Everyone Knows Pam

21 11 2021

I must say I was taken back a bit by her request. “John, this is Pam, I’m calling you to ask when my time comes would you be willing to preach my funeral?” “Pammy (as I called her), of course I’d be honored to, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ll probably outlive me!” She answered, “That’s possible but I just feel the need to let you know what I want.” “Sweetheart, if this is what you want then you can count on me.”

Pam and I had gone to school together back in Fremont, Ohio graduating the same year. Her parents ran the best known salvage yard for auto parts in the county and I had gone there several times looking for replacement parts for my old buggy. Truth be known that was about the extent of our personal connection; I might have spoken to her a time or two at school and the same at her parent’s business; but other than that we ran in separate circles never really crossing paths.

It wasn’t till 35 years later that we connected on Facebook when she sent me a friend request. It was then I discovered how sweet of a gal Dear Pam was. Each morning I like to post a Bible passage or something positive. And each morning Pammy would be the first to respond with something positive. We often would private-message each other and she would tell me what was going on in her life, asking me questions from the Bible, and always requesting that Cathy and I pray about something or someone. This Dear Soul had such a heart for others, she’d hurt for them when trouble came and always wanted prayer lifted on their behalf. At the top of the list, the one person she loved more than anyone else including life itself, was her daughter, Libby. She had spent many years raising Libby as an only parent and did all she could to pour her heart and energy into this child she loved so dearly. Like any child, as Libby grew older, she and her mother didn’t always see eye to eye. But in no way did those disagreements ever taint the unwavering love they shared.

As I said, she asked prayer for many. Seemed she was on FB constantly, especially during the wee hours of the night talking to ones, listening to what was going on in their lives, and doing what she could to encourage. Many mornings I had to chuckle, seeing that as soon as I got online, I would get a message from her, “Good Morning, John, hope you and Cathy have a wonderful day!” I would ask her, “Pammy do you ever sleep?!!” We’d share a laugh and then go on with our day, knowing I would hear from her again before the day was done. If something was important and she wanted to talk about it, we would then speak via telephone. It was during those calls I would discover the real Pammy. This is where the tears for others would come, or laughter and happiness from telling me exciting news. Often here was where her deepest questions on God and what the Bible had to say on some subject came. I suppose some might have seen Pammy a bit of a pest, but to me and the ones who knew her best, it became a delight to experience her greetings during my first cup of coffee. So, when she told me she wanted me to preach her funeral I had to ask her if there was something in particular she wanted me to say. “Just tell of some of the things you and I talked about; I have ones that need to hear those words.” At this point in the ministry the Lord had entrusted to me, I had done several funerals for ones that knew their time on Planet Earth was drawing near an end due to illness and wanted to get all their plans together ahead of time. But Pammy seemed healthy and as I said would probably outlive me, so I didn’t give it much thought. Little did I expect the call that came a month later.

James 4:14 says “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

I was dumbstruck the Sunday evening I received a call telling how Pammy was now with the Lord. What a shock! No one was expecting this! We had just spoken the night before. I was numb and my head was spinning all at the same time. Did she know and keep it to herself? Sandy, her oldest and dearest friend was the one who called me with the news. She too had been given instructions by Pammy on what she wanted at her funeral, so it was quite a shock to both of us. I was going to miss my early morning friend, but now was the time to get ready for her final Earthly goodbye. What would it look like?

Romans 8:38-39 says “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

On the day of Pammy’s funeral in Fremont, the Covid pandemic was rearing its ugly head; few people were able to come and when the service started, we might have had 20 family and friends. But big or small gathering, I now finally realized what Pam wanted me to say and why she picked me. I spoke little about her past years as mentioned, I didn’t know her that well back then, so I left that to others to testify about. Pammy had me there to talk about our late-night conversations and how we talked about God’s word often. She wanted those words shared to everyone who came and knew her. Words such as Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

I got it! Pammy didn’t want the people she loved to feel sad that she was gone. She wanted them to know she was alive! She was Happy! She was with her Lord! And most of all, she wanted them to have what she had, eternal life in Christ. It may have been my words that day, but it was Pammy directing the whole service. Awesome!

On the way back to Indiana I thought about all that had transpired that day. I felt bad that more people couldn’t have been there, but with the Covid, folks just couldn’t take chances. I imagined the place would have been packed otherwise. But then again, it kinda was. Remember, I told you the two of us rekindled and even became closer due to Facebook. I hooked up a direct audio and video feed to the site so others could watch it there. Pammy did reach other people that day because of this–over 1,000! How’s that for a mega church service?!!

I began writing this yesterday because it’s been a year since we said our goodbyes to Pammy and I had been thinking about her a lot. I had no rhyme nor reason where it would take me. I let the Holy Spirit lead my thoughts on this precious “Traveler of the Rock Road.” Pammy knew no strangers. That’s because of her love for people; almost as big as her love for her Lord. I told an imaginary story on Pam how someday I would see her again in Heaven. And I could just see it where from the moment this sweetheart saw me, she would take me by the arm, show me around and introduce me to everyone. I could see us walking up to Peter and Paul and having her introduce me to them. I’d asked, “You two know Pammy, huh?” And they would answer in unison, “Everyone up here knows Pam!!”

Love ya! Miss ya! Know I’ll see you again!

Thanks for Blessing my life!

See ya next time.




8 responses

22 11 2021

It’s refreshing to read a story about social media being used in a positive manner. Rest In Peace, Pammy.

20 02 2023

Thank you David. May our Loving Lord be praised,
Blessings to you and your Loved Ones.

22 11 2021
Bette Cox

Johnny, do you actually read the comments? Is there another way to contact you? Just checking… thanks for sharing these stories. Bette Cox, Florence, SC https://estherspetition.wordpress.com

16 02 2023

Hi Bette – This is John’s wife, Cathy. I just read your post “To Be or Not to Be.” Love all those scriptures. If any of us wonder what to do in obedience toour Lord, that pretty much says it all. Thank you for putting such a great list!

20 02 2023

Hello Bette, Dear One I’m so sorry for not replying. Life has taken some twist and turns which set my blog on the back burner and really have not gotten back to much in the last year. I promise I will be more diligent in responding going forward.
Blessings to you and your Loved Ones.

20 02 2023

I promise to be more diligent Bette.
Thank you Dear One.

22 11 2021
Eldon Grubb

God can use each of us where we are. Great story.
I need to start posting something of my own more often and trust God
for fruit like that. I have not led many funerals so far – less than five –
but sense there may be many more in the future….

20 02 2023

We serve a God who gave each us our own personal story that we may glorify Him.
Blessings to you Brother.

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