Season’s Greetings and a Sad Farewell

As many of you know, my mother passed away peacefully this morning. She courageously fought a battle with cancer for more than 20 years, and while she lost the battle for her life, she won the hearts and spirits of many people along the way. She died a good death—at home, surrounded by family, with minimal intervention from doctors. But a death is a death all the same, and even after a good, long life well lived (she was 81), there is grieving to be done, and daughterly things that need to be attended to.

So I’m signing off for two weeks. I’m going to try to pull Christmas out of a hat for my kids. I’m going to gather my memories and cherish them while they are still fresh, and I am going to rest and prepare for a new year, which I hope and pray will be better than the last one…for all of us.

So, dear readers, I wish you a very happy holiday and a healthy and happy New Year. I’ll be back in 2010 with a fresh list of resolutions, more recipes, and the occasional tirade. I totally appreciate all your comments and your support, and look forward to starting a new year.

Until then, thank you!

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49 Responses to Season’s Greetings and a Sad Farewell

  1. Heather December 19, 2009 at 3:45 am #

    No words can express how sorry I am for your loss.

  2. Donna in Delaware December 19, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    I am profoundly sorry for your and your family’s great loss. It was a shock to the system to see the headline first thing after waking this morning.
    The Christmas season won’t be the same for some time.

    May you all find comfort in each other and your memories. Bless you.

  3. Anna December 19, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Sending peace to you and your family.

  4. Suzanne December 19, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I am so sorry for your loss. We are our mother’s daughters throughout our lives and yes, even in their passing we remain so. The sweet fragrances, sounds and memories abound….remember and savor.

  5. Dorothy December 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your loss. It’s alway to lose someone around the holidays.

  6. Dorothy December 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your loss. It’s always hard to lose someone around the holidays.

  7. Ellie December 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Ardie had such a beautiful soul – she’s gone but will not be forgotten

  8. nancy m December 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    I was very sorry to hear about your mom this morning from my mom ( through the Emmaus grapevine!) She will be remembered for all she has done to contribute to the community, her family and loved ones.
    Peace to you and your family at this time…..

  9. Andrea in Alberta December 20, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    I discovered your column just this past summer, have enjoyed reading your ideas and feel as though I have begun to get to know you….So sorry for your loss…looking forward to reading your words again once you are beyond this initial time of remembering and mourning.

  10. Chrisanna Northrup December 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope you were able to spend a lot of quality time with her in the last couple years. My mother has been fighting cancer for the last 10 years (chemo again right now). She’s only 60. I pray everyday for her…

  11. Patty December 21, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    I’m so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. Nobody loves us like our mothers. <3 Have a good rest and remember all the good times. Those are our roses in December. God bless.

  12. Melissa in Ontario December 21, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Very sorry to hear about your mother Maria. Just be thankful that you had her for as long as you did. I’m only 28 and my father died of cancer this past March and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him or miss him.

    I understand what your going through and I’m deeply sorry.

  13. Mary Ann December 21, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    How sad, Maria. I am truly sorry to hear of this loss.

  14. Maricela December 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. My prayers are with you and your family.

  15. Della December 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Just keep remembering all the good times you’ve had together and lessons she taught. Her spirit and memories will always be with you.

  16. Laura December 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    I’m thinking of you and wishing you peace through the holidays and through this process. My sympathies to your and your family. It’s never easy no matter how expected death is or how full a life a person has had. You mother lit up the world.

  17. June December 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Such lovely thoughts she’d express in Prevention.
    She will be missed by so many, including me.
    Peace and sympathy to you and your family.

  18. Kim December 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    So sorry,not that familiar with your mother but I know how tough it is to deal with loss especially this time of year. Peace,Prayers and Love to you and yours.

  19. Becky December 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Prayers for you and your family – may memories and love comfort you.

  20. Cam December 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    The loss of your mother who set such a fine example of what being a public mother can be is mourned by us all. Your private loss can only be imagined. You are in my thoughts.

