Monday, February 9, 2009

Wildflower Ranch

Pam Cone
1/04/1956 - 2/06/2009

We were in the midst of Howard's dad's 85th birthday party Saturday night when it turned unexpectedly sad for me as I received word of my friend, Pam's death overnight.

Around twelve years I first began dabbling in the world wide web, the information superhighway, now known as the internet. One of the first people that I "met" online was Pam. She was a kind and gentle person who had some reservations concerning becoming involved with email lists. She was unsure whether or not it was safe and which lists were trustworthy. At the time, there was no Yahoogroups. In fact, it was before Egroups, which was preceded by Onelist, one of the first free mail list programs available to the general internet public.

At the time there were bulletin boards at various websites such as IVillage's Parent's Place. Pam was not the only person who I met originally at Parent's Place. I had recently joined an email list whose target audience was big families. Most of the families had children who were adopted. And the majority of those children had been adopted as older children.

A single mom to 12, Pam was head of her adoptive family. As with the majority of older child adoptions, there were unexpected challenges. Pam was eager to have contact with other like families. I recommended the email list that I was already on in the Onelist community. Pam decided that she would indeed give it a try. Over time, we, as well as other of my friends joined the FFLF email list and became a family.

Through the years, Pam was a valuable contributor to our internet family with her blend of wisdom and humor. Occasionally our internet family had its squabbles, as in any family. Pam, however, possessed the unique ability to not involve herself in the actual controversy. Beyond that, her posts were perpetually kind and left people feeling good about themselves no matter which side of the fence they sat. Even in times of confusion and turmoil in her own life, she imparted a sincerity and clarity of purpose, joined with a humility which is rare today.

I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet Pam in person, or IRL (In Real Life) as it is known on the internet. She remained as my husband calls them, one of my imaginary friends. It is difficult I suppose for many to understand what deep friendships are forged through the years on the internet with those who have the same heart and purpose in life. Even through email though Pam's sincerity and love for humanity were obvious to all who knew her. Her email tag line very much summed up Pam's personality and read as follows:

I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet
when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
Pamela at Wildflower Ranch, Where Angels Live and Children Bloom

Pam was truly one of our earthly angels and will be greatly missed.


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