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Celebrities reveal for mother’s day: `the greatest sacrifice my mom made for me’

Celebrities reveal for mother’s day: `the greatest sacrifice my mom made for me’ – Cover Story

There is an adage: There’s no love like a mother’s love. At its finest, the love a mother possesses for her child embodies all the beautiful virtues that we, as human beings, hold sacred–patience, kindness, forgiveness, compassion.

And perhaps the greatest one of all, sacrifice. This aspect of a mother’s love, the willingness to surrender her time, her dreams, her life for the sake of her children, is what makes her love so phenomenal.

So in honor of Mother’s Day, comedic actor Chris Tucker, actress Holly Robinson Peete, R&B hit-maker Usher and other celebrities share very personal stories of the phenomenal women in their lives and the countless sacrifices which they made.

The women who toiled long hours to support their families, who cheered on their sons at every football game, who spent their very last dollar to send a daughter on a life-changing experience or to buy a son a special suit.

The mothers who, above all, never gave up on their children.

Chris Tucker, celebrated actor-comedian, and his mother, Church of God in Christ evangelist Mary Tucker: “All I am, I owe to my mama. She’s the best mama in the world. Her spirituality, wisdom and strength is what guided me through my childhood … She never gave up on me. It was my mama who made certain that I didn’t miss church every Sunday; no matter what excuse I would try to give her, she just wouldn’t have it. She gave all of herself and all of her time to raise me properly. I realize that who I am today is due to the work of my parents.”

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Actress Holly Robinson Peete and her mother-manager, noted entertainment personal manager Dolores Robinson: “When my mother was a little girl, she was very poor and lived inside her fantasies and dreams of traveling the world one day. When I was a young girl she wanted to make sure I became `worldly’ and exposed to many people and cultures because she never had that opportunity. When I was 16, she took out loans and went without many things for herself so that I could go to a summer program in France. That trip changed my life. Later, in college, I spent my junior year abroad in France, again on the back of my mother–another of the many sacrifices she made for me in my lifetime. I became fluent in French, enamored with European culture and a more well-rounded person because I got to fulfill her childhood dreams. I can’t wait to make those sacrifices for my children one day.”

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Usher, Grammy Award-winning singer-actor, and his mother-manager Jonnatta Patton: “The greatest sacrifice my mom has made for me is giving her entire life to help me fulfill my dream and become who I am today. Mom, thank you and I love you!”

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Eve, Grammy Award-winning rapper, and her mother Julia Wilcher: “Putting her dreams on hold to make sure that I could follow mine.”

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Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., civil rights leader, and mother Helen Jackson: “The greatest sacrifice was her life and career for my birth and education. She was a singer and had music scholarships to go to college. She chose to have me as a teenage mother, sacrificing her career and life options for my birth and my development. She never went to college. If she had chosen career over me, I would not be here.”

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Vivica A. Fox, actress, and mother Everylena Fox: “Growing up and watching my mother, who was a single parent then, raise four children by herself. She was such a hard worker who had to work two jobs (with the school system and with a pharmaceutical company). She instilled great discipline and morals in us.”

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Wayne Brady, actor-comedian, and his grandmother Valerie Peterson, who reared him: “I was flat broke and out of work, so I accepted a job singing in a nightclub in Japan. The gig required me to have a tuxedo, and my Mom [Paterson] knew I couldn’t afford it. She took the last $500 she had and sent it to mo. She knew the tux cost $450 and she wanted me to have an extra $50 so that I didn’t go into a foreign country feeling any less than someone else. It meant so much to me.”

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Jesse Jackson Jr., Illinois congressman, and mother Jacqueline Jackson: “My mother sacrificed her own college education so that her five children could earn theirs. In fact, three of my siblings and I have gone on to earn master’s or professional degrees. So much of who I am, what I believe and the dreams I hope to fulfill, I owe to my mom.”

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Laila Ali, boxing phenom, and mother Veronica Anderson: “When I was younger, she got offered a job to be on `Good Morning America’ in New York. Our family didn’t want to move and she didn’t take the job. When I was younger, I didn’t realize how big the sacrifice was, but now that I’m older, I appreciate that and all the other things she’s done for me.”

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Cedric “The Entertainer,” actor-comedian, and his mother, retired school reading specialist Rosetta Kyles: “Because my mother wanted to provide a really secure lifestyle and future for me and my sister, she managed to accomplish some extraordinary things that standout as key events that changed my life. As a single mom, she worked hard yet managed to continue her education, earning a master’s degree. She was somehow able to buy a house in the suburbs so that my sister and I could have our own rooms (taking us out of the small house that we shared with extended family) and allowed us to experience a different/enhanced environment because she knew that it was important to our future as successful adults. She sacrificed her time and energy to build a better foundation for our family, and we experienced a better life because of her hard work.”

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Busta Rhymes, popular rapper-actor, and mother Geraldine Green: “My mother’s biggest sacrifice was her lifelong commitment to raising a responsible, hardworking son. At the same time, she never gave up on me and never doubted my decision to go after my dreams, no matter how crazy they sounded. She let me be me and still supported me unconditionally.”

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Tavis Smiley, famed TV and radio talk show host, and mother Joyce Smiley: “Before I started on radio and television, I once ran for elective office. During the campaign I learned something about the depth of my mother’s love for me. When my campaign coffers were empty, my mother offered to mortgage her house so that I could stay in the race. I lost the election, but my mother’s confidence in me keeps me running every day.”

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Rodney Jerkins, Grammy Award-winning musician-producer-songwriter, and mother Sylvia Jerkins: “The greatest sacrifice was when she was pregnant with me, she was very, very sick and the doctors said I wasn’t gonna make it. But my mom, my dad, and the prayers of the church never gave up. My mom went through a lot just to make sure her baby boy was born. She sacrificed her own health for mine and nothing con replace that. And that’s why nothing can replace her.”

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Tyrese, famed singer-actor, and mother Priscilla Murray: “My mother’s greatest sacrifice was giving up her youth to work several jobs to support me and my brothers and sisters.”

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Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leader, and his 75-year-old mother Ada Sharpton: “The greatest sacrifice she gave was that she suspended her life and comfort to give me one. I am the product of a single mother, single family. When my father left she totally committed herself to making sure that my sister and I never were underprivileged or denied. In retrospect, she gave up much of what could have been the rest of her life and pleasure to guarantee a more plausible life for us.”

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CeCe Winans, Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, and mother, gospel singer Delores Winans: “Well one of the greatest sacrifices my mom made for me was having seven boys straight until she could finally have a girl,” she laughs. “But, what I love about my mother is that she’s always taught me to love God first. She’s always said that’s the first and most important thing I can ever do is to love God. I’ve tried to instill that same principle in my own children. I also admire my mother for her calm. She has the patience of Job, and with having 10 kids, that couldn’t have always been easy.”

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Johnnie Harris, Oakland Raiders star safety, and mother Rosi Harris: “My mom has always been supportive throughout my entire career. However, the greatest sacrifice I recall my mom making on my behalf was setting aside her personal interests and goals to attend all my football and baseball games when I was in high school and college–even if it meant getting on the road. I don’t remember her missing one game.”

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COPYRIGHT 2002 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group