Share a special moment from Roger's life.

It's been 20 years.....

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 26, 2021
I can't believe it's been 20 years!  So many things have happened.  We've had an African-American president for 2 terms, currently have a Female African-American VP, we've converted your solar panels from warming up water to harvesting electricity, I've been driving an all electric vehicle for nearly 3 years, you have 3 grandchildren, the house is still in tact, we still do things to help the community........and we still miss you.

Aside from negativity in the world, there are still good people trying to do good things and raise awareness for things.  I had this banner made and will reveal it tonight at a car meet that is raising fund for National Alliance for Mental Illness.

Memorial Day Weekend

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 25, 2020
Memorial Day is when we honor those brave men & women that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  I'm sure part of you died in the war, so we honor you too.

Usually we spend time with family and friends at a poolside bbq or picnic at the beach or park.  With COVID-19 keeping the family hunkered down, we didn't go anywhere this weekend except for a little hike this morning.  I've still be going to work so this 3 day weekend was especially nice to lounge around the house and think of you.  Thanks to technology, we shared some stories about you through email with mom, Aunt June, Brandon, his family and mine.  Aunt June shared some pictures of you that I've added to this page.

On the eve of your 19th death anniversary, many of us still feel the void.  We comfort ourselves knowing you are no longer suffering from the demons in your head and the Lumbar Spondylosis that played havoc on your torso.

Matt's Christmas Story

Shared by Oliver Hament on November 29, 2019
Thanksgiving Day is just about over and the guests are gone.  Rochele and the kids are sleeping and I'm sitting in my den reflecting on the day.  I'm so thankful for so many things in my life but one of the things I'm most thankful for is my dad.  It wasn't always pretty and I admit i might not have always been the best kid, but not a day goes by when some thought or action reminds me of him.  I stumbled across this story tonight and at first I didn't want to read it because it's a pretty long read, but I am glad I did.  It reminds me of a rainy night like tonight where my dad and I went to a local supermarket.  We saw a homeless person and ended up giving that person food, money and even a ride about 3 miles away!  At 6'6" and ~240lbs, my dad wasn't a small guy but his heart was even bigger!  I miss him dearly, but and so thankful he was in my life.

It was Christmas Eve 1942. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas.

We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Daddy wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Daddy to get down the old Bible.

I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Daddy didn't get the Bible instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon he came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now he was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew he was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my coat. Mommy gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what..

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Daddy was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Daddy pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed.

"I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

Then Daddy went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. Mrs.Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," he said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, he called a halt to our loading then we went to the smoke house and he took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.

"What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Mrs.Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Daddy was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was he buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"

Mrs.Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Mrs.Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Daddy said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then he handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at my Daddy like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," he said. Then turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Daddy handed them each a piece of candy and Mrs.Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of my Daddy in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Daddy had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Mommy and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Daddy insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. My Daddy took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Daddy and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door he turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Mrs.Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Daddy turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your Mother and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Mom and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Daddy had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. He had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Mrs. Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside of my Daddy that night. He had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life..

Author Matt Miles via @Darin Lenon

My business is a year old today.....

Shared by Oliver Hament on October 23, 2019
DIY Auto Detailing Supplies, LLC is officially 1 year old today!  Making just enough to cover monthly credit card expenses but having a blast meeting new people and empowering them to keep their vehicles clean.  I stay connected with the community by hosting car wash fundraisers for local schools, sponsoring school teams and we also provide raffle prizes to local car clubs and larger events such as National Drive Electric Week.
So many nights, I find myself in the garage detailing a car or standing at the workbench prepping things and thinking of you.  This business is also an opportunity to connect with Owen like you connected with me.  I drag him with me to events and put him to work.  I get teary eyed remembering you doing it to me and then I chuckle because I'm sure he'll be doing it with his kid(s) when the time is right.
Thank you again, for what you have taught me.  The theoretical/critical thinking and ethical values that I willingly (and unwillingly) learned from you, are the foundation to my success.

