An Ode to Ol’ Pam

Pam and I on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty in 2009.
Pam and I on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty in 2009.

We’ve often kidded about the day to come,
when one of us ups and leaves this place
(and we always knew it would be you, cause you know, you’re older and all).
We thought it interesting to be so close to someone for so long,
Yet to know if one of us left (again, you, cause you are older), it would probably
be the last we’d ever see of the other.

We’ve had two decades of jesting about a day we never truly considered,
yet here we all are to say farewell to a dear friend on a new journey.

Your days ahead are well-deserved.
While beating your own odds against death
and dodging the bullets of your life,
you showed up every day to inspire,
encourage and guide thousands who were
stuck in ruts they couldn’t get out of.
You, my friend, were the difference in them making it or not.
What’s more, you were a sounding board for
many of us who worked alongside you,
and dare I say, a cornerstone to that place on the hill.

From Broadway to Hard Knocks,
we have traveled many roads together.
From tornadoes to floods and from raising kids to losing loved ones,
we have laughed so hard we cried and cried so hard we laughed.

I raise my glass to you, my friend!
You are the last person I go to when I don’t want to hear what I need to know,
and you are the first person I go to when I need to know what I don’t want to hear.

May you leave here knowing
how much you are loved,
how much you will be missed
and know this…

While we may have joked about not seeing each other again after we part ways and start new lives, I need to confirm my reservation at your place for August Conference. Oh, and can you make me some of that zucchini stuff and green sauce stuff I like so much? And find us a good play to go see while I’m there.

Published by Susan McElhaney

I love my kids, NYC, writing, photography, movies, baseball and cream cheese. I am a mom and a wife. I have a bachelors degree in English and Journalism and a masters degree in School Counseling. For over 20 years, I have served as the Communications and Marketing Director at a trade school. I love travelling, and dreaming.

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