Rose Shed

Pamela Sue Brannan
(April 28, 1962-April 18, 2007)

Jenn’s mom died on my birthday. I didn’t hear about it until the next evening when Leslie sent me a message on MySpace. (Lest you think I’ve forgiven MySpace, keep in mind that it was back to its fucked-up ways over the weekend — so: NO, I haven’t.) Jenn and Brandee made their way to the news office on Friday, and for the first few minutes of seeing them, all I could do was hold Jenn.

She and Brandee were expecting some words o’ wisdom from me, and all I could come up with was: “Sucks.” Honest to God, that’s the best I could do … although, today, after the funeral, standing in the parking lot at the cemetery, just before I left, I came up with a bit of an improvement — or at the very least, an expansion: “Sucks, man.”

(I am nothing if not eloquent. And/or succinct.)

I did not know Pam. In fact, I’m pretty sure I never actually met her in person — I had only spoken to her a few times on the phone when I would call out to talk to Jenn.

It would have made more sense, age-wise, for Pam and me to be friends, as she was 44 going on 45 and I just turned 42. Jenn was the one who worked with me, though, and by getting to know each other in the wee hours of the morning every weekday (and late-night Fridays), plus all the other connections we seemed to have, we formed a friendship that I will always treasure.

Jenn is 25 now — coincidentally, the same age I was when my dad died. Suddenly. Just like Pam, and I suspect that now, just a few days after her mom died, Jenn is probably in the same kind of shock that I was for a few days/weeks/months … except, no, this is her mom, so it’s different, and as much as I might think I understand, I really don’t.

But I’m sure it sucks, man.