Special to South Florida Times

Perhaps it’s “the look” — that cut to the chase stare down when words aren’t needed to convey the message.  Only a mom can make such an impact without even saying a word.

Or maybe it’s when she sees you doing something positioned to have a lasting and potentially damaging effect, like Toya Graham witnessed and decided to put her only son in check after catching him participating in the Baltimore riots.

How about when she gives you her smile of confidence as you walk down the aisle to receive that diploma, land that job, or start a business.  Her seal of approval literally transforms your inward spirit, mind and soul to pure joy and utter elation.

I can think of a thousand mommy moments that I have personally witnessed, received and provided. I am fascinated by them all – and eternally grateful for those who have helped shape me to be a better person.

Moms move mountains.  They are God’s angels assigned here on Earth who make a personal pledge to our Lord to love, serve, guard and protect those they have been blessed to bear, nurture and care for.  I believe this begins during the nine-month incubation period, where in addition to the development of the body and physical elements, there is the shaping of the mind and the bonding with their mothers.

Moms have that innate sixth sense that miraculously turns on when needed most; to offer words of wisdom and of life, words that silence the scoffers and empowers a thirsty soul. That sixth sense makes moms not only the queen of nurturing, but the sheros of life.

My mom, Agnes Williams, is my all-around hero.  She grew up in a very segregated town just outside of Vidalia, Georgia; married a preacher’s son and together moved to Miami to start a new life. Equipped with only a high school education, she and my dad were determined to make the most out of life. Together, they had six children (five girls, one boy); and pledged to provide and protect and pour in the love they knew we needed to get us through.

While dad worked two full-time jobs to make ends meet, mom was the enforcer, the educator, the entertainer, the cook, the cleaner and everything in between for all of us in our small but loving home.  (To this day, I think dad’s jobs were easier than mom’s.)

Even with a full workload at home and with church, mom managed to take on day jobs cleaning homes and cooking to help provide for our needs.  She never drove a car; she took a bus to get around. Her work outside the home never conflicted with her “real job,” as she called it, to provide for the family.  I have to think God gave her more hours in the day than He gave to the rest of us.  There’s no other way to rationalize how she was able to prepare homemade buttermilk biscuits, cheese and eggs, bacon, and a host of other nutritious goods to make an incredible spread on the breakfast table every morning at 6 a.m.; followed by lunches placed in our lunch bags for school; and ready a full-course meal each for family dinner at 6 p.m. sharp.

She single-handedly maneuvered and calculated our study schedules, followed by our prayer time, chore time, TV time and outdoor play times every day of the week. Day in and day out, it worked without a hitch.  I’m sure there were quarrels from time to time, but I know we faced challenges together and we worked through them with love, dedication and unity. These were the essential tools that I saw practiced every day in my home and they served us well as we worked to resolve the differences and the issues of our day. They still apply in my work and home life.

Mother’s Day is that time to celebrate, dedicate and commemorate the priceless jewels of our hearts – our moms.  It’s the day we honor them and show our appreciation for their tireless efforts to motivate us to be our best and to shine brightly. Most of all, I hope you will not only thank your moms on this special day – but have a special mommy moment with them as well. Precious and few are the moments you have here on Earth to share, and time runs out before you know it – so make every moment count.

My mom’s guidance and direction shaped and formed my very existence and made me the person I am today. She was my very best friend all of my life, and even when she went home to be with the Lord, some 22 years ago, I can still remember the foundational mommy moments of confidence and love that she placed in my heart.  I can only pray that I can share such priceless jewels to my children and that they will make the same indelible impact in their lives as my mom has made in mine.

Bernadette A. Morris, M.P.A., is the owner and CEO of Sonshine Communications, Black PR Wire, and Women Grow Strong. She is also the mother of two:  Rebecca and Stephen Morris.