On the way home from Portland yesterday I had a sudden bout of missing Pam... Almost five years ago -- it will be five years Memorial Day weekend -- was the last time I saw my little sister. She died in November of 2001 -- she lived in Minneapolis when she died, I lived in Omaha.
The Friday of Memorial Day weekend 2001 Pam was going out to Seattle to see her friend. Pam was flying on my step-dad's family passes on United. She got on the flight from Minneapolis to Denver with plans to connect to Seattle, but all of the Seattle flights were full. Jason and I were sitting at home that late afternoon when the phone rang... it was Pam -- who said, "what are you doing this weekend" -- when I replied that we were going to just be hanging out -- she asked if I'd pick her up at the airport... there was a flight leaving for Omaha and she'd be there in a little over an hour. I told her to come outside, we'd be there --- things like that were typical of her -- impulsive, fun and always warm-spirited.
When she got there, she explained that she was walking down the hallway in the airport when she saw a sign that said "Omaha" and knew she should come see me. We had a really fun time doing pretty much nothing. We did go to the Farmer's Market, where we bought Mark a ceramic green pepper (he hates them) and she bought me a small pewter cat on a silk cord... she hung it in my car that day and I moved it to my new car a couple of years ago. When I get a tatoo (when a team of mine wins a tournament...) I'll get that tatooed over my heart.
Pam snored terribly -- and it was worse when her allergies were bad -- like, always... I'll never forget my poly-dactyl cat peeking under the guest room door and sniffing along the wall of the guest room trying to figure out what was making that racket. It was really funny -- and when we told her what he'd been up to she thought it was hillarious.
In retrospect, it seems like fate that she came out to see me... kind of like she knew it would be the last time we'd have to spend together --- like she wanted to give me one last fun weekend to remember.
She died too young, of bi-lateral pulminary embalist the Friday after Thanksgiving 2001. I miss her deeply and often.