Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For my friend, Pam Colley

It has been about 18 days since I posted last. Really too long especially since I have pictures and lots to say.

This, however, is all about my friend, Pam. She died last Thursday, August 14th. She had pancreatic cancer. If you look it up, you will see that it is a very ugly form of cancer. She survived it for a couple of years which is utterly amazing, and I admit that I dug my head in the sand and refused to believe that she wasn't going to be ok.

Now I wish I hadn't been in such denial. I know she is in heaven, but I have to admit I'm still in stage 2 of grief: Anger. I figure bargaining doesn't exist when she is already dead but depression and acceptance are ahead.

Pam was awesome and amazing for those of you that didn't know her. She was my French teacher in 9th and 10th grade. She was a perfect lady, spoke clearly, quietly and slowly. It is hard to imagine how she didn't kill me, let alone learned to love me.

In 10th grade my French class bought her a dog, Molly. Molly was a cocker spaniel. A naughty cocker spaniel. She barked a lot. She chewed things. How did Pam not kill us all?

Of course, we read Le Petit Prince in her class which is still one of my very favorite books and that almost every line is a quote. It is about friendship and making friends. While I was in Europe this summer I got a "Le Petit Prince" post card. I didn't manage to give it to her because I kept forgetting it, but it said, " If you want a friend, tame me!" She certainly did that. I was a little wild thing when I had her, but she helped me to survive high school and grow up.

Through the years she was always there for me. She used to do this thing called "reducing inventory" we'd meet for lunch and she'd have something from her house that she had decided she didn't need anymore. . . The china I eat from, the silverware, tables, knick knacks. . . my house is full of momentos of Pam.

We used to go to lunch at La Madeleine and sit there until our butts were numb, we would talk for so long.

A few years ago after she had retired, she decided she would sub for me. It was awesome. The kids loved her, and they behaved for her (which is huge.) She would also sub in the library which she totally loved. She loved to dust books more than any one I've ever known.

Oh, and my favorite story, she used to tell us stories about the guy she was dating.She wouldn't tell us his name, so we called him Sergio. Through the years she would date him off and on. Well, she finally married him. When he introduced himself to me, he introduced himself as Sergio. He is a wonderful guy, and I am so sad that they only had 7 years together in the end, but I'm really glad that they had 7 years together in the end.

The funeral was beautiful. The minister spoke from the heart and obviously knew her well. My friend, Susan, one of the librarians at the high school, went with me.

At any rate, I'm really going to miss her, but I am sooo very glad that I knew her. She is definitely one of those people that I am a better person for having known.


  1. Elizabeth, I'm so sorry for you. I know you will feel that loss in big ways. Take care of yourself during this time. She loved you, too.

  2. Elizabeth,

    I am so sorry for this tragic loss. It's OK to be angry as that is totally normal. It is not fair in any way. Your blog post is beautiful and a wonderful tribute to your precious friend. I hope you share it with her dear husband as I think it will mean more to him that you will ever know.

    Pam M.