My sister Pam 01/08/1956-03/25/2004
I'm eight years older than my sister Pam. She was the youngest of the four of us. I remember her as a happy child. When she found something really funny, she would laugh and we would want to laugh with her. She had her own unique laughter.
She went to school and graduated, though it was very difficult for her. In the fifties, there weren't any special schools for slow learners. Not that we really ever thought about it. She was just Pam, not very good in school.
Pam 1963-64 age 7-8
Pam 1963-64 age 7-8
When Pam was a toddler, she would sit on the floor against a wall and bang the back of her head against it. Mom took her to a doctor, but they were never able to find the cause of why she would do this. As she grew older she would stop doing it, but then there came a time when she would sit and rock.
When she was younger, she was a social person, but as the years went by, she withdrew and found it difficult to be out in public and even be around noise. She did graduate from high school, but was unable to hold down a job. The older she became the more difficult it became for her to interact with people, to the point that she lived to watch TV, particularly soap operas. She did manage to pass her driving test to acquire a license. She even married for a time, but as she aged the more advanced her illness became, whatever the illness was. The doctors were never able to give us a diagnosis. Eventually Mom and my stepdad had to take her car away from her as one day she started to where she lived and ended up in another state, three days later. The Tennessee police had stopped her because she was driving erratically and dangerously. She seemed confused, she thought she was in Alabama, but couldn't find her street. She lived with my Mom and stepdad for a time. Then from 1990 to 1993, she lived with me. In 1993, she moved back in with my Mom, and a short time with my brother. Eventually, her care became a 24 hour need. My Mom had to place her in a nursing home as she wasn't able to give her the physical help needed.
Pam died March 25th, 2004. We had an autopsy performed to see if there could be a determination of what her illness was. They still weren't able to put a name to it, but the conclusions were that before she was born, something triggered a gene that would age her brain, not her body, just her brain. It wasn't hereditary, just something triggered a particular gene in her. The illness progressed faster and more advanced the older she became, particularly in her forties.
She was a loving person, I regret that we didn't and couldn't understand her illness. I wish that it had been easier for her because the last few years of her life were in silent pain. She was unable to communicate, except with her eyes.
Here is a fond memory from our sister Susan:
Here is a fond memory from her nephew Larry:
Well I can remember the time she came to the house and was holding me down on the couch, then jumping and sitting on my head suffocating me until I couldn’t breath.lol Then on the way over to her house (after being traumatized lol) another one of her songs come on “Woo Woo Pussy Cat” and she was just yelling and singing right along with it!!!! Lol
My most favorite memory of her smiling was when she was playing bingo, and going to the nursing home in Collinsville to see her about every other week. She would just light up every time we walked thru that door, always asking about everyone else. You just don’t realize how special those times are, until they're gone and then you look back.
P.S. I will never forget the time we were over at their house and Ronald’s relatives were picking on us. She came walking down the road to where we were, and picked up the front of the go-cart that they were sitting in and flipped it over!!!!!