Fittingly, the #52Ancestors prompt this week is Mother’s Day. I share with you a letter written by William Moroni Daines to his brothers and sisters (including Lydia Jemima Daines) about their mother, Jemima Seamons. This letter was written by William when he was 67 years old, 22 years after Jemima passed away. This letter was written on Mother’s Day.
Preston, Idaho, May 11th 1930
To my dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this beautiful Mother’s Day, my thoughts turn in loving memory of our dear Mother, who, through her sacrifices for the Gospel, her teaching and her example gave to us in cooperation with our noble father the precious heritage that is ours.
Mother was a pure, dutiful daughter of a lovely, devoted mother, and grew to womanhood impressed with the sacredness of motherhood which their obedience to the Gospel accentuated to a remarkable degree. The hardships of pioneer life together with a not too rugged body brought to her much suffering during much of her life, but did not deter her from the blessedness or responsibility of bringing a full allotment of souls into mortality. And through it all her energy and devotion were most remarkable. She never neglected her husband or children at any time, but with devotion and patience administered to our needs, physical, and mental, and spiritual. One circumstance, as an example of her loving sacrifice for us will be only the one instance of a multitude extending thru her whole life when she was able to sacrifice and to labor. You are all acquainted with it but I feel to relate it briefly, in fond remembrance.
When the choice was extended to her by father to have a sewing machine the first chance she ever had to get one, or to have an organ for our improvement and development, she chose the latter, tho by doing so it necessarily added to her labors instead of diminished them as the choice of the former would have done. She had spun the yarn for weaving of the cloth and for all those years had made our clothing by hand, but when it was offered to her to lighten her burdens, she unselfishly and with to desire to further our advancement chose that, which in her mother love she judged would be for her sons and daughters.
And during her long spells of sickness both when we were young children and after we were grown to women and manhood, how patient and anxious for our wellbeing. And while she willingly sacrificed for our education, her greatest anxiety seemed to be that we be taught correct morality, and be well grounded in the knowledge and spirituality of the Gospel that she loved so well.
My heart swells with gratitude to our Father in Heaven for our blessed parentage and the memory of our dear mother is sacred to me, not only on this Mother’s Day but at all times, and this feeble tribute to her, hinting at but a few of the many, many precious things that memory recalls comes from my heart and is lovingly and sincerely expressed to you my dear brothers and sisters.
Your loving brother,
Wm. M. Daines
As illustrated in a biography contributed to FamilySearch by Colleen Hales, letter writing was something William relied on to show his love to his family. “William Moroni became quite ill in 1936 and never recovered his health. He was forced to retire from public life at this time, but was very active in writing letters of encouragement and instruction to his children. He died at his home on a Friday morning [13 January 1939] after a ten day illness from a paralytic stroke. His death certificate lists pneumonia as his cause of death.”
I found it so sweet that William took the time to honor his mother on Mother’s Day despite the fact that she had passed away many years prior and to share his reflections with his siblings. To me that reflects the true spirit of Mother’s Day.