my hospital month October 10, 2006


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 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.


erin Oct 10, 2006 12:10 pm

I’m a relatively new reader of your blog, and I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts are with you.

Mary-Heather Oct 10, 2006 12:10 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. The pictures and your writing about your mother are beautiful. I know we’ve never met but I will be thinking of you and your family! Peace.

Amber Oct 10, 2006 12:10 pm

Tami, I had no idea. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Sending a big hug your way. If you need to talk, catch me on AIM. reachingxout

Chloe Oct 10, 2006 12:10 pm

I am so sorry for your loss! My condolences! :(

barbara Oct 10, 2006 01:10 pm

Tami – Your post is a beautiful tribute to your Mum. Hugs.

Amy Sherman Oct 10, 2006 02:10 pm

My condolences. Do take good care of yourself. Come back to blogging when you can, your readers will still be here. I know I will!

Tony Clark Oct 10, 2006 03:10 pm

We’re all thinking about you. The meals on wheels will hopefully be carrying something blog worthy.

Anita Oct 10, 2006 04:10 pm

I’m genuinely sorry for your loss. I definitely know what you mean about sitting down to write, but the words won’t come. They will, eventually, and we’ll wait.

heather Oct 10, 2006 04:10 pm

There is so much love and tenderness in what you wrote. I am so sorry you lost your Mom and glad you were with her during her passing. I wish you serenity during your time of healing.

matt Oct 10, 2006 05:10 pm

You and your mother will be in our thoughts. What a beautiful posting and we truly are sorry for your loss.
Your mom sounds like a one of a kind. What an amazing woman who raised an amazing daughter.
We’ll all be here for you and will patiently await your return.
-matt and adam

Bradley Oct 10, 2006 06:10 pm

Sorry to hear about your loss. In two weeks it will have been ten years since I lost my mother. Most of my earliest memories were cooking with my family and it is something that my wife and I are passing down to our daughter.

Dolores Oct 11, 2006 12:10 am

Wow. And I thought *I* had a rough September. Odd how quickly one’s perspective shifts. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers Tami. And thank you for sharing your memories of you mother with us. She lives on in you and in every life you touch.

zack Oct 11, 2006 07:10 am

Tami, you are in my thoughts. I’m grateful for getting the chance to meet your mother. My condolences on your loss. Take care of yourself and let me know if I can do anything.

GadgetGeek2 Oct 11, 2006 07:10 am

Tami I just now found out about your loss and my heart goes out to you. We don’t know one another very well but trust in the fact that I know something of the loss you have just encountered. As many folks have said, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

L Oct 11, 2006 05:10 pm

Tammy – I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds so wonderful, and I’m sure from your words, she would be so proud of what you are doing. Thank you for giving us readers something to do to help.
Be well, and take your time.

L Oct 11, 2006 05:10 pm

oh, and I’m sorry I just spelled your name wrong too… people do that with me all the time. Darn fingers trying to type too fast…

Bea at La Tartine Gourmande Oct 11, 2006 11:10 pm

Oh Tami, so sorry for your loss. Your words would make her so proud. I am sending you lots of supportive thoughts. Take care and take your time!

Amity Oct 12, 2006 06:10 am

Wow. I’m so sorry. You will be in my thoughts.

Helene Oct 12, 2006 09:10 am

All my condolences to you and your family. Your mother would be proud of your strength.
You have written an incredible tribute to her. Thank you for sharing your story and her pictures.

Kalyn Oct 12, 2006 05:10 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. My mother died eight years ago, so I do understand how you are feeling, and it takes time to pick up the pieces and go on with your life. Take care of yourself during this time, and the blog will be there when you’re ready to do it again.

Ivonne Oct 12, 2006 08:10 pm

My condolences. Your mom sounds like an incredible person and I think you’ve paid tribute to her in the most beeautiful way.

