International Women’s Day

International Womens Day 1

I cannot wait to share this sponsored post with you! When adidas asked me to do a post on International Women's Day, I was so excited because I knew exactly who I'd write about.

March 8th is International Women’s Day! A day focused on women’s achievement, raising awareness against bias, and celebrating badass girls around the globe. I love everything about this. That means celebrating all women – but especially those that inspire, empower, and break barriers.

I’ve had so many wonderful and impactful women in my life, but by far the woman that has had the biggest impact on me is my mom.

My favorite thing about her? She’s still here…even though she isn’t supposed to be.

My best friend, my inspiration, My mom

Maybe you’ve heard that one a bunch, maybe it seems cliche, but I won’t apologize for saying it because it couldn’t be more true. Throughout this post, I’m going to tell you why my mom is better than yours. Yes, you read that right. And I will argue with you until I’m blue in the face.

She's the toughest woman i know

I’m not going to tell you my mom is a weight-lifter who eats burpees for breakfast. But I will say – this woman has experienced more physical and emotional pain than anyone I know. Yet here she is, stronger than ever. I’ve honestly never met a more resilient woman in my entire life.

Cancer. The worst c-word in the world

My mom was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was only 6 years old. Since I am the baby of the family, (youngest of 4) this fact was hidden from me, at least in the beginning. My assumption is that my family felt I was too young to fully understand what cancer even meant. And they were right.

I came to find out about my mom’s diagnosis by a child at school in the playground. I still remember it like it was yesterday. The conversation went exactly like this:

 

Schoolmate: “I heard your mom has cancer.”

Me: “What does that mean?”

Schoolmate: “It means your mom is going to die.”

 

So there’s that.

Let’s just say that I did not take that news very well and ran home bawling my eyes out. A pretty traumatic experience for a child. 

The second traumatic experience occurred when I accidentally walked in on my mom in the bathroom one day, so sick that she couldn’t get off the floor.

One of the “fun” memories I had was playing dress-up with the Dolly Parton wigs that she bought. Yes, Dolley Parton has a wig line, and they are pretty awesome.

She's Strong

When I look back on these memories as an adult, I can only imagine what those traumatic experience were like for my mom.

Throughout the entire sequence of chemo, radiation, and other horrific experiments they basically did on her, she held strong. I don’t remember even one time where I saw a moment of weakness in her. I found out as an adult that a big part of it was her need to stay strong for the rest of the family while secretly pleading with God at night. She told God that if it was her time to go, then she was ready. She didn’t know how much more she could handle.

All I know is that she made it through, and she held her head pretty damn high while doing it.

Diagnosis

My mom found out she had Leukemia by accident. She went into the doctor to have a skin cancer removed. The doctor decided to send it to the lab to make sure it was nothing to worry about. They also did some routine blood tests. The blood tests showed her white blood cell count was way too high and she was then diagnosed with Leukemia. The doctors told her that IF she responded well to treatments, she might live for 5 more years, and only 6 months if she did not. I can’t even imagine what a diagnosis like that would feel like and I pray I never have to. 

I remember my mom being at my prom. I remember crying. I remember thinking that she wasn’t even supposed to be there. I get emotional when I think about the fact that, according to doctors, she isn’t supposed to be here today. I know that it is nothing short of a miracle. And while there is no cure for Leukemia, God knows that she is supposed to be here and I’ll never take that for granted.

My rock, My Muse, My biggest fan

I’ve been through some pretty traumatic personal experiences in my life and while nothing will hold any weight in comparison to what my mom has endured, I will say this: I don’t think I could’ve gotten through any of it if she wasn’t here.

She’s the one who has literally picked me up off the floor when my boyfriend in high school was in a horrific car accident, landing him in a coma for 5 months. She was there when I toilet-papered houses in town and ended up in juvenile detention. She was there holding my hand when I had to put my dog down that was dying from stomach cancer. She was there when my marriage fell to pieces and I had no idea what I would do with my life. She has never once stopped loving me. She has never once been so disappointed in me that she gave up on me. She has always, I repeat, always, been there for me. No matter what.

