In The Twinkling Of An Eye

DSCN0303 by captleon51.

(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)

Over the last few months I have been wrestling with many things in my mind.  One thought in particular is the the aging process and dealing with my own mortality.

For most of my 59 years I have always been thought of as the youngest child of Archie and Ola Mae Hammack, Ted’s little brother, Jim’s little brother, Jerry’s little brother, or Zeeva’s little brother.  That has always been my lot in life, and quite honestly, it  has been very great ride!  I have always thought of myself as young person, yet the mirror doesn’t lie!  In less than a month I will celebrate my last birthday of my 50’s, what a rude awakening!

It doesn’t seem that long ago that myself and all four of my siblings were living at home in my parent’s very small two bedroom house on Griffith Way in Fresno, CA.  We were a very tight family growing up there.  Like all kids, I am sure that we were all anxious to “leave the nest”, become our own person, be self sufficient, and be on our own.  Little did we really know what would lie ahead in our future.

Up until 1995 we all were still Archie and Ola Mae’s five kids.  But in December of 1995, Dad passed away.  From that day, December 30, 1995, the five of us were thrust into the position of the patriarchs of this brood of the Hammack family.  From that point the harsh reality of the aging process became a part of my pysche.  No longer did I feel “bullet proof”, no longer did I feel the security that I had experienced up to that point of my life.  The reality that life is finite, that there is an end to this thing, really slapped me in the face!

As I sit in my hotel room in Honolulu and reflect on my past, I have great memories of my youth and the relationship that I have had with my brothers and sister.  They always took care of me as a youngster.

It is time that I let them know just how much I appreciated them!   Thank you Ted, Jim, Jerry, and Zee for being there for me.  I know that you may not realize it, but you all have been, in some shape or form, responsible for me growing up to be who I am!  I owe you all a debt of gratitude that I probably never can repay!  You’ve been the best brothers and sister I could ever ask for!

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this article, I am approaching the age of 59.  However my siblings are now in their mid to late 60’s, and my oldest brother is rapidly approaching 73 years.  Through the ups and downs of life, raising our own families, the five siblings have now come full circle to that tight family concept that our parents created oh so long ago!

Your legacy is still alive and strong, rest easy Dad!

You may be wondering who is in the picture at the beginning of this article?  The picture is of my grandson Cole Jeremiah Hammack, Jeremy’s son.  He is now 7 years old and in second grade.

Let your loved ones know that you love and appreciate them, don’t wait too long, because……

LIFE CAN DISAPPEAR IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE!

14 thoughts on “In The Twinkling Of An Eye”

  1. It is so great to read your blog. It is so good to see that you can tell your brothers and sister that you love them and to thank them for what they mean to you. Leon, I just lost my brother(Tandy) on the 17th of Dec.2009, he was just a couple of years older than I. Being from a family of eight and being poor. He was so good to me, I hope he knows how much I appreicate all he did for me. We to are a close knit family.
    Hope that one of these years you can come to the Hammack/Crownover reunion here in Oklahoma in June.
    Always Fontella

    1. These replys are awesome. I really liked the one by Timmy D, the sewing kits are invaluable.
      Fontella, I was sadend to hear about Tandy passing away. I can’t imagine losing a sibling, and especially when they are all tight all of their lives. The five of us are close still and it would cause a missing link forever to have to give one of my brothers up.
      I am going to try really hard to get out to Oklahoma this year to see all of you again. We aren’t kids anymore, but we can sure act like them if we want to.

      We are slowly drowning here in Fresno, the rain won’t stop. Actually, I live in Clovis now which is right next door to Fresno. Go to the website http://www.tipfresno.org and you can see what I do now that I am retired.haha I work more hours now than during my years at Fresno Sheriffs Office. It may be a toss up with the hours I put in at the donut shop we owned years ago.