Helping Others....

Shared by Oliver Hament on June 1, 2019

It's been 18 years since you've passed away and there is still a void in my heart.  I know that there are others out there that suffer like you did, so this year for my birthday, I created a fundraiser to generate money to help people.  The amount people donated surpassed my goal multiple times and I'm still in awe that so many friends contributed.  I hope that it really helps others in need so they do not suffer like you did.

Flag Etiquette

Shared by Oliver Hament on March 18, 2019

Another proud moment in the last week.  Here is a chat I had with Owen.  He let the teacher know the flag was not hung properly and less than a week's fixed!

CroftgateUSA and my new friend Jeremy...

Shared by Oliver Hament on February 12, 2019
Dad - I've been a busy little camper since I last posted a message here and I'm sure you would be proud.  If you were here, you would probably be running my business with me!

Because of you, I really enjoy rolling up my sleeves and working on things. This goes back to when I would help you around the house and the cars. This love, passion and energy for doing things myself hasn't stopped. Early 2017 a friend introduced me to a car care product line that seemed ridiculously easy to use with phenomenal results. Every time I detail our cars, I am still amazed at the results.  I started a business called DIY Auto Detailing Supplies where I sell CroftgateUSA products and my slogan is "Empowering the Do-It-Yourselfer with the necessary tools and knowledge to bring back the sparkle to their car!"

I just spent 2 days in Enid, Oklahoma with other CroftgateUSA dealers.  We were there to learn more about the product line, practice our detailing skills and share best practice ideas with each other.  The dealer network is global with majority of dealers in the US.  One guy stood out from the rest for me and his name is Jeremy.  Among other things, he is the Mission22 Region 6 Leader and a US Navy Veteran.  Here is a picture of us and you can see his Ford Mustang in the background with decals all over it spreading the word to hopefully prevent suicide.  He's a great guy with a message to share.

Please watch over him as he travels the country sharing his story and raising awareness for suicide prevention.

I can't believe it's been 16 years since I've hugged you!

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 26, 2017

I stumbled across this song today and I dont think it was by accident.  The title says it all and the lyrics can't be truer.  I miss you dad.

Click here to listen to "Thank you for being my dad".

A son rarely tells his Father how he really feels, 
A handshake or a pat on the back is all that he reveals,
I'd like to right that wrong,
Here in this little song.

Thank you for shaping my life, 
Thank you for teaching me all you can,
You are no ordinary man,
You make me everything I am.

Thank you for taking the time, 
Thank you for showing me the way, 
And thank you for being there when I need you, 
Thank you for every single day.

Now I've been blessed with a son of my own, 
Got my own bedtime stories to tell,
If I can raise him half as well as you raised me, 
Guess I'll be doing pretty well.

Thank you for your guiding hand, 
Thank you for making my dreams come true, 
You're an extraordinary man,
And I hope you're as proud of me
As I am proud of you.

Thank you for giving me life, 
Thank you for showing me good from bad
I guess I'm only really trying to say,
Thank you for being my Dad.

Even though the years drift away, I
never took the time just to say,
'I love you, and I always have,
And thank you for being my Dad.'

'Thank you for being my Dad.'

Music & lyrics by Jon Barker

Happy 75th Birthday!

Shared by Oliver Hament on April 15, 2017

You would be 75 years old this year.  Happy Birthday!

Even though we have your ashes at home, we visited Mammoth this weekend to get a little closer to you in heaven.  It was a great road trip filled with laughter and adventure just like you did when I was growing up.  Your shoes are hard to fill, but I'm trying my best to give my family memories and opportunities like you did for me.

I love you.

I love how your memory pops out of nowhere!

Shared by Oliver Hament on February 14, 2017

Hi Dad!  Today I passed by this tree while a song called "Who Knew" by Pink was playing on my headphones.  I'm surprised the picture came out so clear, because I was crying….

The large, strong & solid tree reminded me of you.  The greenery around it made me think of your three beautiful grandchildren wanting to play and climb on you.  The rest of us are the sun rays and blue sky keeping you company.

