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An Open Letter to My Mother

Dear Mom, as I embark on one of the greatest achievements of my life, the Ms. Harcum Share the Love Foundation, named in your honor, I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have had you as my Mom. When I think of you, so many different memories come to mind; memories that will live in my head and heart for a lifetime. The thing I remember most is that you were always there for me. No matter the circumstances, no matter how foolish or bad I was, no matter what time of the day or night, you showed me complete acceptance, love, and understanding. You always made time for me, and always had my back. These past eighteen years, despite not being in your physical presence, I never felt far from you because I know your spirit is here, rooting for me and loving me from the Heavenly skies. Mom, you have no idea how comforting that has been in my life since you’ve been gone.

Mom, you taught me one of life’s greatest lessons: how to love unconditionally and have an open heart. I have seen further evidence of this unconditional love in the way that you showed your entire family patience and commitment. Your daughter Catherine and all seven of your sons, Andrew, Raymond, Marvin, Stephen, Allen, Brian, and Culbert, were in awe of your courage and strength at a time when most black families were struggling to survive. And you continued to stand tall, with the broadest of shoulders, for all of your children to stand on, showing me that I can rise above any of my circumstances.

As a kid, I remember you went back to school and you worked so hard to get your Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Once you graduated, I saw you put your very best into every job you ever had, and worked even harder to be a great mom. You taught me to give my very best at everything I do; you taught me how to think for myself. Throughout my life, you recognized what I needed. You saw early on that I had a strong mind on my own and a longing for independence, I greatly appreciate some of the things you let me do, or should I say, “let me get away with”.

Mom, from you being such a strong example, it became evident to me that anything’s possible if you set your mind to it. You lived your life your way, without giving up on anything, especially your children. In spite of all the trials that stood in your way, you lived with pride, determination, commitment, and an unwavering faith in God. Mom, you turned out to be an amazing human being.

For the rest of my life, I will forever be inspired by your love and sacrifice for me and my siblings. Mom, thank you for teaching me how to dream big. Thank you for showing me what real love, commitment and family is all about. Finally, thank you for being the greatest and coolest Mom ever, and an awesome Grandmother, too. I love you, Mom.

-Culbert Harcum

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Donating to Ms. Harcum Share the Love Foundation supports agency programs and events that work toward an America with justice, dignity and free care for those individuals who serve/served in the armed forces and senior citizens age 65 years and older; an America where young people can secure their productive and creative place through affordable education and good citizenship.

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