Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers and mothers-to-be.
I have a friend, Sandra Moore Clark, who has never been a biological mom. Yet, as a single woman, she managed to raise four foster children and a nephew after his mom died. When her foster children grew up and were no longer in the state’s system, my friend so loved her "children," that she told them they still had a home with her.
Today, Clark’s "children" consider her their "real’ mom. She has been with them through their baby years - the youngest was 2 when Clark became a foster mom — and through all their growing up years. The two girls, Marie Esther and Olygin, are now married and have children of their own. And you couldn’t find a prouder grandmother than Clark.
"She’s always been my mom," said Marie Esther. "I have never seen her any other way. She taught me everything that a loving mother would teach her children - about values, morals, how to keep our finances in check. She always put us first and put herself last. Most of all, she taught us how to be giving and loving. No one would have known that we were not her biological children."
I’m telling you about Clark because I know there is more to being a mom than giving birth. While I believe giving birth to another human being is one of the miracles of life, I am aware that not all biological moms are mothers. Clark is one of those women (and there are many more) who, I believe, was placed on this earth for the purpose of being somebody’s mom. She took on the challenge without complaining. becoming a loving and doting mother. If she ever had a problem with any one of the children she raised, I never knew it. The children adore her. And I admire her.
As a single mom who raised two sons, I know how demanding the task of rearing children in a single-parent household can be. Life was even more challenging for me because I am the mother of sons. They were so young when I was thrust in the role of single motherhood, and although I loved them very much, I had no idea of how to bring them up. So, I leaned heavily on my faith in God and the guidance from my late mother and from Bishop Walter H. Richardson, my pastor at church, who became their godfather .
Clark, in my book, is one of those unsung heroes who hardly ever get the recognition they deserve. So on this Mothers Day, I cast my vote for Sandra Moore Clark, who as one of the many mothers who never gave birth, but in my opinion deserves to be crowned "Mother of the Year."
Shirley Gibson receives honorary degree
Congratulations to the Honorable Shirley Gibson, one of three persons who on Saturday received honorary doctorate degrees at St. Thomas University’s commencement ceremonies. The honorary doctorates were presented by University President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale.
Gibson, an alumna of the university, was the first mayor of Miami Gardens. Gibson is credited with successfully leading a dedicated group of neighbors in creating the first predominantly African-American municipality in the state. The municipality is the third-largest city in Miami-Dade County. According to a press release from the university, Gibson’s "diligence, community board leadership, entrepreneurship skills and exemplary community service have earned her numerous awards and honors as well as international recognition in mayors’ circles."