A Mother’s Day Dedication to Mary Jane Bertagna

Posted on : May 10th, 2024

“Mother” must be one of the most profound nouns to all mankind.  It’s a word that exemplifies the very core of our existence.  Mothers in essence means ‘life’!  As if this one thing mothers provide isn’t enough to celebrate Mother’s Day and honor our mothers, I’d like to share why my ‘Wonder-woman’ of a mother is the reason I dedicate this special day. I hope too, to bring forth similar thoughts and sediments that your mother has to you so we can celebrate this special day together.  

Maisie Jane, Mary Jane, and Isabela at a but g trade show. Three generations working together

Maisie Jane, Mary Jane, and Isabela at a but g trade show. Three generations working together

A Mother that teaches imagination, creativity, and child-like play

I am blessed by the heavens to have a mother who taught me how to have a simple yet creative play.  I can remember, at an early age, how my mother would get ‘down and dirty’ with me. Having a lot of time spent outdoors, my mother wasn’t worried about myself and my three siblings getting dirty. I recall her encouraging us and showing us how to create sand villages and digging waterways while flooding our sandbox on the hot summer days or creating a winter birthday party event by embracing the rainy and wet winter by allowing my friends and me to play a game of mud football in our family almond orchard. I recall baking bread with my mother. As it may have been to save money, it offered such love and warmth to our home with the heavenly smells and the amazing taste of warm bread and butter to fill our bellies. Having learned and shared baking with my mom at a young age, brought a life love of my own for baking.   Sometimes the greatest pleasures are right under our noses and don’t necessarily have to be expensive and lavish.  Thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to enjoy a lifetime of simple child-like play.

A mother that holds the family together
Maisie Jane, Mary Jane, and Aunt Bobby exhibiting at Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA   1999

Maisie Jane, Mary Jane, and Aunt Bobby exhibiting at Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA 1999

I honor my mother for always bringing together my family, still to this day.  The family unit means so much to her that even now, at the age of seventy-five, she goes to a great measure to keep us all unified.  Growing up my mother always had a homemade, hot meal that my family shared together around the dinner table.  We would always join, first in prayer, and then eat together no matter how busy our lives.  She has always also been the hostess of the most; hosting our large family holiday gatherings and keeps our traditions going strong.  Being a life ‘event-coordinator’ has kept our family unit strong.  Because of her we all hold strong relationships with our siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles.  And now, even the next generation, (my three daughters), have been taught the value of family from their grandmother.  It is such a blessing for me to see the beautiful relationship my mother has with my three girls.  She has been and continues to be an amazing role-model to them.  Thank you, mom, for keeping our family ties strong.

A mother who’s a business partner.

Never did I imagine when I was young that I’d be working beside my mother as an adult. My mother always jokes with people that she got her first pay

Mary Jane creating one of her beautiful signature basket and bows  2011

Mary Jane creating one of her beautiful signature baskets and bows (2011)

check from her daughter.  Being a housewife for over forty years, she then had the profession of being my right-hand store manager and basket maker when I opened my first retail store on 12th Street in 1998 and started offering gift baskets.  The timing was right for her as all four of her children had ‘flown the coop’.  It was also a fun time for her to work with her sister, my Aunt Bobby, who also came to work for Maisie Jane’s after becoming a young widow.  Little did I know of all the joy working with my mother would bring.  Having the woman who helped teach me strong work ethic, and becoming a confident woman, was now still by my side on a professional level.  Sharing the big world of business with her in travels to both buying and selling trips, collaborating creativity within store merchandising, and developing gift baskets together has been an amazing life trip with my mother.    My mother is such a smart, creative, and loving person, who because of her love and connectivity skills with people can be the best salesperson on the retail floor level.  For the past thirty years, all of Maisie Jane’s staff agreed that “no one can sell like Mary Jane!”  Thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to connect with people and use my creative skills in business.  


Happy Mother’s Day

Today, on Mother’s Day let’s all spend a few moments reflecting on the attributes of love, dedication, and sacrifice our mothers have gifted us.  Mothers are the glue that keeps our families together.  Their intentions are always for the best of their children and are not selfish.  Make sure you tell your mother how much you love her and appreciate her on this special day.  


With Love, An Appreciative Daughter, Maisie Jane