It started as a simple fall. At least thats what I was told. She fell in the kitchen while carrying a large stock pot. Five days later, when I went to the house to see her again, it looked to be much more than that. After hours of arguing and stubbornness, we loaded her in an ambulance and took her to the emergency room.
Five days in ICU there. Two more back at home. Another ambulance ride back to the hospital. A seven day stint in ICU. One peaceful night in a room with no machines, no tubes, no scary buzzers and buttons.
Her liver had failed her. Then her kidneys. Then her heart. Her health was a house of cards and the bottom one had been pulled out. It had been pulled out from underneath all of us. In the span of two weeks, my life was like a snow globe. Everything that had been settled was shaken and swirling around me.
My mother died on Wednesday September 20th, 2006.
I'm writing this in part to explain where in the hell I've been. Short of Donna Day, this blog has (understandably) taken a backseat to life. I've cooked exactly one meal since all of this happened. Fear not, readers of this blog. I have been eating - 10 extra pounds worth since September 3rd. I've sat down to write something funny and interesting and foodie-related...but it just won't come out quite yet. Bear with me and be patient. I'll be tweezing again soon.
What I *am* able to write about is the amazing person that my mom was - and will always be to me. This post is a tribute to my best friend, my sounding board, my cooking teacher, and the greatest love I've ever known. The person who instilled my sense of humour, taste, and adventure in me. The funniest, smartest, wittiest, most devoted, giving person you would have ever met. Some of you out there had the honor of knowing my mom - I wish all of you could have.
I truly appreciate all of my friends and family that have been around me through all of this. Without the support I received in the past several weeks, I don't know where I would be. Seriously. You all mean the world to me.
Some of you have asked if there is anything you can do for me in this time of sadness. For that, I am forever grateful. My mom's other children were always her cats, all of which were adopted from shelters. In lieu of flowers or a donation to a large charity organization, I have chosen to establish a memorial in my mother's name at the Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption. They are a very small organization that takes in and finds homes for cats and dogs, many of which would be euthanized at other facilities. This no-kill shelter is always is dire need of funds and supplies. Donations can be made via check made payable to Atlanta Pet Rescue, mailed to the shelter at 720 14th Street, Atlanta GA 30318, or online at www.atlantapetrescue.org. If you make a donation, please let them know that it is in honor of Philis Hardeman. I am notified of each memorial donation. My hope is that if even some small good can come of my mother's death, then it won't feel so senseless to those people who miss her.
I love you, Mom. Always.