(WOMR file photo)
Today is your 100th birthday!
For the last 16 years, July 21st has had a bittersweet meaning to me. I celebrate your birthday with pride and joy. All the while, still feeling that hole in my heart, and the loss that I have felt since December 30, 1995. Additionally, knowing just how much that I have missed your presence in my life for all these years, leaves me somewhat sad.
Pop, you were always a role model for me while you were walking among us. In death that did not change, in fact, you are more of a role model to me now. When confronted with a difficult situation, I find myself saying or thinking, “how would Dad handle this situation”?
Little did you know that your influence on your family did not end when God called you home. Little did you know that your legacy did not stop or vanish with death. Quite conversely, it has grown over the last 16 years. Your legacy has grown via the stories that I have told, both Jason and Jeremy, as well as Cole. Your presence is still felt long after you are gone!
Just as a side note, you would be very pleased to watch your youngest great-grandson, my grandson Cole, plays the game that you loved so much……… baseball. I will admit that I am somewhat prejudiced, but Cole has the potential to be a very good baseball player! I know that would make you very proud! He is, after all, a Hammack through and through! And did I mention that I have a very pretty young granddaughter, Hannah? Pop, she would melt your heart!!!
A Heart wrenching 30 days
Now, as you are well aware, the last 30 days have been heart wrenching for all of us. We were very selfish, and not yet ready to let Mom answer God’s call to come home. However, God once again won out, as he always does. Notwithstanding the fact that Mom outlived you by 16 1/2 years, her body grew very weary and tired. Now she is finally in Heaven with you, Donald, and the rest of the family. Reconciling that idea still does not make the loss any easier for me, however, I have to try to understand that death is part of life.
With you and Mom now together in Heaven, the torch has been passed to your children to take up the lead, and be patriarchs of this segment of the Hammack clan. It is an awesome responsibility that we must, and will, carry out.
One more note:
I can only think about the day that Mom entered Heaven on June 30, 2012. Knowing my Dad, he was sitting up there on a bench waiting for my Mom. I think that the very first thing that Dad said to Mom was, “what took you so long to get here. Olie”? Well now Pop, she is there!
Dad, this is YOUR Captain speaking:
Til we meet again, I love you and miss you more than you will ever know! Thank you for being the father that you were. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model!
I thought that this Brad Paisley video was very appropriate!