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A Mother's Love

Story ID:5989
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Sambro Nova Scotia Canada
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A Mother’s Love

Mum’s loving hands spread Vicks Vapor Rub© on my chest. My white T-shirt
hung over the open oven door of our oil stove. I
coughed. “Mum, I can’t breath.”

“This will help. Turn around.” I did as I was told. Mum spread the vapor rub on
my back. The scent began to work. My sinuses
loosened. She lifted the T-shirt from the
oven door. “Lift your arms.” she said and pulled the shirt down over my head.

The heated T-shirt warmed my feverish body. “It feels so good, Mum. Thank

“Let’s get you to bed” she said and led me to the room I shared with my two
brothers. She tucked me in and read “The Three Little Pigs.”

“Mum, can pigs really talk?”

“It’s just a story, Michael. Pigs can’t talk.” She pulled the blankets up to my
chin and kissed me on the forehead. “Try to sleep now. You’ll feel better in the


“Romper, bomper, stomper boom. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me whom. Who do
I see in my magic mirror today?” The lady on Romper Room asked. The sparkly stuff
in the mirror cleared and I could see the Romper Room lady’s face. “I see June and
Larry, and Martha. Larry, I hope you’re being a good do-bee today. And I see Alice and
little Mikey. Remember children, do be a do-bee and don’t be a don’t-bee.”

“Mum!” I croaked. “Mum, the lady on Romper Room saw me today!”

Mum came into the room. “She saw you? That mirror must really be magic.” She
smiled and held her hand to my forehead. “You still feel warm. Are you hungry?” she

“Not really. My head hurts.”

“Do you want some chicken soup?”

“I’ll try, Mum. I’m scared I’ll get sick again.” I suffered through my second week
with the mumps.

Mum felt the sides of my throat. “You’re still swollen. I don’t think you’ll
get to school this week at all.”

“Mum, I’m tired of being sick. I’m falling behind in school too.”

“Jimmy said he would bring your homework.” She said.

“You asked him?” Jimmy was my neighbor and best friend at that time.

“I saw him on his way to school and gave him a note for your teacher. I asked
your teacher to give your homework to Jimmy.”

I settled back into the sofa. “Thanks, Mum.”

“You’ll be better soon.” She assured me and left to heat my soup.


I clutched a nickel and ran through the field. I was going to buy a bag of potato
chips at the store and eat them while I watched “Bugs Bunny” on TV. I ran across a large
rock, leaped into the air, and landed hard on both feet. There was a crunch. I looked
down. My left foot rested on the jagged bottom of a broken bottle. I lifted my foot. The
broken bottle stuck to the bottom of my heavy winter boot. I shook my foot, dislodged
the glass, and sat. A two inch gash marred the arch of my new boot. I got scared. “Mum
is going to be mad at me.” I thought to myself.

I pulled the boot off and found a hole in my sock too. There was no pain. I
grabbed the edges of the hole in my sock with my fingers and opened it. Beneath the sock
was a two-inch, red gash in my arch.

I grabbed my boot and hopped on my good foot back to our house. Tears
streamed down my cheeks as I hobbled up the steps, “Mum!” I screamed. “Mum, I cut
my foot!”

Mum sat me on a chair in our kitchen. As I cried, she removed my sock. Blood
dripped to the floor. “Michael, we need to get you to the hospital. You need stitches.”

I cried harder. “Mum, I don’t want stitches.”

“I know you don’t, Michael, but this is a big cut. A Band-Aid© can’t fix it.”

“A big cut?” Big tears rolled down my cheeks.

Dad helped me to the car. Mum sat behind me in the back seat. The hospital was
twenty miles from our house. I stretched out on the back seat. To slow the bleeding, Mum
propped my injured foot on the back of the seat.

She stroked my hair. “You’re going to be OK, Michael.”

“Be a big boy, son.” Dad said from the driver’s seat. “You’ll be back on your
feet in no time.”


“Mum!” I screamed, as I staggered up the front steps, holding a hand over my
right eye. “Mum, I poked my eye out!” Mum, her face white with fear, burst through
the front door. “Mum, I poked my eye out!” I repeated.

Mum dropped to her knees in front of me. “Let me see.” she said and reached
a trembling hand toward the hand I held over, what I knew was, an empty eye socket.

I turned away from her. “Mum, don’t look.”

“Michael, I have to look.” She took my hand and slowly pulled it from my eye,
fearful at what she’d see. Tears streaked my cheeks and a trail of mucus covered my
upper lip. “For goodness sake, Michael, you just have a little scratch under your eye.”
She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me to her bosom. “You scared me half to

“My eye’s still there?”

“Yes, your eye is still there.”


“He needs to talk to you.” The nurse said and left us alone.

My wife, Georgia, was still. The room was silent except for the machines
keeping her alive. I paced the room, waiting for the doctor to come. It was obvious. The
machines had to be silenced. Georgia’s journey on this world would end.

I continued to pace and wished for Mum’s comfort. I wanted her arms around
me – her words, “Michael, it’s going to be OK.”

A year later, I held a new wife in my arms. We’d just said our vows in front of
a “Justice of The Peace.” I wanted Mum to see me happy again – her hugs and blessings.


Mum is thousands of miles away, but she’s my inspiration and strength.
She couldn’t hold me when Georgia died or when I married Ginny, but she was with me
in spirit. Through the phone, her strength and love supported me.

They were with us in youth. They are with
us now. There is nothing that can stop a mother’s love.

Michael T. Smith