      Hope everyone has a better 2010 than 2009

      Zeeva

  2. It is so great to read your blog. It is so good to see that you can tell your brothers and sister that you love them and to thank them for what they mean to you. Leon, I just lost my brother(Tandy) on the 17th of Dec.2009, he was just a couple of years older than I. Being from a family of eight and being poor. He was so good to me, I hope he knows how much I appreicate all he did for me. We to are a close knit family.
    Hope that one of these years you can come to the Hammack/Crownover reunion here in Oklahoma in June.
    Always Fontella

    1. These replys are awesome. I really liked the one by Timmy D, the sewing kits are invaluable.
      Fontella, I was sadend to hear about Tandy passing away. I can’t imagine losing a sibling, and especially when they are all tight all of their lives. The five of us are close still and it would cause a missing link forever to have to give one of my brothers up.
      I am going to try really hard to get out to Oklahoma this year to see all of you again. We aren’t kids anymore, but we can sure act like them if we want to.

      We are slowly drowning here in Fresno, the rain won’t stop. Actually, I live in Clovis now which is right next door to Fresno. Go to the website http://www.tipfresno.org and you can see what I do now that I am retired.haha I work more hours now than during my years at Fresno Sheriffs Office. It may be a toss up with the hours I put in at the donut shop we owned years ago.

      Hope everyone has a better 2010 than 2009

      Zeeva

  3. Being the oldest of this family has not been easy. Mom and Dad always demanded I set a good example for the rest of you. There was alot of pressure that I at times had handling the demands, I tried, but I don’t know that I accomplished the task. I hope and pray that you did learn something from how I tried to live my life so as not to embarrss any of you, and particularily DAD and MOM.
    Now that I am old, I want you know how much I love all of you,WE ALL MADE IT, despite the fact we were not the riches family on the block, but we had the best parents in the world.
    Love,
    Coach

  4. Being the oldest of this family has not been easy. Mom and Dad always demanded I set a good example for the rest of you. There was alot of pressure that I at times had handling the demands, I tried, but I don’t know that I accomplished the task. I hope and pray that you did learn something from how I tried to live my life so as not to embarrss any of you, and particularily DAD and MOM.
    Now that I am old, I want you know how much I love all of you,WE ALL MADE IT, despite the fact we were not the riches family on the block, but we had the best parents in the world.
    Love,
    Coach

  5. Great website Leon. I enjoyed reading about your family. I stayed in the same Boston hotel room many times. Can’t say I miss it although I miss flying like crazy. Stay well & enjoy your family.

  6. Great website Leon. I enjoyed reading about your family. I stayed in the same Boston hotel room many times. Can’t say I miss it although I miss flying like crazy. Stay well & enjoy your family.

  7. Leon…I have had my share of zipper “blowouts” over the years and several “rear panel rip outs” that kept my tiddies in view.
    As a result I now keep everyone one of those hotel sewing kits in my suitcase. Spent many a long trip with patched and sewed pants. Nothing very clean looking but I have mastered that “surgeons knot” for closing that last stitch!
    Oh..and remember you can always go to Jaque Charles Peney’s for a unioform match pair of pants for $30 that includes the “expando” waist option that actually precludes said “blowouts” and “rip outs”.
    Oh always sew your pants when they are off…would hate to stitch old “blue steel” to the gaberdine by accident 😉

  8. Leon…I have had my share of zipper “blowouts” over the years and several “rear panel rip outs” that kept my tiddies in view.
    As a result I now keep everyone one of those hotel sewing kits in my suitcase. Spent many a long trip with patched and sewed pants. Nothing very clean looking but I have mastered that “surgeons knot” for closing that last stitch!
    Oh..and remember you can always go to Jaque Charles Peney’s for a unioform match pair of pants for $30 that includes the “expando” waist option that actually precludes said “blowouts” and “rip outs”.
    Oh always sew your pants when they are off…would hate to stitch old “blue steel” to the gaberdine by accident 😉

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