This part of the song represents all that you have taught and guided me….
You took my hand, you showed me how
You promised me you'd be around
Uh huh, that's right
I took your words, and I believed
In everything you said to me
Yeah, huh, that's right

Then this part of the song nearly brought me to my knees…
If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
'Cause they're all wrong and 
That last kiss
I'll cherish
Until we meet again
And time makes
It harder
I wish I could remember
But I keep
Your memory
You visit me in my sleep
My darling
Who knew?

Happy Valentine’s Day Dad.  I wish I could hug you.  I love you!

Stars & Stripes

Shared by Oliver Hament on July 6, 2016


Owen and I have matching shirts!

Raising Awareness...

Shared by Oliver Hament on July 6, 2016

I wear my Honor Ring daily with pride to help raise awareness.  I wish that more Vets would take advantage of services offered and wish that more services could be offered. PTSD is real and while I never served our great Country, you did.

I wear my ring in hopes that others don't have to face the demons that overpowered your heart and mind.

Honor and Remember

Shared by Oliver Hament on July 6, 2016

In honor of you and other Americans who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces, I registered for a virtual stride @  It was a great trot around the Rose Bowl on May 8th. 1:29:10 and 6.33 miles later, Mission Accomplished! Interestingly enough, the random playlist on my iPhone seemed to only have songs that reminded me of YOU!  This is the longest single run/walk distance I've done.  Hoping to keep up the pace.


Shared by Oliver Hament on July 14, 2015

This past Sunday, we were at a restaurant after Owen's basketball game with his teammates and their parents.  There were about 20 of us (half adults and half kids).  We ate, laughed and had a great time.

As I got in line to pay the bill, the lady in line with me commented that she noticed I waited till everyone at the table got their food before I started eating mine.  She thanked me and said not many people have those kind of manners anymore.

As I thanked her for her compliment, I admitted that it was something I inherited from you.  I bragged about how you lead by example and always explained why you did things they way you did so I could understand the benefit and rationale for the actions.

There is not a day that passes that I thank you for all that you have shown me.  I am glad you shared things with me so I can show your grandchildren how to be kind people.

I love you! 

Your Legacy

Shared by Oliver Hament on June 15, 2014

I have had countless conversations like this with you since you passed.  I haven't had the opportunity to share any dad stories or ask you for advise, but I hope I'm doing you proud!  Happy Father's Day Dad!

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 29, 2014

He sure loved photography and I think that camera is part of the collection I have of his things!


Shared by Oliver Hament on January 16, 2013


I finally went in to get checked out and like you, I have sleep apnea.  They gave me a machine to use at night and it helps as long as I don't take it off in the middle of the night.  It has practically eliminated my snoring so the house doesn't rumble like it used to!

Sidney has been attending a Saturday class so I have been spending that time with Owen.  We usually go roller skating but lately that time slot has been filled with basketball games (this is his second season at the recreation center).  So after the game last Saturday, Owen tells me that he wants to be just like me except for the snoring.  He goes on to tell me that he thinks its really cool how I know how to fix things and I reminded him that you taught me.  I also told him that you taught me how to snore and since I'm teachng him how to fix things, the snoring is also being passed down!  Oh boy, he got a chuckle out of that.  He said that he will work harder to keep his mouth closed so he wont snore!

USS Hoel & USS Iowa

Shared by Oliver Hament on January 5, 2013


I kept in touch with Gene over the years after you passed, but then we lost contact.  After some time, his wife called me to let me know he passed away but wanted to send me something.  It was a framed picture of the USS Hoel that you and Gene were on together.  Apparently he had it made for me, but never got around to sending it.  Anyways, it hangs in the hallway next to your pictures.  I always wondered how you managed on that ship being so tall and this past Christmas break, I got a taste of it.

