When Darnell Dockett was 13, he found his mother murdered in their Georgia house on the Fourth of July. For a guy who was living a tough life anyway, it was a devastating situation with which to deal. (I recounted Dockett’s life in a story for the Tribune I wrote when he arrived as a rookie in 2004, which can be found right here and here and here.) Obviously, it makes this holiday a lot more difficult for Dockett than most.
But as Dockett pointed out to our broadcast boys Richard Mendez and Jon Hayward during their recent trip to Miami to visit Dockett at his offseason home, he has learned to cope with what had been his midsummer nightmare.
“It’s kind of a love-hate day,” Dockett said. “You love the memories because you think back on those days but you also hate the day because you know what happened on the day. But the older I get I understand my mom wouldn’t want me sitting around being sad.”
Dockett, who just turned 32, now sees July 4th as “kind of like a celebration” to his mom, Cheryl Hambrick, who was only 34 when she was killed.
“The older I get I embrace that more and more,” Dockett said. “But five, six, seven years ago, you couldn’t tell me that. July Fourth was a day I didn’t want to talk about.”
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