The Day I Realized What the Love of a Mother Means

Appreciating a mom who showed her love through deeds rather than words.

But for the love of a motherCourtesy Murray Pierrepont

I was raised on a mixed farm in the Swan River Valley of Manitoba during the boom years after World War II. I was the third eldest in a family of six boys—no girls. My mom always lamented that she wanted to have a daughter, and that probably explains why my two youngest brothers were born.

We were all expected to help out around the farm with whatever needed to be done. My mom was no exception as she worked at any job necessary, while raising us six boys. While there were seven males on the farm, Mom was the organizer and taskmaster, who made sure everybody did their share according to their age.

In my thirteenth year, an event occurred that in hindsight would dramatically alter how I viewed my mom.

It was a hot summer day and we were busy baling hay for our horses and cows for the winter. As usual, my dad drove the tractor with our square baler and hay rack attached behind it. One of my older brothers, Lorne, and I were assigned to stack the bales on the rack as we went up and down the field. My eldest brother, Leonard, driving our other tractor, was responsible for taking the full rack to our bale shed while dropping off the rack that he had just emptied. Mom remained at home looking after my three younger brothers. She was also there, however, to help Leonard offload the full hay rack as quickly as possible to help keep everything running smoothly. This routine continued all day and into the evening.

About 8 p.m., we finished the field and thankfully headed home after a hard day’s work. The day’s chores were quickly wrapped up while Mom busily prepared a big supper for all of us at the house. We then all sat down to a hearty meal, of course served by Mom. After supper, we boys all took turns having a bath—the annual 4-H day at the Swan River Fair was the following day and three of my brothers and I were marching in the parade at 10 a.m. Mom cleaned up the table and did the dishes by hand. By 10 p.m. we were all exhausted and ready to get to bed.

Around 1 a.m., I awoke to use the bathroom. As I staggered through the kitchen on my way there, I was bewildered to see that the lights were still on. On my way back I stopped, intending to turn them off. To my utter amazement, there was Mom with her back to me busily ironing. On the table were four neat piles of clothes, including our matching uniforms for the parade. Too tired to care, I simply went back to bed.

The next morning dawned and at 7 a.m., we all got up, ate our breakfast and picked up our pile of clothes to get dressed for the fair. Excited by the prospect of the day ahead, we gave little thought at the time to how smoothly everything went as we headed out the door.

It was several years more before I fully realized the significance of what I had witnessed that night: Mom had demonstrated more clearly than any words could have, what the love of a mother means.

Next, check out these beautiful Mother’s Day quotes.

Originally Published in Our Canada