When my mother passed away a little over two years ago, I remember having that overhwelming urge to get online…to write in my blog…to share my memories and photos and joys and pain. To show the world how amazing my mom was and how jarring and crushing losing her was.
The second time around…it's a little different. My father Jack Hardeman passed away on November 9th, 2008 from complications of lung cancer.
His death – although the prognosis for his cancer was not good from the beginning – happened quickly and was a surprise to everyone – including me. He went from being able to drive himself to the ICU in the span of 36 hours. In an ironic turn of events – that proved to be one of the greatest mindfucks (pardon the language) of my life, he was placed in the same ICU room that my mother was in before she passed away.
So…on Thanksgiving eve…after four months of chemotherapy, radiation, the ICU and 10 days in hospice – I sit here without my parents. Losing both of them in the span of two years has been nothing short of a character building exercise. I don't know where I'll go tomorrow or who I'll see…but I know that for the first time ever – at the early age of 32 - I won't have my folks around. It's an odd feeling – that floating orphan-like tug at your heart knowing, well… you're on your own kiddo.
In typical "death brings out the best – and worst – in people", it's been an eye opening time for me. I've gained friends. I've lost a few that couldn't be there for me. People have shown their true colors. For the most part, it's been a time of great support and energy. My friends have always been my family…and it's never been truer than today.
As I sit here and read about all of the food people are cooking and plans people are making for tomorrow, I give thanks for the people in my life that have supported me. I have to say thanks to all of the people across the world that I keep in touch with via Facebook and Twitter – your thoughts and kind words cast beams of light on an otherwise very dark time. I have also reconnected with my brother David – something I am so very grateful for. I am coming out of this time stronger, more honest, more determined and more in tune with what I want and need from my life now that it's all mine again. I will be back to blogging and cooking and taking photos, don't worry…just on my own time.
Thanks to my sweet friend Broderick for letting me use one of his photos in this post. You can see his work at www.broderickphotographer.com