Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emily's experience on Earth

One year ago today Emily passed away. I could write about my thoughts and feelings, but don't really want to. But I thought I'd share again the poem that Robby wrote in the days that followed, that he read at Emily's funeral. I really believe that it describes Emily's life and mission so well, and reading it has brought me a lot of joy and peace over the last year. I hope you can get to know Emily a little bit by reading it, too.

"Emily’s Experience on Earth"

Before I was born and I still lived in Heaven,
Heavenly Father explained how life would be.
He said that it would be full of challenges and trials,
But that I would have a family who loves me.

I would have friends and loved ones who would do all that they could,
To make sure I was joyful and happy.
And when I asked him what my purpose on earth would be,
He smiled, with a tear in his eye, and simply said “You’ll see.”

My life on earth had a difficult start,
I could no longer see nor hear.
But it didn’t take long to understand,
That my parents loved me so dear.

They stayed at the hospital for the first seven weeks,
And had faith that I could breathe on my own.
And eventually the wonderful day came,
They were able to take me home.

I made so many friends along the way,
I was able to learn so many things.
And although I had my share of pain and struggles,
I felt the joy and the love that the Gospel brings.

I have a Mother, who sacrificed everything she could,
Who did her best to keep me healthy and strong.
I have a Father, who provided me safety and peace,
Who’s whistling and roaring helped me as my life moved along.

I have a Sister, who loves and cares for me,
Even though she liked to pull my hair.
Who when the time came for me to die in their arms,
Gave my parents peace with her happy stare.

I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins,
Who always treated me as one of their own.
I have classmates, friends, and fellow 18th Chromosome family,
Who reminded me that I’m never alone."

Through all of my challenges and obstacles overcome,
I began to realize my mission.
There would be so many people who's lives I could touch,
even without hearing and vision.

And now I can tell them at the end of my earthly life,
That God has a plan for everyone.
That because of the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ,
We can return to him in glory and perfection.

Now I can run and see and hear.
I can talk, and help, and serve.
I can help others know that the Gospel of Christ,
We lead them to the happiness they deserve.

As a final request to all who know me,
as we part, at least for awhile,
That when they think of Emily Hammond,
They share with me a laugh and a smile.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rocket attack

I don't mean to sound trite, but please continue to pray for my dad. In a later email he said the rocket was actually 13 meters from their facility, and that if it would have happened 1/2 hour earlier their would have been fatalities from their station.

"A rocket apparently aimed at Camp Eggers slammed into a nearby location outside a store 200 meters as the crow flies from our facilities, causing one injury to a store guard but resulting in no other casualties. This was the first rocket I have been close enough to have felt the real dangers of rockets. The concussion was much like a bomb—in fact initially I grabbed the AK-47 and ran out of my room to check on our people—fearing that there might be a coordinated attack underway. The guards met me and asked for Mozhdah—and told her that it was a rocket. I didn’t hear it screaming in—but Fahim heard it from his home (about 700 meters away)—but he knows what they sound like. I heard only the ka-boom. As close as it was, it didn’t cause any glass breakage—so it wasn’t nearly as powerful as the car bomb from before Christmas.

Mozhdah’s response has been very interesting. Because she experienced first-hand many rocket attacks and gunship attacks when she was a small girl (age 5), this didn’t faze her a bit. She said a few minutes ago that she feels much safer here than she did in Vancouver. She said that she has lost several friends to gang-related ancillary violence—friends randomly in the wrong place at the wrong time where her family lives on Main Street near GM Place. She believes it would really be a random, unlikely event for our facility to be struck by a rocket, and I’m sure she’s right.

So when you hear about a rocket explosion in Kabul near Camp Eggers, be at peace—we’re OK."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One year ago

A year ago today was the last day Em had at home. We took her to the doctor in the morning, and he thought she was doing really well, even though she was on oxygen. We came home, I played with the girls-I remember playing on the floor with them moving Em's legs and arms getting her to laugh, and then doing it with Lily and getting her to laugh. That night we had Family Night and sang our favorite songs. And then at the same time the next day we were in the intensive care unit-we went in the middle of the night. If you want to read about all that you can look back to a year ago on the blog, because I'm not going to relive any of it. I try to concentrate on all our positive memories of Emily, and not the negative. So I try not to think about it or talk about it. I just remember today because I remember that it was the day Lily turned 5 months old!