A Very Special Bond

Dear David:

My Latest Letter To David Paul Hammer


Dear David,
Hi there, stranger. I want to give you a very belated thank-you for the wonderful Christmas card you sent me last year. I spent a lot of time in the hospital last year and then trying to put my life back together, then my printer up and died and I couldn't afford a new one until last month. So I have a lot of catching up to do.

How are you? Or, how well are you doing in an impossibly horrible situation? One thing that always struck me about you, David, is that you never, ever wallow in self pity, nor do you complain or give anyone the "woe is me" story. You show dignity with each passing day, with the weeks as they silently pass by and the years that somehow seem to melt into a dark chasm sometime. Such is your life on death row. My heart goes out to you, to Jeff and everyone else there on the federal death row unit. How you keep as positive and optimistic as you do is beyond me. You are a roll model for me and I just wanted to thank you for that.

I notice that the Death Row Speaks site hasn't been updated in a long time. Is there anything I can do, David? I know that, a long time ago, you had asked me to handle the newsletter. I'm so sorry I haven't been home to write to you until now, but if there is anything I can do for that project and for you, then please let me know. I am doing what I can to bring about a moratorium on capital punishment. That inhumane practise has gone on in your country for way too long already and the US really needs to become more civilized when it comes to putting people to death by such barbaric means. Most people who support capital punishment admit that it's borne out of rage and revenge. At least they will admit that. But killing is so very wrong for anyone. As you have always said, life is sacred, any life, even the lives of those people who would bring me down and bury me.

I must tell you about my beloved cat, Julius. A year ago, I got the devastating news that he had gotten diabetes, like you. But that disease is very, very hard to regulate in cats and they didn't give me a lot of hope that he would be around much longer. I cried and cried and did plenty of praying. It got to the point that I had to give him insulin injections everyday and closely monitor his diet.

Well, God was obviously listening, because a few months ago----three to be exact----Julius got a clean bill of health! His blood sugar was well in the normal range and I was so happy that I had my healthy little guy back that I just cannot get too upset about anything else. It's almost unheard of to have any species overcome diabetes, but he certainly did. My faith is even stronger now that it was then. I know that you pray. Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord? I had an epiphany while in the hospital and now I know,. I KNOW He exists. And He is there for you as well, David. You are named after two apostles, after all. We are all God's children and those who do not believe in a higher power are missing a great deal in their lives.

My brother and his family came up from Tennessee to visit us last week. It was wonderful. I have two small nieces and a dear nephew. Five-year-old Laura just adores her "auntie jane" and I love her to pieces. All of those children have eyes full of love and their compassion and caring is so advanced in children of that age. The visit was over way, way too soon, but Laura had to start kindergarten last Monday, so they had to go home. My brother is a doctor and works 24-hour shifts in the Emergency Room in a Milan, Tennessee hospital. Those hours are absolutely ridiculous, but they won't hire anymore doctors. Jim loves his work but gets quite exhausted, as you can imagine. My sister-in-law, Diane and I got along like a house on fire. We had had our minor differences in the past, but David, life is just too short and too precious to hold grudges. Even those women who torment me daily deserve forgiveness.

Okay, that's enough whining for me. The last thing you need to read is that stuff. You have a lot on your mind. I find this so hard to talk about with you, David, but I heard that you had given up the rest of your appeals and wanted to be executed, just like Tim did. Please, please reconsider! You keep telling me that all life is sacred and that means your life too. I hope I am not too late. I will never forgive myself if you died before I got this letter off to you. Please tell me, if you want, what is going on in your hear with regard to wanting a speedy execution date. I hope you have changed your mind. It's going to hurt plenty if you and Jeff get executed. I have this rather childish notion that if I don't think about the fate that awaits you, then it won't happen. But I know better, sadly. I know better.I really care about you, David and I hope I hear from you soon.


August 25th, 2003.

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