The USS Iowa is now a museum in San Pedro (next to Ports o’ Call) so the kids and I went down to take a look.  Granted the Hoel is merely 437’ long whereas the Iowa is a massive 887’, I still got to bang my head and hit my shins as we walked around.  Unfortunately the Hoel was sold to a shipbuilder for conversion to a power barge then ultimately scrapped in Brazil so I’d never get to see it in person, the Iowa would have to do.  It was surreal walking the halls and we all felt really close to you.  Laughing as we imagined you sleeping in those tiny bunks or pushing your meal tray on the counters of the galley and mess deck.  Thank you and the other brave souls that protected us and those that continue to protect us. 

Alive & Running!

Shared by Oliver Hament on January 4, 2013


For the past 2 years, the kids and I have participated in an annual event hosted by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Srvices.  It's a 5k walk/run for Suicide Prevention called Alive & Running.  I do the 5k and the kids do a 1k.  To date, we have raised close to $2,000 for this great cause and we look forward to participating again.

Over the Christmas break, the kids were talking to me about Vincent Van Gogh and how he passed away.  As the conversation continued, I poke & prodded to see how their reaction was, then I knew it was okay to tell them.  Not wanting someone else to tell them, we told them about you.  We have always said you passed away of an illness, but never elaborated.  We did not go into details, but we let them know that you strongly believed the solution to your situation was to go.  It's still of course, a delicate subject and I'm sure they will have questions as they grow up.  But for now they know a little more and that's enough.

Source of Life

Shared by June Hament on June 11, 2012

In August 1999, Roger sent me this email of a poem he really loved.  I think it reflected the love and yearning in his heart which was so often difficult for him to express.  I miss you, my dear Brother.


Source of Life

What is the meaning of love?
Can I tell you the meaning of Love - how I see it?

Love is
being happy for the other person
when they are happy
being sad for the person when they are sad
being together in good times
and being together in bad times -
Love is the source of strength.

Love is
being honest with yourself at all times
being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth,
and never pretending -
Love is the source of reality.

Love is
an understanding that is so complete that
you feel as if you are a part of the other person
accepting the other person just the way they are
and not trying to change them to be something else -
Love is the source of unity.

Love is
the freedom to pursue your own desires
while sharing your experiences with the other person
the growth of one individual alongside of and
together with the growth of another individual -
Love is the source of success.

Love is
the excitement of planning things together
the excitement of doing things together -
Love is the source of the future.

Love is
the fury of the storm
the calm in the rainbow -
Love is the source of passion.

Love is
giving and taking in a daily situation
being patient with each other’s
needs and desires -
Love is the source of sharing.

Love is
knowing that the other person will always be with you
regardless of what happens
missing the other person when they are away
but remaining near in heart at all times -
Love is the source of security.

Love is the source of life.

Look Dad! I did it!

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 27, 2012

Summer 2008, I decided to embark on a journey to add 3 more letters to the end of my name.  At 37 years old, married, a 4 year old, a 2 year old and working full time, I wasn't sure if I could tackle the feat but I was willing to try.  More importantly, my beautiful bride said she would be by my side as she has been for the previous 16 years.

With a background in technology, I thought it appropriate to pursue something with a business aspect.  By sheer luck (or perhaps it was fate), I stumbled across the University of the West nestled in the hillside of Rosemead, CA.  The Master of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance program looked promising and the presence of Buddhism captured my spirits.

Nervous like a cat at the dog pound, I charged forward with my knees shaking but my head held high.  Corporate finance, accounting, statistics, business law, marketing, and audits were beginning to take a toll on me and if you looked close enough, the bags under my eyes were starting to come back.  Night classes took me away from having dinner with my growing family and the stress of homework, reports, charts, graphs and finals wasn't doing wonders for my waistline.  The school's population is mostly International so as a local boy, I was the minority, but that experience was rewarding on so many levels.  I now have friends all over the globe from every color of the rainbow!

