“I needed a change,” she said. “I needed to reinvent myself.”

She wed Zenobia ‘s father, Billy , and the couple started a commercial janitorial business.

The business and the family grew for the next few decades.

In 2009, the mother of Miller’s granddaughter was slain in her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. Someone needed to retrieve the child, but Harry didn’t have an adequate passport.

“I had to go to Canada to fight for her,” Miller said. “I stayed in that fight because it was my blood and I love my children and grandchildren. I knew God was with me.”

Miller spent 45 days embroiled with lawyers, child protective services officials and lawmakers trying to bring Hailey to Las Vegas.

“I had a dream that God showed me I was going to go into this fight and he showed me I’d have a victory,” she said. “I promised the Lord I would take her and help raise her.”

Miller was successful, and Hailey now lives in Las Vegas with her family.

This year, Miller retired from the family business and went back to school.

At age 59 , she received her high school diploma.

“I said, ‘It’s time for me to reinvent myself again,’ ” she said.

Miller plans to take theology courses and devote more time to church activities.

Miller is assistant to Gayla Boyd , pastor of Truth Christian Ministries International , 5101 N. Rainbow Blvd .

The women have known each other for about five years, and Miller is “constantly handling my overflow,” Boyd said.

“She’s always consistent, faithful and has a great attitude,” she said. “She’s a mother to everyone she meets.”

For Mother’s Day, Miller said she plans to attend church with her family and enjoy their company.

“I love my family – they’re fabulous,” she said. “They keep me young.”

Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@viewnews.com or 477-3839.

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