Upon my return from traveling on Tuesday, July 19, I found my inbox flooded with news that a dear friend had passed on. I can’t say that I knew Pamela Jones nearly as well as I would have liked, yet she and I shared many far-ranging conversations and I always felt her to be a kindred spirit. I listened to Jackson Browne’s “For A Dancer” that same day and Pamela’s visage overwhelmed me. I will forever think of Pamela Jones when I hear that song. …
Keep a fire burning in your eye,
Pay attention to the open sky,
You never know what will be coming down,
I don’t remember losing track of you,
You were always dancing in and out of view,
I must have thought you’d always be around,
Always keeping things real by playing the clown,
Now you’re nowhere to be found.
I don’t know what happens when people die,
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try,
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear,
That I can’t sing,
I can’t help listening,
And I can’t help feeling stupid standing ‘round,
Crying as they ease you down,
‘Cause I know that you’d rather we were dancing,
Dancing our sorrow away.
(Right on dancing),
No matter what fate chooses to play,
(There’s nothing you can do about it anyway).
Just do the steps that you’ve been shown,
By everyone you’ve ever known,
Until the dance becomes your very own,
No matter how close to yours,
Another’s steps have grown,
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone.
We’ll let Pamela’s words, and those of the people who knew and loved her, show her to be the life dancer she always was and still is.
Dana: “Pam was a wonderful friend, a dear confidant, and a classy lady. The lesson I have learned from Pam passing into heaven before I got to spend another day with her is to love our friends while we have time. I intend to make it a life policy to never be to busy to do what is right.”
Pamela: “Each person here today has something special to offer a hurting world. Each of us will leave a legacy of some kind. May our legacy be not one of self promotion, but of genuine LGBT unity.”
Juliann: “She was a lady and now a beacon, a light that now shines brightly for others to see on their own journeys.”
Pamela: “If there is to be change, and there will be, the change must first begin within ourselves. We live in such a hurting world. We talk of coming out, but the first coming out must take place within our own heart. It is impossible to give love if we do not love ourselves for who we are.”
Pastor Nancy: “Pamela Jones knew who she was. I can’t say that about very many people I’ve known. But then, not many of the people I’ve known have been as passionate as Pamela was about being who they really are. Oh yes, she knew who she was!”
Pamela: “They say each of us at one time has a face we hide from the world. There may be someone here today who is struggling to truly accept yourself as you are. There comes a moment in life when we ask ourselves, who is the person behind the mask I am wearing? There will be that defining moment when the time comes to take the mask off and be the person you were created. We need to grasp the reality that it is okay to be who you are, no matter who you are! Let us never forget that for both an individual and a community, it is never too late to be what we might become! It is never too late to become genuine!”
Fred: “When ever I think of Pam to this day, the words grace and dignity always come to mind and always will.
Pamela: “40 years ago, during the Vietnam war, there was a rock star named ‘Melanie’. She wrote a song, ‘Candles In The Rain.’ The last verse, ‘we were so close, there was no room, we bled inside each others’ wounds. We bled inside each others’ wounds.’ What if, just what if we were so close as a truly united LGBT community that we feel each others’ pain? What if we were so close, we bled inside each others’ wounds?”
Lisa: “All of Charlotte has benefitted from her efforts to make it a better place for those who are different, and an easier place for them to find community when so many of them have been silent and alone.”
Pamela: “Someday, in some other place, people will gather and speak of their progress, or the lack of it. They will speak of standing upon the shoulders of those who have gone before. Those will be our shoulders. We owe it to our brothers and sisters of the future to leave some broad shoulders.”
Kimball: “She used her voice to work for her community. There are lots of women in the world, but Pamela was a true lady.”
Pamela: “Each person has something special to offer a hurting world. Each of us will leave a legacy of some kind. May our legacy be not one of self promotion, but of genuine unity.”
Becky: “She often asked me tough questions that would challenge anyone’s critical thinking, helping me to understand more about her, as well as myself. She could really make me giggle about some things. Sometimes she even made me mad, but Pamela most often said what was on her mind; she was true to herself in a world that can challenge anyone’s journey for authenticity. I am a better person for knowing her, and will miss her much on my journey.”
Pamela: “Live, Love, Be…but most of all, Be The Change!”
Above all, Pamela, you really were the change! : :
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