Mother’s Day

I’ve been wanting to share about my mom here on the blog since the beginning but never knew the right time. I’m not the best writer and to articulate my feelings to share my story I fear I won’t do it justice. However, with it being Mother’s Day weekend and approaching the 10th anniversary of losing my beloved mom, it seems like a fitting time to give it a try. Mother’s Day may be the single most difficult day of the year for me. It’s because the stories and pictures of daughters with moms, are EVERYWHERE and I can’t hide from them. It brings out so many feelings, and my mom isn’t here to celebrate with.

My mom was amazing. I know I am not saying this just because I am her daughter, many thought this and were touched by her. My parents divorced when I was in first grade. She raised {with a small village} my older brother, younger sister, and me. She gave her heart and soul to us. She worked multiple jobs to provide yet, was there for us in all the big moments. Being a mother now {with a supportive husband} I don’t know how she did it. She was a superhero.

Growing up, my small nuclear family of my mom, brother, and sister, we were very close. At the end of the day, the one thing we knew we had was each other. We valued and loved our time together more than anything. We had something special and my mom was the glue to that dynamic.

My mom was diagnosed with gastric cancer and survived for two very short and sick months after diagnosis. Learning of her diagnosis was like a scene from a movie. What we thought was going to be a routine doctor visit to discover a minor medical issue was quite the opposite. I will never forget the doctor’s face as he walked into the room to deliver the test results. My mom and I wept uncontrollably. Two nurses walked us to our car as support because we physically were collapsing at our knees.

My mom’s cancer journey went very quickly. I’ll spare you the details, but she went on hospice about 3 weeks after diagnosis. It all happened so fast. Being that my mom was single, it was up to my brother, my sister and I to take place of her caregiver. It completely turned my life upside down {this Coronavirus has nothing on that time}. I was 27, I still needed my mom. I needed her to take care of me, not the other way around.

The grace and faith my mom exuded during this time was completely life changing. It gave me the strength to get through that time and all difficult times since then.

“All that I am, or all that I hope to be, I owe to my mother” the famous quote of Abraham Lincoln is my mantra as I {still} cope with the loss of my mom. Her legacy is her love and how she raised me. In turn I am sharing and passing that onto my children.

I share all of this here on Not Your Plain Sarah Jane because my mom is my inspiration to have started this blog. My mom’s name was Jane, my middle name is Jane after her, and that’s how the blog name evolved. The number one question I get asked when I make a connection through this blog and the style world is how and where I got my style. The answer is simple – my mom!

Now, I am not insinuating we had the same style! My mom was colorful and dare I say a little gaudy. Nevertheless, people frequently commented on her attire {and she LOVED every bit of attention it got her}. She crafted outfits thoughtfully, shopped deals like no one I’ve never known, and talk about accessories – pile them on! And, don’t forget to finish with a bright lip! She brought all of this to her style while staying sophisticated and stylish.

Although our styles were quite different {even from a young age I erred on the side of classic and simple style, probably because I don’t like drawing attention to myself}, I saw my mom always dress the part. We didn’t have a lot of money, and definitely not designer pieces. My mom worked her way up to a corporate job and even though a suit wasn’t required, she almost always wore one, tailored to fit her properly. She ironed her jeans and loved extra starch on a white button-down top. She knew how to “pull it together.”

As I grew older we would shop and try on clothing for hours. We’d walk through department stores and feel every clothing item and comment on the fabric as we passed. We’d drool over the latest shoe trends and try on all the {fake} jewelry as we passed it. It’s what we did for entertainment and I adored every minute of it. Let’s not even start discussing my mom and I shopping for my wedding dress – man-oh-man! did she ever have the master plan as we navigated our way through Chicago boutiques! Some of my fondest memories with her.

Needless to say, my mom was most definitely NOT YOUR PLAIN JANE. As I stated above, I don’t love drawing attention to myself. Pretty funny since with a blog you are sharing many personal facets of your life. I got the courage to start this, to put myself out there because my mom would have pushed me to do it. She would absolutely be my biggest supporter and love to cheer me on with every post. It’s with her voice, her work ethic, her inspiration that this blog has come to life. I am loving every minute of it!

As we celebrate Mother’s Day weekend I thought this was the right time to share where this all stemmed from, my mom, Jane. Being a mother is a powerful and beautiful gift. It’s absolutely the most important part of me {which is why I’m not the most consistent blogger ;)}.

I take this weekend to remember all the mom’s who are not physically here with us, mom’s who have strained relationships with their children, and women who want to be a mom and are struggling. All of these situations are difficult. Call Your mom, hug her, hold her {if you’re able}, and take pictures WITH her!! Tell her what she means to you and thank her for all she has done.

As you can see, my mom has had the single greatest impact in my life not only while she was here but as I continue life without her. Thank you for reading and supporting me. I’m not really finding the right words to close this out, so I’ll keep it simple, happy Mother’s Day from Not Your Plain Sarah Jane.

As always, thank you for reading and make it a great day!

P.S. My mom signed her emails – “Make it a great day” – you see why I do that now!

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  • Sarah-Thank you for sharing about your sweet mama. I loved reading and getting to know her! I am sending you the biggest hug and want you to know how much I love what you do! You are great at it and I look forward to all the new posts. Cancer is a terrible beast I have come to know with my family. My dad was diagnosed last August and had battled it with treatments, surgeries and now into another treatment with terrible side effects. I adore both my parents, but my dad has been a huge influence on my life and what I do. How lucky are we! I deeply connect with your story and send you lots of love! Happy Mother’s Day friend! Enjoy it -I know your sweet mom surly is enjoying watching you from above.

    • Dana, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I know he has influenced you so much in your beautiful work. We are so fortunate to know our parents great love. Hang in there. Thank you so much for your kind words. It means so much that you follow. Happy Mother’s Day to you!! Hugs!

  • Sarah- Your mother was remarkable! I so enjoyed getting to know her as you and Chelsie went through high school. She always had a smiling personality and was enthused about every aspect of our teenagers lives! I know she is smiling now and very proud as she watches you!