Remembering My Mom
Deeply saddened by the loss of my mom--as a writer I decided to write my own remembrance. Even though my oldest brother will have the honor of her eulogy, I needed to write my own, to express myself, and to share her story in my own way.
Born and raised in Boston, Jane's roots are very local and it is this Boston Irish Catholic heritage that is the foundation of her life.
Daughter of John & Agnes McLaughlin, Jane was described as a delightful daughter, talented at art, and as sweet and petite as could be.
She was adored sister of brothers, Tom "Fire Dog" McLaughlin and the late Johnnie McLaughin--she cherished her brothers and her sister in love, Judy.
At the young age of 15, Jane met the love of her life, the handsome, clean cut and charismatic George Mellor who swept her off her feet at a young age. Jane & George were a love story, and as my dad would say, his life began the day he met my mom.
Jane left college where she majored in teaching to become Mrs. George Mellor and they moved to Dover Fox Croft Maine where George was stationed in the Air Force. Nine month later Jane would give birth to her first son George, and then would come Kevin, Michelle, Susan then Pamela. Five babies in six years, this woman was born to breed. She had no greater pride than her Mellor babies and her animal instinct and nature is motherhood, babies, parenting, and love.
Jane was a woman of devotion, commitment, courage, and share grit. Her early years of motherhood were spent overseas with the Berlin wall in her sight--it was a scary time, and she went to lengths of bundling her baby boys in snow suits as her heat and electricity were shut off due to the conflicts--her raw maternal instincts kicked in and she created her own game of survivor.
Coming home to the states would prove to be promising, as she would give birth to three daughters which would make her young family complete. While they had an incredibly blessed life, a massive heart attack that George suffered would be a set back, but with Jane's grit and dad's will to live they created their own come back. Once again, the theme of devotion, commitment, courage, and grit would grace their lives as they raised their family and put family at the center of everything in their lives.
Growing up Mellor was gift.
While they were humble in so many ways, and financially challenged, values, lessons, humor, and heart were the constant parts of daily life as a Mellor. Mom loved being a mom. She would share stories of how she would line five pairs of shoes up on the kitchen counter, polished, and ready for church or a family gathering. All our friends loved coming to our house. It was comfortable, welcoming, and depending on the season had the scent of apples & cinnamon, balsam fur, fresh spring air, or the familiar scent of "Off" candles in summer. Seasons were a big deal in our home, and holidays even more. Jane changed her curtains more than some people change their underwear--you could count on curtains for back to school, Halloween, football season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines, Easter, Flag Day, Memorial Day and Fourth of July,. It was one big fireworks of celebration in our home, even if it was through decor' and curtains!
The funny part is the curtains might be seen on the Mellor girls months later as a shirt, matching ones no less. Janie was the original "do it your selfer" and also a Jane of all trades. She could make curtains, costumes for plays, bake (and if she did not have time, she was not ashamed to buy), she could rig the washer machine with a sock rather than call a plumber. She could empty the trash cans in the the trash truck (because the rubbish men might be afraid of a few bee's swarming around). Once again, devotion, commitment, courage, and sheer grit play out again and again in her life.
Mom's biggest legacy and greatest love is her family.
Not only was she a devoted wife, she was a loving mother and loving grandmother--she has no greater pride than her babies. Her five children and her other five children that they married (so much love there too) and of course, her 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild are the pride and joy of her life. While she loved every minute of raising her kids, it is her grandkids that gave her the greatest joy these past few decades: Brianna, Rorrie, Bryce, McKenzie, Christian, McKayla, Shelby, Kelsey, Kaili, Cameron, and Colby.
Jane's heart & home expanded beyond the walls of her home and family, as she worked for over 30 years in the Rockland Public Schools where she helped students learn to read, and more importantly, she made them feel special. Not every student had the gift of a mother like ours, but she brought that gift of love to their lives through teaching and loving them during the school day and in the community. She cherished her friendships, enjoying her breakfast club, hosting neighbors for her annual Christmas Coffee and all the laughs and good times they shared. She lit up every room she walked into, be it a classroom, living room, or function room.
Jane loved art, reading, writing poetry, and the beach. She was creative with art and talented with words--she even wrote and illustrated a book we hope to share some day "White Feathers from Heaven." She loved to celebrate others and would either draw, write, or come up with a clever poem for a friend or co-worker. She had such a gift in making others feel special and like the most important person in the world. In our world, she is our most important person, and while she leaves us on earth, she will live in our hearts forever. Her greatest example is very simple and something she expected from each one of her kids, to be Kind. Be kind to others, be cheerful, be friendly, and always think of the positive side and find gratitude in everything. Her legacy and spirit will live on for decades, because she wants nothing more than to see her babies and grandbabies soar in life.
While Jane has joined the love of her life in Heaven, she will remain in our hearts forever. She will be the lights on the tree, the smell of flowers in spring, the warm summer breeze, the chill in the autumn air and the Angelicsnowflakes of winter. We love you Mom and Nanny and promise to always be humble, kind, loving, and to live out our days with your grace, love, devotion, cheerfulness and strength. #mellorstrong