Pam (nee Barrett) Irons and her family
Pam was born in 1951. She was the baby in our family for seven years when I decided to make my entrance. I believe that the reason we didn't get along for many years is due to a bit of sibling rivalry. I took the spot of "baby" in the family from her. It really doesn't matter too much as we became friends when we were adults, even if she did call me "flighty." I was, so I can't really hold that against her.
Pam was someone that I looked up to even as a small child. I used be jealous of her and the way she had so many friends. She was my idol, even if she didn't know it. I looked up to her. She just saw me a pest though, and that hurt me to my core. I remember when she started dating David. I think it was the first time he came over or close to that and I was wearing "Peter Pan" shorts (green shorts with triangular shapes cut at the bottom). He called me Peter Pan for a while after that. I had a little kid mini crush on him, too. I think all little girls have those at some point or another. Pam was kind of a rebel, at least where my dad was concerned. When she was 18 and she didn't want to do something that my dad asked (a family thing, won't go into detail on it) my dad took off his belt and whipped her. It scared me and I ran upstairs screaming. It also scarred me, and to this day I have a hard time when I think about it. After that Pam moved out and got married.
She married Dave Irons in 1969. They lived for a while in a small mobile home that had a tip out thing on the side of it. I'm not sure how long they lived there. After that they had a nice house in Toledo that they soon outgrew, when they moved to Temperance, MI. They had a really big house there, and they built onto it, remodelled it and kept it pretty nice.
When Tracy and Krista were little, I think 2 and 4, I babysat them once and I remember getting frustrated because I was trying to make cookies and they were acting up. I was watching them at my parents house (where I lived) and my mom stepped in to help me out.
I know that I didn't keep in contact with Pam as much as I would have liked to, mostly because of my parents' religious differences with her and I think that really hurt my closeness with Pam's kids.
Pam is the first one I told when I got pregnant with Josh. Since I wasn't married I had no idea how my family would take it, but I knew that she would understand. I think my sis-in-law Cathy was there too.
When her son Jason would outgrow his clothes she would send them to me for Joshua.
In 1988 I got married and Pam was my Matron of Honor. Her husband Dave shot a video of the wedding and I only hang onto it because it has Pam in it. Her daughter Krista took a lot of great photos, they were even better than what my "photographer" took. Shortly after I got married was Josh's 8th birthday and we had planned a roller skating party for him, when he came down with chicken pox so had to cancel the party. Pam suggested that I just bring Josh down to her house and we'd celebrate there. She wanted her kids to get exposed to chicken pox anyway. I think that birthday for Josh was the best one he ever had.
I was having trouble in my marriage about that time (yeh, I know I had just gotten married) and Pam was my sounding board. She even encouraged me to get to a battered women's shelter so I did. I went to one about 50 miles from my home and stayed there for a week. She really was the only one who I kept abreast of what was going on.
Then, in May of that year I went to a grand opening of a mall near us and I was telling Andy that Aunt Pam would like the mall, if she could be tehre. I was speaking as though she was dead. Well, she had died the night before, but I didn't know that at that time. It was kind of creepy when I thought about it afterwards.
The night before I had called her house and was told by Krista that she had gone to a bowling banquet and she would call me later. I had only given my new phone number to Pam and she had written in on her chalk board, but no one knew it was my number. So, the following day when no one knew how to get ahold of me, I didn't know what had happened but I knew in my heart that something had happened to her. It was an eerie feeling I had gripping me. That night, around 10:00 or so, an operator called me and told me I needed to call my cousin Sarah. When Sarah got on the phone with me she was trying to be real calm and stretch things out for me, but I cut to the chase and asked her what happened to Pam. I already knew that she had died. No one had to tell me. She was in a coma for a couple of days and the family decided to pull the plug 2 days later. What is really interesting about all of this is that a friend from my church was in the ER when she was admitted and she told me that Pam's heart started beating. Otherwise she would have been DOA. I know that I had a very hard time with things when she died. I was crying at her funeral when her daughter, Jodi, who was only 6, told me not to cry and that her mom was now in heaven. That sweet child helped me to stop my crying.
I was pregnant at the time and the only thing that kept me from having a complete nervous breakdown was that I had that baby (later found out it was twins) needed me to keep calm. Of course, I needed to stay calm for me other kids too. Only 12 days after Pam died, though, I miscarried and I was having a hard time dealing with life and it was probably the first time I seriously considered suicide. I went to grief counseling though and realized that I needed to stay around for my kids.
Pam's death really was hard on me, and what became even harder over the years is the rejection of her kids. I have always tried to be an aunt to them, and thought things were going well with Jodi but now I have no contact with them and would not know what their kids look like if it wasn't for my niece, Sue. It saddens me to not have that connection to them.
Anyway, here are some photos of Pam and a two of her daughters and some of Tim's family. The first one is Pam with Tracy and Krista when they were pretty young. To the right of them is one of Pam and Doni, Tim's wife. The left one on the bottom is Tracy and Carri (Tim's oldest daughter). To the right of that, one of Tracy, Krista, and 4 of Tim's kids, Craig, Carri, Damien and Cameron. I am thinking these pictures were taken in 1976. I could be wrong. I wanted to put a couple of nice family photos on here but they are all studio ones and I didn't want to deal with copywrite policies.