My mom was fierce because….in addition to being wise and faith-ful, she was playful and loved to have fun. She asked for a Townie cruiser bike for her 70th birthday. When we asked her how she even knew about this brand, she said she read about it in AARP Magazine—the brand was good for older people because the pedals are designed low to the ground for a quick recovery if balance failed her. She rode this bike almost every day for exercise and fun. This bike helped keep her “younger than springtime.” And yes, she always wore her helmet.
My mother is fierce because …of the way she loves. My mom raised me, my sister and three brothers on a foundation of unconditional love. The phenomenal thing is her love isn’t limited to family, it extends to all people. Her most astonishing act of love occurred a few months ago when she volunteered to raise a small baby girl who had nowhere else to go. People say you learn by example and I feel very fortunate to have the best teacher in the world. Mom, thank you for always embracing me because there is nothing more fierce than a mother’s love. I’m the woman I am because of you. I love you fierce, Kimberly Pierce.
Sande Smith: My mother was disabled after open-heart surgery. As a result, she depended upon programs like Social Security and food stamps to make ends meet. Despite the fact that we were technically poor my mother held a big vision for us—to get a good education and make a big contribution to society. As a result, I was the first in my immediate family to go to college. My younger sister also got a college degree. We never know what is going to happen in the future. Up until the time my mother was disabled, she was a nurse who devoted twenty years of her life to caring for others. Yet, despite being disabled, she never stopped contributing to her family or to society as a whole. A civilized society must make sure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed – in good times and bad.
Jenn Ghbur: I have always admired my mother’s ability to overlook any difference—race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic background—and treat a person with respect and dignity. This is not an easy task in a small town in Arkansas, where discrimination was more the rule than the exception. My gift today will help others like her to be a force for change.