  21. CP Friend December 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    Your mom is in good hands, and she is still watching over you as she always has. She has not left you, you can speak to her in the quiet of your heart at any time. Peace and blessings to you and your family. You are in our prayers.

  22. Angie in Illinois December 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    I didn’t realize that Ardath from Prevention was your mom…..I am so sorry to hear of her passing and will greatly miss her outlook on life. My prayers are with you. The passing of a parent is a tragic loss at any time, but at this time of year seems to be even more so.

  23. Tina December 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm #


    When I read that you’re trying to “pull Christmas out of a hat” for your kids, I had to share my story. Perhaps it can help you. My grandfather died on Dec. 21, 1977. Yep, today’s the anniversary of his death. I was only 5 years old, the age where Christmas usually holds the greatest magic. Well, we woke up Christmas morning and there were no gifts from Santa under the tree. There were a few gifts from our parents, but none from Santa. We thought Santa had forgotten us. But then there was a knock on the door, and what a surprise! There was Santa Claus on our front steps with a bag full of gifts! He knew we were sad over the loss of our grandfather and wanted to deliver our gifts to us personally. It didn’t take away the pain of losing our grandfather, but it did create a sweet and bright memory in an otherwise depressing time. To this day, I cherish that extra effort my parents gave to make our Christmas special.

    I hope this inspires your own unique way of making Christmas special for your children. God bless you, and may He be with you as you grieve.

  24. Anonymous December 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    Maria and Family
    So sorry to hear of Ardie’s passing. She will always have a place in my heart. I will never forget the great times we had when I worked for her.

    prayers be with you
    Jim Cook

  25. Darlene December 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    It is never easy to lose one’s mother, even if you had years to prepare for it, as I did with my mother’s passing 5 years ago after a lifetime struggle with MS. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her– even if it is just a “won’t Mom think I’m a goof” for doing this or saying that. I hope your memories bring you peace and I will say a prayer for you and your family during this most difficult time.

  26. Rita December 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    I understand your loss. I lost my mother and best friend as well on Sept. 24th to cancer. Just last March I lost my 6 year old grand daughter to cancer. Mom helped me deal with her loss but now Mom is no longer here. Please allow yourself time to grieve. I will be praying for us both.

  27. Anonymous December 21, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    I’d like to share this quote: “The loss of the daughter to the mother, the mother to the daughter, is the essential female tragedy.”
    Adrienne Rich
    My heart goes out to you.

  28. Casey December 21, 2009 at 11:30 pm #

    May you be comforted in your sorrow and find peace and joy surrounded by your loved ones.

  29. Rebecca December 22, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    I have enjoyed reading the Reflections for many years in Prevention. Always beautiful, gentle and loving-helpful words. I lost both of my parents in 1990, and not a day goes by that I don’t “talk to” them.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.

  30. Yolanda December 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    My symphaties are prayers for you and your family during this time of greif and celebration of her life.

  31. Frances Smith December 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    May GOD always keep you and your family in His loving care.

  32. Jeffrey Braverman December 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    She will always be quite a lady.

  33. Vinnice Harrigan December 23, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Although it’s difficult today to see beyound the sorow, may looking back in memory help comfort you and your family tomorrow.

  34. Paula Elissetche December 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    God Bless you and your family. May the memories give you comfort & joy this holiday season and for the rest of your lives. Thanks for all you do for us too!!

  35. Alice McCoy December 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    As long as you remember someone with love, pass on their wisdom and believe in a higher being, they will never truly be gone. They are just with God, elsewhere.

  36. Sherrie in Florida December 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Sorry for your loss. I love the work you and your family do.

  37. vetmed December 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    So sorry for your loss. Blessings on the continuing work she loved.

  38. Gerard December 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    What a profound loss for you. May she always remain alive in your heart and walking with you thoughout your life. Deep peace to you.