I’m forever grateful to have had her in my life to help guide me back to where I needed to be.

And when I say she’s my biggest fan, I mean that. She literally has a top fan badge on my Facebook page. I find that both awesome and amusing. She’s the real MVP.

She reads all my blogs, social media posts, watches all my videos, and supports me in everything that I do. There’s no one else I’d rather highlight for International Women’s Day, than her.

International Women's Day

This is why, as I celebrate International Women’s Day, I celebrate my mother. Regardless of anything she has ever, and will ever, go through, she puts others first. She always has. She’s constantly making meals for other people, visiting the elderly who have no one, and looking for any way to serve those around her. I’ve never met a more selfless human being in my life. Every person that has ever met her, loves her. And there’s a reason for that.

She’s also the world’s best grandma! She taught special-ed preschool for a very long time and she has a way with children. Pictured below is the annual tea party she throws for my nieces. Hint: the kids aren’t the only ones who love it (cough)I do(cough)

Tea Party - International Women's Day

She also remains extremely active! Treadmill every morning and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. You can also see her hiking places like Aspiration Trail with me!

international womens day
International Womens DAy

I’m so grateful we did this photoshoot! The opportunity to frolic in the mountains together and really capture our relationship on camera. If you’ve ever wondered where I get my quirkiness from – I got it from my mama. 

International women's day
international womens day

Want some of the cool swag we are sporting? Of course you do.

international womens day
international women's day

You can find this awesome adidas tank top here and visor here.

I’m so grateful to live close to her so that I can spend time with her regularly. She also feeds me more often than I’d care to really admit, but I won’t apologize. She’s the best cook in the world.

And even though we live 5 minutes apart, I still call her every day. Sorry, mom. Apparently you need to know what I’m doing every second of my life.

So here’s to you! You have done so much for me over the years. You taught me everything about life and so much more. You are my best friend and I love you more than I could ever truly put into words.

I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me.

We all know the world couldn’t run without women and today we take a second to honor and recognize all of them! 

Happy International
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What strong woman do you recognize today?

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Leave a Comment

  • Vera Dooley
    2020-03-03

    Oh my goodness! I am totally blown away by this post! I feel honored and humble that you would write about me! I bawled my eyes out about the sweet things you said. What am I saying…I am still crying! It has been my honor and privilege to be your mother! You are a wonderful daughter! Always so sweet, kind, and caring! You look out for me and are always patient when I am technologically challenged! Which happens way too often! 😀 I love and appreciate your fun personality! You are incredibly talented.
    You are beautiful inside and out! You have and are such a blessing in my life! Thank you for this kind tribute! You are the best! I love you to the moon and beyond! Gosh..I’m still crying! I support your dreams because I believe you can do anything! You have been through alot yourself and overcame those obstacles and moved forward. You are a strong young woman! I am so proud of you!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-03 Vera Dooley

      Aw, I love you more than words could ever say! Thank you for being you, never giving up on me, and supporting me in every crazy endeavor I choose to take on.❤️

      Reply
  • DANIELLE durham
    2020-03-03

    Love your page!!!! Such amazing photos and adventures!!! You are awesome!!!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-03 DANIELLE durham

      Thanks, girl! You the best!

      Reply
  • Cori
    2020-03-03

    This post is BEAUTIFUL! I love how open you are about your childhood and how strong and amazing your mama is <3

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-03 Cori

      Thank you so much, Cori! I really appreciate that! Thanks for reading and the kind words! She’s an amazing person in and out.

      Reply
  • Kat
    2020-03-03

    Jessi, your mom sounds amazing! I loved reading about her, and she looks like she’s fun to hang out with. You’ve inspired me to write about my own mom 🙂 Great idea!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-03 Kat

      She’s really the best! I don’t deserve her! I’d love to read about your mom! Thanks for reading at the kind words!

