Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rest in peace, Pam

My dear friend Pam passed away on Monday, after a long battle with cancer. Even though I prepared myself for this, it's still hard to take. I believe that she is the first friend of mine who has died. Sure I've lost relatives close to me, but never one of my running buddies. And she was up there on the Running Buddy list.

Pam loved music as much as me, having sung in a band and even run away to join the Doobie Brothers as a back-up singer. (Hold your salty Doobie comments out of respect for the dead, por favor; I am.) Unfortunately she was still a teenager and her mom made her come home. Later on in life she whooped it up with Rick James and Three Dog Night, the latter band being one of my favorites from back in the day, making us kindred spirits.

When she was getting ready for chemo last year, I wrote a set of lyrics that were like an open letter to her, and the Love Letters still perform it. The point of the song was not to give up hope, even in the darkest days. It actually worked for a while: when she went in to have a cancerous growth removed, it was gone. Alas she wasn't out of the woods, but for a minute I believed in miracles. Or positive vibrations. Of the latter, I'm still fairly convinced. We'll see if I can still sing it.

Pam could be rather dark and bleak, but she was also wickedly funny. And easy to crack up. I never heard her sing, but she says she used to do a killer take on Smith's version of "Baby It's You." I just hope the next time that comes on at work, I don't lose it and have to go running.

Pam, wherever you are, I love you. Keep an eye on me. And with God as my witness, I swore turkeys could fly. (In-joke. Google it for reference.)

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