Alanna Oct 13, 2006 06:10 am

Losing a Mom, I’m not sure it ever leaves you. My very wise back-door neighbor wrote this within hours of losing my Mom, it comforted me then, perhaps it will you, too. “A loss of a parent — although part of the natural order — is difficult. I can guarantee that she will never leave you. My mother has been gone 25 years — and she is still a very important part of my every day life.” Take thee care …

Stephanie Oct 13, 2006 11:10 am

Tami, I am so sorry for the wrenching grief and loss you feel now…when you are ready, I’d love to read a post about your Mother’s favorite dish and all the ways she put her love into it. That will be a terrific celebration of her and connecting us all to her beauty through cooking.

Feast Oct 13, 2006 02:10 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish her a peaceful journey and I wish for you peace. What a lovely tribute to your Mom. I must call mine now, while I can. Thank you.

Liz Oct 13, 2006 08:10 pm

This is elizabethf from LJ. I pop in here now and again because I love the food posts you make and I just read your news. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I will be making a donation in your mother’s name. I wish there was more I could do. I feel great sadness over the pain that you’re experiencing now.

david dodson Oct 13, 2006 11:10 pm sudden the life of a loved one gets taken away…i am very sorry for your loss…searching for words to …but i dont think i have them in me…im just so sorry

Lisa Oct 14, 2006 06:10 am

Tami, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Your post was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.

Bron Oct 14, 2006 12:10 pm

Hi Tami, I’m so very sorry to hear about the passing of your mom, take care and all the time you need, we’ll be here when you get back.
And what a trooper you are to have continued with the HHDD event during all this, wow!

joe Oct 14, 2006 09:10 pm

hi tami,
just wanted to wish you well and send you my condolences.

ParisBreakfasts Oct 15, 2006 06:10 am

I’m a new reader, but I was touched by this very beautiful tribute to your mother. It reminded me of the unaccountable loss of my mom when I was 25…it’s hard to find the right words to say and maybe they don’t exist, except Thank you for sharing this and I wish you well.

Liz Oct 16, 2006 03:10 pm

Belated condolences. Moms are always too young- regardless of when they leave us.
Take care of yourself.

Steakhead Oct 17, 2006 12:10 pm

What a beautiful and moving tribute. I lost my mother a little over 2 years ago, and the the time spent in the hospital as one seemingly small thing kept morphing into bigger and bigger problems was without question the hardest 2 months of my life. Please accept our condolensences and know that she will always be with you.

Molly Oct 17, 2006 06:10 pm

Oh Tami, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My father died about four years ago, and he declined very suddenly and quickly, just as your mom did. There’s no easy way to make sense of things like this, is there?
Take good care of yourself. I’ll be thinking of you.

Helios Oct 18, 2006 04:10 pm

My condolences on the loss of your mother. This lurker definitely missed your posts, but I understand now how difficult life must have been for you lately. Again, my condolences.

Bruno Nov 14, 2006 07:11 am

Tami, I just read this post and it brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me of the situation surrounding my mom’s death almost 3 years ago (Dec. 13th)… she fell, hit her head, went into a coma and died 10 days later. It’s very hard losing a parent, especially when you’re so close to them as you were w/ your mom. My heart and thoughts go out to you. Hang in there…. your heart will heal as the time passes, but the great memories will always be w/ you. I will be making a donation to the Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption in your mom’s honor. She sounded like a great woman and a great inspiration to you. Take care.

Sonya Nov 25, 2006 04:11 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss. I also live in Atlanta. My heart goes out to you. This is my first visit to your website (nice website!)

Garrett Nov 26, 2006 03:11 pm

So sorry for your loss. Your Mother lives on through you though, and from what I can tell that is a quite significant tribute to her. Nice blog, btw!

arfi Aug 26, 2007 10:08 pm

My condolences for your losing of your beloved mother, Tami. You’ve been tough and I am sure you’ll always be. Cheers.

keiko Sep 6, 2007 07:09 am

Dear Tami – I know this is late, but I just wanted to say I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. I do hope you are getting through, take care.

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