(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!