Dr. Ford, The Mother Earth
By: Tametria Conner Dantzler
Dr. Ford was not my biological mother,
But she was my mother for 17 years.
She poured into me what my biological mother didn’t have inside of her to give to me.
She spoke into me, the words my mother didn’t have to speak to me.
She invested into me, what my mother didn’t have to invest in me.
Dr. Ford was my Mother Earth.
She was the Mother Earth to thousands of students across the country and world.
The Mother Earth that nourishes, replenishes, cultivates, pours into and rinses, absorbs and
cultivates everything she contacts.
The Mother Earth who corrects, disciplines and will get you together in love.
The epitome of grace, class, dignity and the best example of real love I’ve ever experienced.
Love that transcended conditions, gender, race, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, creeds,
sexual orientation, societal perceptions, and so forth.
I’m talking about what unconditional love really looked like on earth!
Mother Earth she was and Mother Earth she is.
I am she and she is me!
The Mother Earth who protects,
The Mother Earth that shook you when you needed it!
The Mother Earth that flooded you when you didn’t understand why in that moment,
But God revealed to you later.
For 17 years, she mothered me, exemplifying excellence in her daily walk, showing me
leadership and impact in action.
She was a trailblazer, making history left and right,
Treading on unchartered territory with unmovable faith.
She could negotiate like none other,
Create programs no one else thought of or had success executing,
She was a true people-person and servant leader.
She was the Mother Earth that had global impact.
Dr. Ford showed me how to become a history maker and mover and shaker.
She is the reason I am the woman, mother, wife, leader,
world contributor and go-getter I am today.
She was everything I aspired to be!
The true definition of success,
The testament of turning
Pain into purpose…
Struggles into strides…
And pressure into passion…
to get to the next level,
She exemplified greatness and expected greatness…
Even if you didn’t see it, she was going to find it and pull it out of you!
And just like Mother Earth, Dr. Ford has equipped her children to live abundantly and to flourish
without her physically being present.
“Figure it out” and “Trust the process”
Those were the two consistent principles she shared with me that
I have applied to all facets of my life.
We will figure it out Doc!
Keeping in the spirit of the Clark Sisters,
“Was her living in vain?
Was her teaching vain?
Was her giving in vain?
Was her praying in vain?
Was her fasting in vain?
No, of course!
Doc, you let your light shine so bright that,
You become light to so many.
You didn’t make it to 99,
But you were an excellent steward of your time!
Now, the thousands of seeds you planted will become a plentiful harvest!
We will continue your legacy,
So your labor and everything your poured into us will not be in vain,
But an eternal gain!
Thank you for the opportunities, the priceless memories,
The lessons and the blessings!
Thank you for being you!
Rejoice in His Presence Doc!
Continue to help me,
Continue to help us impact the world…
While you orbit around us
This is not a goodbye,
But until next time!
We love you Doc!
Tribute from former student Carmen Player, Berry College Graduate
Good Doctor Clarice Ford,
Many of us called you mentor and Momma Ford and YOU are so much more.
You were our confidant, a kick in the tail, our champion, our haven.
Time after time I found refuge on the third floor of Krannert. In your office, I wrestled with my
identity and I accepted my calling as an educator.
There in your office, I was held accountable to evolving to offer my best self to my future
students, my people, and humanity.
When I became a teacher and school administrator, I found my words and actions to be reflective
of YOURS. I held high expectations with critical support.
I connected to beings before getting to business. YOU were the definition of warm and firm. My
practice was based on "What would Doc say right now?"
Doc, YOU were my LIGHT guardian. YOU saved my LIGHT at a critical point in my life. YOU
are the embodiment of unconditional love and W.I.T. (Whatever it takes)
YOU crossed over the Jordan to live eternally in glory.
YOUR LIGHT lives eternally within each of us whom YOU loved.
This is the glory YOU deserve.
The pain of your physical transition is deep.
My love and gratitude for YOU extend further.
This is where I'll be when I think of YOU.
I LOVE YOU ALWAYS, Doc.