“We’re talking more about certain things, about the big decision-making in life,” Cortez Ham said. “We probably share our emotions a bit more. I give advice when I see the big picture and make sure he’s okay. He’s never stressed out, and if he was, you’d never know. It is a very calm mind.
The family persisted as they say Tina would, not remaining in sadness but enjoying being together as much as possible.
“Like my mom, love those around you as much as you can,” CJ Ham said. “It’s not about yourself, it’s about others. [My dad] still lives this to this day, bending over backwards to help those in need and help those around him. It’s something that I do in my life and I want to instill that in my children.
Keeping a strong influence of black women around the Ham children is important to Stephanie.
She thanked CJ’s older sister, Markeeta, who has four children, for being a role model and resource.
Stephanie said she has learned through books and family about which product to use in her daughters’ hair. Skylar will be 5 in July, but they have already discussed how others react to his skin color.
“There have been times she has been called ‘Oh, you’re black, your skin is brown,’ and the fact that my daughter doesn’t know what that means,” CJ Ham said. “She was upset because it almost sounded like she was being flagged as different. No child wants to be different.