Motherís Day Takes On New Meaning For Local Brothers
Posted by: Steve Hardwick
Date: May 13 2018 9:36 AM
Written by Michele Forehand/Dothan Eagle
Many will spend Sunday with their mother while others will simply remember the influence of a loving mother and the guidance she provided.
Steve and Fred Hardwick are among the many who will reflect on the memories they have of their mother this Mother’s Day.
Frankie Marie Hardwick recently passed away at the age of 87. During her lifetime her sons say she was extremely influential.
“Our mother was an amazing woman,” said Steve Hardwick. "She loved everyone, and she enjoyed life. I can honestly tell you my mother is someone who never saw color. She loved you whether you were black, white, green or purple. Mother lived as the Lord would have had her to live.”
Although Hardwick spent her last years bedridden, it did not diminish her influence or her ability to make a difference.
“She never passed up an opportunity to tell us she was proud of us. She was truly a ray of sunshine shining on everyone, spreading her love," Steve Hardwick said.
The Hardwick brothers were told 19 years ago their mother would never leave the hospital. She remained in a coma for one month following a brain hemorrhage. After spending some time in the hospital, she was released while Fred cared for her until she died. During those years, Fred said he learned several important lessons from his mother.
“The main thing I learned from mother was to be kind to each other, no matter what,” Fred Hardwick said. “I also learned to love animals. We have had everything from dogs to pigs, and mother loved each one. Mother and I share the love for animals and I will continue to love and care for animals to honor our mother.
"Steve will continue to help those suffering from a terminal illness as a way to honor our mother. This allows us both to give back in our own way," he said.
Steve Hardwick has used his love for baking as a way to raise funds for the families of the terminally ill. His cakes have helped raise thousands of dollars for families in need. He has also helped raise money for the purchase of gravestones for families who could not afford to buy one. Steve Hardwick was instrumental in raising money to bring the Angel of Hope statue to Dothan’s Westgate Park, which has become a gathering place for families who have lost children. His passion, he said, came from watching his mother care for others.
Fred Hardwick said many fond memories of his mother were about food.
“Before Mother was placed on a feeding tube, I would go pick us up a plate of seafood from Grady’s in Graceville,” Fred said. “She loved Grady’s shrimp, and when I would let her know what was going on she would smile and say ‘Oh Boy.’ That was her favorite saying every time she got excited."
Although her health failed later in life, Steve Hardwick said the final years with his mother were as special as the early years.
“God allowed us to have many more years with this great woman. I also learned to always remember to thank God for your answered prayers and never take a prayer for granted. My mother taught me how to pray. For that lesson and all the other lessons she taught me, I will also be grateful," Steve Hardwick said.
With this being the first Mother’s Day without their mother, the brothers are planning to spend time together remembering the many ways she influenced their lives. They encouraged others to do the same.
“Make time for your mother,” Fred said. “When your mother passes away, you can’t go spend time with her. That time is gone and you don’t get that time back.”
Thank you Michele Forehand and the Dothan Eagle for honoring my mom on this special Mother’s Day