My mom used to tell me, "You're smart, you're beautiful and you can do anything you want" every day (she thinks The Help stole and butchered her line). Watching her complete her college education set the best example of hard work I could have asked for. She's compassionate and brave and has always said exactly what's on her mind. That used to embarrass me, but now I'm becoming more like her all the time, and I couldn't be happier about it.
My mother, Pauline Clark, taught me so much about faith and trusting God for everything. My mother's most beautiful qualities were her ability to love and nurture. Yes, these are natural qualities for a mother, but it was my mother's gift. I always felt that I shared her with everybody, as so many people came to her for advice and guidance. This picture is one of the proudest moments I shared with my mother as a guest of honor at my wedding. Mother's Day is always bittersweet for my brother and me, but we have lovely memories and her wonderful legacy of love and faith.
My mom always taught me to ask questions. She also let me talk way too much during dinner, inspiring the word-lover in me long before I knew she was there. For this lesson, for being my biggest fan and for all the prayer and endless love, I say thanks to my original bestie, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofori-Atta. Happy Mother's Day, hot stuff!
I consider myself blessed, but life has not been easy for my family and me. We've had to endure struggles, including poverty, sickness and death. Despite the rough times, my mother has always possessed a joy that flows from the inside out and stands every test. Regardless of the obstacle, my mother's unrelenting joy has carried us all through painful times. Her jovial spirit inspires me, and I hope to model her when I have a family of my own.
People often comment on my gentle, joyful spirit and my strong belief in looking on the bright side. I credit all this to my darling mother. No matter how trying the situation may appear to be, my mom has always insisted on staying prayerful, thanking God for the things I do have and having an optimistic outlook toward the future. Of all the lessons she's taught me, this has by far been the one to hold my life together.
My mom, Willa Peterson, has nurtured and mentored me to be a whole and complete person. She has taught me faith and ethics, the importance of family, the necessity to maximize resources and, most importantly, how to be a strong and secure woman. In my adult life, she has taught me empathy and how to care for others. She has shown me how to depend on and trust in God in times of certainty and uncertainty.
Something that happens at least once every time my sisters and I talk is that one of us will gasp and say, "Oh, my God. I sounded exactly like Mom just now." Her personality traits seeped into our souls until one day, they became not just hers but ours, too. That's fine with me. My mother is smart, kind and hilarious, and the simple instruction she always repeated to us is to treat others as we would like to be treated. It's my blueprint for being a good, productive person and is the best gift anyone has ever given me.
My mother has made sure that each step she's taken in life has been preapproved by God. Leading by example, she has instilled in her children the mission of pleasing God and putting his will first. She's demonstrated countless acts of selfless generosity that warrant rewards of great honor, yet acknowledgments seem to be few and far between. But still she smiles, she sings, she dances and she continually puts God's will first. He's smiling at her, and so am I! It is her love that strengthens me throughout my life, and for that I thank her! Happy Mother's Day, Rev. Elizabeth Wiggins!
My mother used to say to my siblings and me, "Remember, the world is your oyster." With four degrees and four kids to match, she's taught us so much about resilience, discipline and fighting for our dreams. Thanks to her guidance and equal-opportunity disciplinary style, we are an extremely tight-knit unit obsessed with changing the world, but doing so our way. We're grateful for such an example and thankful for her! Happy Mother's Day, Dr. Eva Ione Shaw-Taylor!
As I write this, my mother, Angela Huggins Crockett, is practicing the violin, a hobby she has recently taken up in pursuit of a lifelong dream. Her instrument is still finding its voice, but in her golden years, my mother is unafraid to be the beginner — which amazes and inspires me. This Mother's Day I want to thank her for teaching me to not stop dreaming, and to never fear the process of finding my way.