04 November 2012

Dona Nobis Pacem

Hello, Pam here.

You may or may not know that I lost both of my parents when I was 18 years old.  My mom died of breast cancer on June 18, 1985.  My dad commited suicide one month later.

I finally gave up being angry three years ago.  I guess it took me so long because I didn't realize I was angry.

My mom fought right up until the end.  But some battles are doomed from the start.  It was hard to see her change from a strong, vibrant woman to the thin, pale shell she was when she died. 

My dad quit fighting when Mom took her last breath.  I didn't understand it at the time, but the reason he waited a month before he followed her was that he wanted to arrange their affairs so I wouldn't have any issue with wills and insurance after he took his own life.

I would rather he had found the courage to stay with me.  I never did appreciate what made him so certain that he couldn't survive without her.

I get it now.  His connection to my mother was stronger than his connection to me and to life.  That's hard to accept, but it has to be true.  Otherwise he would have grieved and recovered in time.  Or, if not recovered, at least learned how to survive without her.

I forgave him for that three years ago.  I felt uplifted when I did.  I felt free.  My perspective changed.  That last emotional barrier between me and Travis melted away.  I finally was able - am able now - to give to and take from Travis more completely.

When I read that Maya Angelou quote, it made so much sense.  The life I led from 18 to 42 was mostly one of survival and routine.  There were hints of compassion.  I had some laughs with my friends and colleagues.  I learned to be kind and caring.

But the passion was missing.  When Travis and I met, I almost said no to his dinner invitation.  I thought it might be better if I didn't try.  I think I realized instinctively that I might be OK for basic relationships like friendship, but not for a deep relationship like committing to being in love with someone.

I'm glad I didn't follow that initial impulse.  Those first moments with him made me remember what my parents were like before Mom got sick.  It took time, but my relationship with Travis taught me to forgive.  Once I forgave Dad, I couldn't be angry with him anymore.

I'm at peace with cancer robbing me of my mom.  I'm at peace with Dad choosing to follow Mom instead of finding a way to live without her.

Because I have inner peace, I thrive with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness, like Ms Angelou said.  I have learned how to live my life without regret and with profound gratitude that I have been able to release the darker emotions that were keeping me from remembering how much I loved and respected my father.  His choice was devastating, but his spirit is joined to Mom's as it was always meant to be.  I can't continue to be angry with him for going to her.

I feel like our spirits - mine and Travis' - are meant to be joined just that same way.

Dona Nobis Pacem


  1. Pam, your post about your parents was so touching. I like that Travis opened you up to complete love.

    Peace be with you.

  2. Pam I lost my Mom to Cancer in 2003.If I did not have my celestine I could not have gotten through that as well,she was also my support when my Dad passed away in 1984 at the age of 58.I am gld that you have Travis.Peace be with the both of you.Big Time Hugs to the both oy you from Celestine and I.

  3. Pam, your story is deeply moving, and inspiring. I am so sorry you endure those two such traumatic deaths. And that your spirit was brave enough to attempt your relationship with Travis. And that you managed to forgive. Those are all HUGE life lessons. Thank you for sharing your story and it will inspire so many others. I feel privileged to have read it.

  4. Pam - This is the second time today that tears have overtaken my peace blogging. For you and your shocking losses and for you and journey to peace, which ultimately led you completely to Travis, your soulmate. I knew your story but did not realize you were only 18 at the time.

    This candid and heartfelt post will give others hope on their own journey to peace. You never know who will read and who you will touch or what they are going through. Thank you for sharing and speaking from your heart - most fitting for your first very peace post. Although I always knew you were "there" anyway on Trav's blog. This is special. Welcome to peace blogging and cat blogging and blogging in general.

    Love the globe and both of you! The quote on your globe describes the joy I sense between the two of you. Yay for love!


  5. Pam, your story is very touching and has life lessons for all of us. Peace be with you, now and always.

  6. wow, what a moving story you have shared. To have been on your own at the age of 18 and find forgiveness and love is an inspiration for everyone who reads your story.

  7. I can't imagine losing your parents at such a young age - so glad you found someone to share your life with. Wishing you peace for all the days to come.

    Cats of wildcat woods

  8. Moving post and we love yer Peace Globe!


  9. Stories told from the heart always help someone find peace. Thank you for stopping by our blog today and I am glad I stopped by yours, too. I, too, am learning how to live again after the loss of my husband, and the cats help me sooooo...

  10. I have lost many close ones in my life, Pam, and I understand your loss, as much as anyone can understand the loss of another. I also understand that total despair your father must've felt to be unable to live without your mum. I've felt it, but luckily found strength to get through it (though the strength came from without, to start with, rather than within, and if it hadn't been for certain events and people, I think I would quite happily, at the time, have thought the same as your father.) I'm glad you are at peace with your parents and the loss of them. It's not an easy thing to come to peace with. But, just by doing so, you release them and free yourself and everyone round you, because how you hold onto things affects those you are close to almost as much as yourself.

    Thank you for sharing such a moving account, Pam. I really appreciate it.

    Peace to you and yours!

    (A link to your post will be on "Peace Bloggers Unite" later)

  11. My Dad went home August 1984,had mom passed away first I am almost certain he would have drank himself to death.he was that attached to my Mom.But God chose to call him home first.My Mom Lives until Sept 2003 when Lung cancer took her home to God and Dad. I Know my Dad came to take mom home. His Nickname for Mom was Sam,I could almost hear him saying to Mom Hey Sam,time to go I have a great place to go dancing. Hugs.

  12. Thank you for sharing your journey to peace … for the inner journey to personal peace is where it all begins and ends (or so it seems to me).


  13. Purrss Sometimes the inner demons need to be at peace before our outside demons are defeated with peace.

    Peace to you always,

    The Misadventures of Me clowder <3

  14. Wonderful image; wonderful message. This is my fave day of the year to be a blogger.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your journey to peace <3

    Peace to you

  16. So glad you found peace and that you met Travis. Beautiful and personal post.


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