ENCORE: Coronavirus Victims: Pastor, Mentor And Mother Robbin Hardy
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Pastor, mentor, mother - Robbin Hardy was all of those things, but COVID-19 cut her work short. She died on April 6 of last year in Baton Rouge, La. Hardy was a leader at two churches in the area, and she channeled her faith into a mentoring program for girls, helping to empower them. Hardy learned how to do that through her own children - four of them, all grown now. When we talked with Hardy's children and her husband last June, they had been thinking about what they would have said to her given one last chance. We're revisiting their thoughts today just before Mother's Day.
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RONALD HARDY: She will always have a place in my heart. And if I had to search all over again, if I had to choose a woman to be my bride again, I would search for her.
RONALDO HARDY: It's just been a treasure to be led by someone as great as you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the creativity that you instilled in me, the love for God, the love of family and for people. I'm proud to be your son. I could have been anybody else's son, but God gave me the best mom when he gave me you.
RACHELE HARDY: I will do everything in my power and God strength to continue to make you proud. Every dream you have for me will become a reality. I will take one of your biggest passions, which was mentoring teenage girls, to new heights. Thank you for leaving a legacy. I will continue your legacy. I am your legacy.
RAMON HARDY: I love you so much, and I would give up anything in my life to have you here with me. But God has other plans. This is not goodbye. It is see you later because I will see you again in heaven.
RONALD HARDY JR: I would be telling her how much I loved her, how much I was going to miss her, how great of a mom she was, thanking her for continuing to challenge me even in my adulthood. And I just would just keep telling her, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. But I know I would still be trying to tell her not to leave and to stay here.
HARDY: Love you, Mama, forever and always.
HARDY: I love you, Mom.
RONALD HARDY: I will always love her for the rest of my life.
CHANG: That was Ronald Hardy Sr. and his children Ronaldo, Rachele, Ramon and Ronald Jr. remembering their mom, Robbin Hardy. She died of COVID-19 last April. When we spoke with Rachele Hardy earlier today, she told us the family will gather on Sunday to honor their mother at the mausoleum where she was laid to rest.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAMBERT'S "GAUER BETON") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.