  39. Elizabeth Green December 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Dear Maria, Heather, and Anthony

    I was so very sorry to hear of Mrs Rodale’s passing. For those of us who were fortunate enough to meet her even momentarily, she will be remembered for her great spirit and generosity.

    As a former Rodale employee I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with her (she would periodically visit the call center and welcome new employees), she had such a special gift for making each person she met feel very special, her employees were important to her and it was evident by the way she took care of them, there are so many companies who today do not understand the value of the workforce and look upon non-management level employees as replaceable and more of a burden than a contribution to the overall progress of a company, Mrs Rodale had a different approach, she recognized the effort and contributions of each employee, she insisted upon excellence but, she also lead the way and always took care of the employees like a mother that loves her children, in so doing she was able to instill a grace and style in the company that flowed out to the consumer.

    Ardath Rodale will always be remembered as one of the great spirits that surrounds us, she lived her own truth, overlooked failings in others and always, always brought out the best qualities in everyone she touched. It was blessing to meet her, and an honor to work for her. The world is a better place because for a short while Ardie was here. She understood “Desiderata” and lived her life accordingly

    Although it is the Christmas season and she will not physically be here to share the time with your family, your memories of her are the gift she has given each of you and Rodale Press is the blessing she and your father and J. I. gave to the rest of us.

  40. Stephanie December 26, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    I read about your mother’s passing in my local newspaper, under notable deaths; the name caught my attention.

    My sincerest condolances you and your family at this time in your lives. Although, what I know about your family is based on what I read on this site and in the pages of Prevention, what your mom and dad created, and what you are continuing, is a wonderful gift to us all- a contribution to better (and nicer) living.

    God bless.

  41. Anonymous December 26, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    I have been a subscriber to Prevention for many years. I especially enjoyed the column by Ardath Rodale when I reached the back of the magazine. I always felt uplifted after reading her column. I lost my mother two years ago after a long illness, and want to express my sympathy to you. I will miss reading the wonderful words of your mother. Thank you for printing all of her inspiring words.

  42. Jennifer December 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Hugs, love and prayers. Embrace your family and relish your memories, may they keep you warm and provide you with peace. ((hugs))

  43. Marissa December 28, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    My heart goes our to the entire Rodale family, both blood related, and throughout the publishing world. I was blessed to have interned for the company and was overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity your mother showed even to those at the bottom of the totem pole. She surely deserved her title as Chief Inspiration Officer and I will remember her throughout my life.

  44. Anonymous December 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    It is only now perhaps, that the one light has ceased to burn so brightly, that you can see all the others that have been created by the one. Now, that one light rejoins it’s origin, to make the whole brighter still.
    Surely this, is the impact one light, one life, has had on countless millions over decades. This is your legacy. Cherish and rejoice this priceless blessing well.

  45. Nancy December 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    The memorial service for your mother yesterday was so beautiful. What a lovely legacy was represented by her children and grandchildren. I would love to have a tape of that ceremony if it could be made available to Rodale employees.

    Peace be with you.

  46. Vicki January 2, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    I always looked forward to her Reflections. When I was disheartened, there would be the latest Prevention with her words to cheer me. I lost my Mom in October and my thoughts are with you and your family.

  47. Rebecca in SC January 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    I always read things from back to front, so Reflections was the first and best part of Prevention to me. The beauty and truth in that little article has been such a sweet meditation and will be missed by many. May God grant you “the peace that passeth all understanding,” as you go through this time of loss.

  48. Lois January 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm #


    My mother died on December 18, also, but in 1990, and I still remember that first Christmas without her. May you find comfort in your memories.

    I feel blessed to have known Ardie, worked with her on her wonderful books, and look forward expectantly now that the torch has been passed to you.

  49. Lorraine and Latisha January 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    I’m sorry for the loss of your mother. I’ve known your mother throught letter and phone call. She was a great person. I’ve meet her in Albuquerque NM in Oct 2008 for her book signing. That was the first time I met her. I feel blessed to have known her for letters.

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