In March of 1959, a baby girl was born.
Chubby cheeks, oh so sweet, a rose with no thorns.
A blessing to our lives for sure, of that there is no
We were so happy, she was a joy, what our lives were
We took her home and she began to grow. She was healthy
as could be.
From infant to crawl to walk at ten months and, oh, how
she could follow me.
Throughout each day as I did my chores, I would always
stop to play
Her hugs, her laughter, brought so much joy to my life,
each and every day.
The years went by, they seemed so few. A teenager she had
With her own set of morals, her own thoughts and I was so
proud of every one.
She was full of energy, so full of life. You could not
slow her down.
She thought she had to be involved in all activities that
She was into sports, had so much fun, played the trombone
in the school band.
Always busy and on the go, ready to lend a helping hand.
She played the piano at home and church, whatever the tune
Fast ones, slow ones and hymns as well. When she played,
she felt so free.
The time soon came when she fell in love, a smile so dear
on her face.
She had found the perfect guy the one she wanted to be her
After a while a child was born, she had a baby girl of her
She loved her so and found motherhood like nothing she had
But, one day, things turned wrong for her. Divorce was
She was no longer happy, she wanted out. So, she picked up
the baby and
Later on, a guy came into her life. One not so good we
But, he gave her all the right lines and that trust in him
They were married and soon came, a little sister for her
She was such a joy, a precious one. And love for the
guy lasted a while.
Then she began to see through him for what he really was
She found out things she had never known and it caused her
so much strife.
The abuse was often and oh so bad. This secret from us
She thought it would work, would be better soon. Alone,
she endured and wept.
It kept getting worse and she finally knew. She knew she
had to leave
Before things got any worse for her and the girls would
start to grieve.
She filed for divorce, she was so afraid of all that he
He would not leave her alone. He harrassed and would
follow her too.
She went out with a group of friends one night, to get her
mind off everything
He showed up too, just watching her. And with him a
gun did bring.
As she left to go home that night, walking out with all
He fired three shots from where he waited and her life
that night did end.
She was so young and vibrant, still so much life yet to
So many smiles yet to smile, and so much love to give.
I wish it had been meant to be for me to be there that
To step in between and die for her. That it had been
me to go to the light.
I would gladly have given my life for her so she could
continue to live
At twenty-two, she still had so much love and life for her
girls to give.
June 21st is a bad day for me and I still wonder why
"Why, dear Lord", I pray. "Why did she have to die?"
But, it is not meant for us to know or even to understand
We're just to accept and let it be. To just put it
all in God's hands.
Copyright @ October 1997 Margaret Hanna
The Rest of the Story...
It has been a little over 17 years since Tammy
died at the hands of the man she was divorcing.
She died on June 21, 1981 at the age of 22 years.
She left behind two little girls who have never
known their mother. They only have the stories and
memories we have shared with them.
The oldest child was 2-1/2 years old. She was
the product of a previous
marriage and had a wonderful father who took her
home and has raised her to become a fine young
woman of 19. She is now planning her wedding for
next May and will not have the love and support
of her natural mother by her side sharing this
special event. Fortunately, her father married a
lady who has been a warm and loving mother to
her. But, now grown, she is reflecting back and
Tammy is very strong in her mind.
The youngest child was 4-1/2 months old. We,
her maternal grandparents, adopted her and have
raised her. She is seventeen and is the light of
our life. At this point in her life, her mother
seems to be very strong on her mind also
although she doesn't discuss it much. She has a
tremendous amount on her shoulders, having to
live with the fact her biological father
murdered her mother in cold blood. But, she is a
very strong individual and with our love backing
her, she is quite the trooper. She fills her
life with helping others.
The man who murdered Tammy was allowed to plea
bargain for a 40 year term and was sent to
prison in September, 1981. He was released on
parole in April, 1992, serving only a little
over ten years. He was restricted from entering
our county and also the county in which he was
living at the time of the murder. In early 1993,
he jumped parole and was a fugitive for five
years. I dedicated those five years to searching
out his whereabouts and notifying the local law
enforcement. They did nothing! Finally, he was
added to our local Crimestoppers and on a tip
was arrested on June 11, 1998. He was arrested
at his home in the restricted county. We thought
at the time......"Finally he will be back where
he belongs and made to serve out the rest of his
Wrong!!! On July 16, 1998, a letter was sent to
us notifying us that he will
be coming before the parole board within the
next 2 to 5 months for
consideration of parole. We have no justice
system! Our fear that he will try to contact the
child is back again. She knows he murdered her
mother because "if he couldn't have her, no one
could" and wonders will he come for her with the
same thoughts. She does not want to see him or
talk to him.
I have a scheduled telephone meeting to be held
with the parole board at the time of his
consideration. The daughter called and requested
such a meeting. She was told she cannot voice
her opinion on his parole because she is a
minor. Ridiculous!! She is 17 years old. Were
she to commit a crime, she would be tried as an
adult. Were she to decide to join the armed
forces, all it would require would be a
signature from us, her parents, and she would be
able to serve and die for her country.
But.....she cannot voice her opinion on how she
feels about a parole release for her own
biological father? Where is the logic in
Our laws need to be changed and changed fast.
Domestic violence is a raging force and too many
are being abused and yes, murdered just as my
daughter was. Anyone and everyone who can is
asked to join forces with T.E.A.M.
and help us to get these laws changed.
Help to get the protection needed for all the
abuse victims in our sad, sad world.
If anyone reading this is in a domestic
violence situation, take heed to
Tammy's story and get as far away as possible
from your abuser....and stay away. They will say
they are sorry, but those words come so easy and
are so shallow. Tammy would not come to us, her
parents, and swore all to secrecy, afraid we
would be hurt or killed by this man. In doing
so, she lost her life. She was determined to win
the battle by herself. She didn't make it!
I would like to thank someone who has become a
very dear and special friend to me. Without this
person, this poem would never have been
completed and the events the poem have led to
would never have been. He gave me that gentle
push, that gentle prod, encouraging me on to
write the poem on a very regular basis until the
poem was completed. But, it did not stop there.
He then submitted the poem for publication and
the responses from it led to my move toward
using Tammy's poem and story in a fight against
Therefore, he plays a very intricate part in
this webpage and deserves a Great Big Hug. Thank
you so much, Marvin Caldwell......from me, my
family, and most of all...from Tammy! You have
helped make a difference in the life of abused
victims and we pray to continue to make a
difference in the lives of many others.
mother of a victim of Domestic Violence
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