30 Years

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

30 years ago today, my best friend would answer my call and excitedly tell me about her new stockings her mom found to match her dress. She was prepared for junior prom, the dance at the end of 9th grade at that time. She told me how they were a perfect match for her black and purple dress.

Then, she told me she had to go. She was going to hang out with a different group that night but would call me when she got back for curfew.

She never called.

Six days later, they would find the body of Pamela ‘Pam Pam’ Gail Bischoff in the river.

We knew she wasn’t a runaway, even though they tried to tell us she was.

We knew she would never leave without telling us.

We knew it was going to be bad.

Pam would have loved Pink, or at least I would like to think so. I know the song below seems a strange one to pick for a memorial post, but trust me – Pam would have loved this song. She had the attitude, she had the spunk.

30 years later, I still remember the sound of her voice and her laugh, even when other memories have faded.

Her signature on my old jean jacket

30 years later, I still wonder if she would have been auntie Pam to her friends’ kids, have kids of her own. She would be so proud of her sister and nieces.

30 years later, I still wonder why.

30 years later, it still feels like yesterday.

Yesterday, she talked me into hitchhiking (omg Pam lol).

Yesterday, she and I rolled old tobacco into a somewhat smokeable cigarette (I quit a long time ago now, Pam).

Yesterday, we drank a magnum of Hermits – never to do that again (I don’t even drink anymore, Pam)

Yesterday, we were staring up at your Poison poster over your bed, talking about which of the band was hottest (I still listen to them now and then, but not often as I think of you each time, Pam).

Yesterday, you were telling me about that guy who was so hot (I’ve been married twice now, Pam, number 2 is amazing).

Yesterday, I was able to hug you.

30 years feels like yesterday. You would have loved this song, Pam. You had that attitude and it made you larger than life.

Pink – U + Ur Hand

Something To Believe In

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss

I’m pretty sure I’ve used that quote before, but it fits this post to a “T”. It’s a post created through raw emotion and memories that have faded.

This beautiful young girl was my best friend.

Pam
Pamela Gail Bischoff – October 3, 1976 – April 12, 1991

27 years ago yesterday (I couldn’t write this yesterday), she was ripped from our lives by a selfish sociopath. I won’t write his name here. I was going to. I was going to call him out and let the world know that HE gets to live, get married (he is), and go on.

Pam was 14 years old. She had called me before going out that night to tell me about her new stockings her mom had bought her. Her mom had to travel over an hour away to get them. They were special to go with her grade 9 prom dress. Back then, junior high was grades 7 to 9.

Her dress was black from the mid hip up, and with a gorgeous purple skirting. She was so excited. I can still remember the sound of her voice when I think of that phone call. She hung up saying she would talk to me later. She hung out with a group she normally didn’t. She never called me again…

You would think after 27 years that the pain of loss would lessen. Granted, it’s not as intense as it used to be, but I’m still sitting here crying.

Pam was intense, vivacious, confident. When she walked into a room, you knew it because she was the life of the party. She got me to hitchhike (something I had never done before), she made me step out of my comfort zone in so many ways. She was magnetic. Even though I was the oldest (I was 17 when she died), I never felt like it – she was mature beyond her years. She was rebellious. She loved her parents deeply. As much as she fought with her older sister, she loved her deeply too.

I still remember spending the night and her knocking on her bedroom wall, calling to her mom (it was morning), “Mom, can you bring me some orange juice?” Of course, her mom did. Pam knew her mom would. Her parents would have done anything for her. Her loss was too much on them all.

Everything Pam did was done with intensity and passion. We were crazy kids. We did things we shouldn’t, we were carefree, we loved life. There was 4 of us in our group of best friends. Pam, me, Gena and Rhonda. We were joined at the hips and that was that. We made nicknames for each other. Pam was Pam Pam. I was Gwembles. It’s awful, but I can’t remember what Gena and Rhonda’s were (though I’m sure they’ll remind we).

The other three of us still live. We have families, we’ve had marriages, two of us divorced, one remarried (me lol). We are still best friends.

This time of year, I often wonder how Pam would have turned out as an adult. I have no doubt that we would still be friends. But how much different would our lives had been with her in it?

We’ll never know.

Poison was her favourite band. I think she would have been devastated to know they split up. C.C. DeVille was her favourite member. She had a large poster on her ceiling over top of her bed.

This song was played at her memorial service. Even now I have a hard time listening to it.

Poison – Something To Believe In

Chiquitita

“Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita”

 – Benny Goran Bror Andersson, Bjoern K. Ulvaeus  (ABBA)

This song really hit home. Today most of all.

When I was a teen, I lost my best friend. She was murdered. Today, 26 years ago.

I realize this song is not about death, but the sentiment is the same. I danced again, I went on with my life. Some days are harder than others – life happens, it’s not always fair or kind. Sometimes life is brutally cruel, so much so that you see yourself on a high precipice waiting for the wind to waft you over the edge. But life can be wonderful too.

This week has been hard. Between migraines, teens, issues for family and friends that make me want to wrap them all up in the biggest hug I can, it’s been hard.

But there are always slivers of those silver linings. I’m knitting a goat for a friend and I am loving the way it is turning out, even though it is a crochet pattern! My baby boy (I still can’t believe he is 3!) has been so affectionate and sweet that my heart feels fuller than ever. Even my teens seem to be having a better week as well. Money is tight, but when isn’t it.

I discovered my Charlie ‘girl’, is actually a Charlie BOY LOL! I had a great giggle over that surprise last night (he’s maturing into a juvenile and it just became obvious last night).

Then today hits. The anniversary of when life changed for myself and my group of friends. It really brings into focus all that I have to be grateful for. I have three really healthy kids. Sure, the older two have difficulties – but they are healthy. I have an amazing husband who is always by my side, yes, he has Parkinson’s – but it’s NOT a death sentence. I have been sick a lot, sure, but I am finally losing weight and keeping it off! I am more active and can see the changes in me! I can knit – wow, that alone I a big deal for me! Just a few short months ago my hands hurt so much that I couldn’t!

I often wonder where Pam would be now had she lived. She would be 40 going on 41 in October. Would she have kids? Would she be around here? Considering I am still friends with the others from our group, I like to believe her and I would still be very close today if she had lived. I bet she would still be larger than life – gawd she was so full of life!

I miss you Pam. I think of you often. I think of your sister often and hope that she will have no more hardships, she has had enough. I miss your mom. I miss laughing with you and just talking. I still remember your voice, our last phone call.

I wish you could see us now – me, Gena, Rhonda – I like to think you do, and that you check in on us. Our ‘band’ was never the same without you.

ABBA – Chiquitita

Lost

24 years ago today I lost my best friend. She was only 14 years old. She had a vibrant personality that was larger than life. I miss her. I may go days or weeks without thinking of her but then something will happen and I can hear her voice again.

It’s funny how people say that it gets easier with time. Sure it does, the pain is a dulled, memories fade. But then a day like this happens and it transports you back to that moment.

Pamela Gail Bischoff was murdered on this day 24 years ago. She had gone missing. The police thought she ran away. Those closest to her knew better. I think we all knew the moment she didn’t come home. She was a planner. She would have told one of us. Six days later, her body was pulled from the river. The next while is a blur lost to time.

She was so beautiful and vibrant and funny and free.

RASPUTINA – Wish You Were Here: