A Departed Friend

For someone who spends so much time at funerals, I’ve attended relatively few at which I wasn’t officiating. Today, I’m attending my first funeral for a friend. 

I first met Pam Webb 13 years ago, almost to the day that she died. We first met at Rosh Hashanah services at Havurah Shalom in 1995. I was just finding my way back to Judaism and was slowly exploring options. Pam informed me that I “should” take the adult education class being offered. In fact, I suspect she informed me that I “would” be taking the class. Pam was a force of nature, and tended to give very concrete and directive advice. 

During a bone marrow replacement, Pam wanted a project to keep her mind off of the chemo. It was at about this time that Eva and I were remodeling the house. Pam was an architect, and decided to take on our remodel as something to keep her occupied in the hospital. Pam spoke for the house. Eva and I would talk about what we wanted out of the remodel, and Pam would speak of what “the house wanted.” Mainly, this consisted of making sure we weren’t doing terrible damage to the feel of the house. She always brought a certainty to the discussion, however, giving me a feeling that the house had some sort of spirit with which she was communing. Needless to say, the final design was both functional and beautiful, incorporating elements that a less creative architect would have said were not possible within the space limitations.

When Eva and I went off to Philadelphia, Pam was there with words of wisdom about couples moving for one partner’s career. When we started CubeSpace, Pam was available with advice, referrals and reality checks. After we opened, she took part in a multi-artist exhibition, displaying her fused glass. 

Pam was always full of ideas and projects. She was always heading off in some new direction. She was never daunted by barriers, and always sought ways around them. She kept more balls in the air than I could imagine. 

I will miss Pam’s energy and her wisdom. I will miss her presence. Her memory will be a blessing to all of us who knew her.

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