This week started out with a very huge cornerstone day in the Hammack Family. On Sunday June 13th my mother, Ola Mae Hammack, celebrated her 92nd birthday!
Her life started out the daughter of John Addison and Myrtle Annie Smith, a dirt poor family in the western Oklahoma town of Sayre. Even though her father was handicapped from spinal meningitis, the family eked out a meager existence by working the fields in OK and TX in the 20’s and 30’s. Their life resembled the characters in John Steinbeck’s book, “The Grapes of Wrath”.
In 1934 she married my father, Archie Wilson Hammack. For the next seven years the young couple continued to follow the crops and work the fields, all the while starting their family. In those seven years, they had three young sons with the first son, Donald Ray, only living to be 11 months old.
After the start of WWII the family life got somewhat easier, but was always a struggle for the family. There were three more children that were added to the collection from 1944-1951. That 1951 birth date just happened to be mine, and signified the end of the new additions!
Life for Mom and Dad was always a struggle, but they did their best to provide the most important things in our lives, stability and love.
My fondest memories of my mother from my early childhood have been resonating through my head this week. As a very young boy I remember my Mom loading us up in the car and carting us off to church on Sundays. She would also round us up when Oral Roberts came to town for his revivals.
When she would hang out the wash on the clothes line she would always be signing some of those good old Baptist hymns like, “Amazing Grace”, Bringing the Sheaves, and In The Sweet Bye and Bye”, just to name a few. To say that my mom had a very rough life would be a gross understatement! But neither she nor my dad ever complained about the lot in life that they were both delt.
I know that the lives of the five siblings are far better than the lives of our parents, part in because of what they both taught us. Mom never had things very easy, but I don’t believe that I ever her complain! She was a survivor and has made it for 92 years, with more to come—-no doubt!
What a life you have had, Mom!
I know that you will never read this, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my Mom!
This is your son the Captain speaking!
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