Technically I took my last final in December 2010, but the excitement and reality of graduating set in when my kids (now 7 & 5) were teasing me as I tried on the cap & gown a few days ago.  We’re always telling them that they need to go to college after high school so when they looked surprised that I was STILL in college, it was no shock where the conversation was headed.  I told them that the really cool thing about being healthy and living life, is that we get the opportunity to learn something all the time and we can always go back to school to learn more whenever we want.

So here I am. I really did it!  It's pretty surreal that I was able to accomplish this amidst the things I had in my basket.  I’ll be 40 next week.  I’ve got on a pressed blue shirt, red tie and black slacks.  The cap, gown and hood are on a hanger.  And I’m off to my graduation ceremony!  I was nominated to carry the US Flag at the beginning of the ceremony and it couldn’t be more symbolic.  2 weeks from now will mark the 10-year anniversary since my dad passed away.

The Blue Van

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 26, 2012

Dad had a blue van with fake wood paneling inside and no seats except the two up front.  At least I don’t remember there being any other seats.  It was one of those vans where the engine hump separated the driver and passenger.  It was Chevrolet's second-generation van (1967-1970) and was a definite fun mobile!  Of course it had one of those 12” x 12” bug eye plastic things in the rear window to help see better out the back.  I could never understand how that bug eye worked when it wasn’t really transparent and there were ridges like your fingerprint.  Anyways, I think all the cool dads with vans bought them from Pep Boys.

That van took us everywhere!  No seatbelts required back then so when we’d go to Chuck E. Cheese’s for my birthday, a bunch of my friends would pile in the back and off we went.  We lived in the Los Feliz area at the time and the only stinky mouse place was in the Arleta/Pacoima area, so the ride was half the fun!

Speaking of no seatbelts, there was this time he let me drive.  Okay, technically it was steering because I was sitting in his lap, but I felt like I was driving!  I must have been in the 3rd or 4th grade.  I have no idea how many miles this went on for, but I remember stopping at a gas station and while he was getting gas (oh wait, I think they still had full service for tips).   So while we are waiting for the gas, he asks if I want to try his cigar.  Yes he was smoking at the gas station, but this was the mid/late 70’s for goodness sake. He didn’t tell me that I was supposed to just suck the smoke and hold it in my mouth. So naturally I down that puppy like it was a thick milkshake.  I’m coughing like a maniac and my eyes were tearing and probably popping out of my head………..and he’s laughing!  You know, that funny laugh he gets when there is a joke that only he understands, yeah that one.  After everything calmed down, he asked if I wanted to try it again and of course I did!

My Affirmation

Shared by Oliver Hament on May 18, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2001, I lost my father to depression. He was a 59 year old Vietnam Veteran so it was comforting knowing that he passed on this great weekend when we remember the courageous men & women. Standing at 6’ 6” and 270lbs, he commanded any room he entered even though he didn’t want the attention. I am blessed that he was able to meet my wife but broken hearted that my children will never really meet him. They would have learned so much from him; but I guess to some extent, the knowledge is being passed along. He was by no means a scholar nor was he quick witted. He did however seem to have the answer for anything I asked. If it did not come from personal experience, we would look for the answer together. He was a very basic man with seemingly simple needs. From my perspective, telling him the truth and giving him love is all that he wanted.

As far as I can remember, my dad was always there to lean on. Before his death, there isn’t a time I can think of that he was not there for me. He drove carpool to Chuck E. Cheese for my birthday, he blew-up balloons for parties, he took me to the hospital when I was hurt, he fixed everything in the house, he fixed all the cars, he was the photographer & videographer, he was the go-to guy, he was a jack of all trades. He showed me how to love, how to respect and how to take ownership of my actions. As a stubborn adolescent I would have never admitted it then, but as a father of two and hopefully a mature adult now, I know for certain that he is my idol.

I will never completely understand the magnitude of depression that he dealt with and how he was able to fit the solution inside of a .38 hollow point.

I will wake up every morning with hope my heart & determination on my mind.
I will do the best I can to be a wonderful father to my kids as he was to me.
I will reflect on his teachings to help me through challenges.
I will learn from his life and become the man that he believed I could be.

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