Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Emily's Experience on Earth

Robby wrote this in the days after Emily's death.  He surprised me at the funeral by reading it during his tribute to her.  We read it every year on January 20, her Angel Day.  I can't get it to not underline. Sorry!

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 whose 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,
Will lead them to the happiness they deserve.

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Emily Likes

Because Emily had multiple disabilities, most of which were quite severe, many times people think of her as a child who couldn't do anything, or who was sick all the time. Sometimes I feel when describing her to people that it sounds like we knew she was going to die very young. Which we didn't. I honestly thought she would be with us much longer than she was, at least until she was 8, hopefully longer. It frustrates me when people say, "You're lucky to have had her as long as you did." I actually have gotten so I kind of want to smack them.  Though I know they have good intentions, and so I don't!    I can say that I'm lucky, and Robby can say that, but nobody else can say that.  If she would have lived a day or until she was 20 it wouldn't have been long enough. I believe in Heavenly Father's plan and that she died when she did for a reason, and so I don't choose to dwell on it, but please don't tell me how lucky I am.  By telling me I am lucky to have had her as long as I did makes me feel like  I shouldn't be so sad because I'm "lucky." I am lucky to be Emily's mom. Tell me that, and I will agree with you!

So I wanted people to know a little bit more about what Emily liked, and didn't like. She LOVED deep voices. Her uncle Kacey has a very deep voice and she was always very happy listening to him talk. 
There was a young man in our ward who would bless the sacrament with a very deep voice. Emily always got super excited and alert when she would hear him. it was great! The band on her head is her hearing aid. She had moderate hearing loss without it and heard pretty good with it. 
Emily loved sugar. She loved candy canes and would suck on them and even hold them. I loved it when she got sticky, just like any other kid does eating a candy cane. 
Emily's most favorite activity of all time was rolling on the ground. She would roll back and forth, back and forth, and when she was 18 months she learned how to roll over. We loved watching her roll across the room. When she was 3, like in this picture, she was also getting up on her knees and rocking back and forth. But she couldn't see very well and so she never really learned to keep her head up. These are her cousins. 
Robby would always roar and whistle in her ear to let her know that Daddy was home, since she couldn't really see. Hearing was her best Sense. She would always get super excited and do this super cute deep laugh, and sometimes roar back. 
Emily loved bananas. She would eat bananas and peanut butter all the time. She also loved scrambled eggs and ketchup, and once she was on a high fat-low carb diet to help with her seizures it became scrambled eggs and salsa.  She was really good with her signing when it came to eating and could sign Eat, More, Finished, and Milk.  She also signed Mom, Dad, hearing aid. She learned to say Da for Dad and Ma for mom, and did say Mom a few times. 
Emily loved to have her thumb in her mouth, even when she was eating.  It seemed to help her to chew her food. And it also was nice when she was doing that instead of grinding her teeth. Which she also loved to do. 
Emily loved sweets. This picture was taken after my brother John's wedding reception, where she at 3 cupcakes.  We were outside and I fed her one and she kept asking for more. I was so excited she was acting like a 3 year old, eating as many cupcakes as she could! She was very hyper afterward (like in this picture). She also loved snickerdoodle cookies, and would help me make them. I would have her help me make cookies by touching and smelling the ingredients. Molassas cookies are great for that. 
She would get very messy eating. She was about 20 months in this picture. 
 She and I made pudding. 

 And ate the pudding. 
 I can't tell you how happy this made me-her rolling to get stuck under the bed. 

I will add more to this list-she loved her Chromosome 18 family, her grandparents, and her primary class, her sister Lily. And hopefully find more pictures. I sure miss her!

Emily as a baby

 This was one of the first pictures of Emily, the day after she was born, July 22, 2004 (my 23rd birthday day)
 July 22, 2004-First family picture
First bath
This was when Emily was 17 months-her second Christmas. I loved this dress and so did Emily.

Emily also loved Candy canes and ate lots that Christmas.
She was very hyper and talking in this picture, this was on my niece's 10th birthday, December 26, 2005.

Monday, January 13, 2014


So I have a few resolutions I figured I better write down so that they are real.
1. Practice the piano 10 minutes a day. Pitiful, I know. But there are times I go a week without playing other than teaching piano lessons, and I love to play and would really like to get better. And I know I can do 10 minutes.
2. Plan menus each week. just to have a list so I'm not scrambling on what to make for dinner that night.  I don't plan per day, just having about 10 menus on hand to choose from is good enough.
3. Read my scriptures before I read a book. This is a hard one for me but I'm trying to get better at it.
4. Teach Lance some kind of preschool. He's just not that excited by it so it's hard to want to do it but I need to do better, especially if I end up homeschooling him for Kindergarten, which if Oregon goes to full-day kinder I am planning on doing.