      Reply
  • Julia Hess
    2020-03-04

    OMG! This is an amazing post! Your pictures are amazing and such a great way to honor your mama. The quote “I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me” is just great.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-04 Julia Hess

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to read!

      Reply
  • Britnee
    2020-03-04

    I’m in tears after reading how strong you and your mother are. This is such a lovely post.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-04 Britnee

      Omg, thank you! That means a lot!

      Reply
  • Mike
    2020-03-04

    Congrats on a sponsorship with Adidas and congrats to your mom for beating leukemia. I lost a nephew to leukemia.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-04 Mike

      Thank you! I’m so sorry to hear that ☹️

      Reply
  • Amanda Kerr
    2020-03-04

    Such a beautiful post and those pictures are amazing!! 🙂

    Reply
  • Ann
    2020-03-04

    Such a sweet and wonderful post ❤️

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-04 Ann

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  • erika
    2020-03-04

    You and your mother have the cutest and most genuine relationship/friendship! Happy International Day to the both of you!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-04 erika

      Aw, thanks, Erika! Appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Heidi Slowinski
    2020-03-05

    Thank you for sharing your mom’s story. What an inspiration!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-18 Heidi Slowinski

      Thank you Heidi!

      Reply
  • Marchelle
    2020-03-05

    You are absolutely 100% right Jess, your mom is the most unselfish person on the planet and I love her even more than words can say! She taught me what true love and compassion really mean, and I LOVE that she lets me be her friend! Ü She truly is amazing! And you are so right, that you are strong because you were raised by a strong woman! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post! Love you both! You are BOTH an amazing inspiration to me! Ü

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-18 Marchelle

      Aw! I’m so thankful to have strong women in my life – and that includes you!!

      Reply
  • Jade Braham
    2020-03-05

    This is a lovely post! My mum is also my hero, she’s so strong, supportive and encouraging! I’m so glad your mum is alright now!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-18 Jade Braham

      Moms are definitely the best! I’m so lucky to have her.

      Reply
  • rasi gupta
    2020-03-18

    Oh that is such a heartwarming post! Kudos to your mother being such a strong and amazing woman! And to you for respecting her and loving her for everything and giving her the strength to fight and be positive 💕

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-18 rasi gupta

      She’s so amazing! Thanks so much for reading and the kind words!

      Reply
  • Ana
    2020-03-18

    What a beautiful piece! Your mom sounds truly amazing and very strong. So glad you have her in your life and that you have such a wonderful relationship. Love that you get outdoors together, too. You both look great!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-18 Ana

      Thank you so much! She’s the best!

      Reply
  • Kimaya
    2020-03-18

    Jessi. I loved the way you expressed your love for your mom. The whole picture is created in front of my eyes. Even I haven’t met your mom, I felt the warm of a mother. I can relate this to my mom too.
    Your post touched me. It has both aspects. Emotional as well as inspirational.
    Loved it. Keep writing 👍

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-18 Kimaya

      Aw, thank you so much, Kimaya! That means a lot!

      Reply
  • Britt K
    2020-03-19

    Your mom sounds like an incredible woman. My mother is the woman that I look up to when asked what strong woman I would want to highlight – my father passed away when I was just 15 (I’m the oldest of 3) when he had a stroke and a brain aneurysm at work. My mother had been a stay at home mother to the three of us and overnight she was now a single mom and on the job hunt so that she could support her family. She’s also the reason that I have a love of the outdoors, taking me camping when I was just a baby and every year since. Shout out to all the incredible moms!

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-20 Britt K

      Wow, your mom sounds absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing your story!

      Reply
  • Shana Seigler
    2020-03-20

    Wow, what a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your story. The playground story made me gasp honestly. Your pictures with you and your mom are darling. My mom hates being in pictures but I’m going to have to force her to take more pictures with me.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2020-03-20 Shana Seigler

      My mom is the same way! She hates taking photos! I forced her lol

      Reply