Every day of my life, my mom, Juanita Murray Smith, told me she loved me. It wasn’t just something she said—she meant it. And I felt it, every day, until she left this world for a better place. Dealing with her loss has been hard, but thinking about our times together and what she taught me gives me strength.
One big thing she showed me was that love can drive you to succeed. Love isn’t just about saying the words but about what you do. And my mother was all about action.
Like when she decided it was best for my brother, sister, and me to move to a better place, despite whatever comforts of familiarity she already knew. That was love. She wanted us to have a better shot than she did.
Love drove her to show me how to manage time, money, and friendships. This became my blueprint and foundation for making it in life.
Love led her start businesses and save money like an expert-level banker. She wanted us to dream big and aim high, even when others around us couldn’t.
Love is why I am the man I am today. Because she taught me about honor, respect, and the importance of looking out for others.
All that I am is because of her unwavering love. It gave me direction, molded me, and even now, during this challenging time, it’s what’s keeping me going. And for that, I’m forever thankful.
Words can’t fully capture everything that my mother was to me. But I want to share bits of our story with you all so you can see the happiness she brought into my life and how she’s touched so many others. She was the true Mother of HOPE. She’s always been the Queen of my Heart. And she’ll always be my Mom — my biggest cheerleader and supporter.
I love you, Mom, and I’ll miss you.
If you would like to join us virtually to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Juanita Murray Smith, details for the livestream service are provided below.
Sunday, September 17, 2023
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM ET
Officiant: U.S. Senator Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock
Words of Comfort: Ambassador Andrew Young
Special Remarks (video): Bishop T.D. Jakes
Special Remarks (video): Howard Hewett, American Singer, Songwriter
Please visit the dedicated website to sign the virtual guest register book and share your photos and memories of Juanita, as well as learn more about how to support The Juanita Murray Smith Foundation. If you are a client of Operation HOPE and you would like to share your story of how you have been able to achieve your dreams and aspirations through HOPE’s programs and services, which were inspired by the unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit of Juanita Murray Smith, Click Here.