A huge benefit of Facebook is reconnecting with friends you thought you’d never see or hear from again.
I want to tell you about Elizabeth Galindo and her sister Pam. Elizabeth was my earliest, best childhood friend. I knew her as Beth Wright; she now goes by Elizabeth, or Liz. We became friends in the ’60’s. We went to elementary school together, up in the hills of Santa Monica, California. She had long, dark, tendrils and olive skin; I was a squinty blond with blotchy pale skin and a bowl cut. We both loved Barbie. We loved the Mamas and the Papas, the Beatles, Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, boys, swimming in the pool, riding, her mom’s hot dogs, granny gowns, 45’s, cool cars, lying on the beach, gym class, sleep overs, summer camp, Yardley lipsticks, Marco Polo. We were inseparable.
That’s me on the far right, Beth next to me. I and my brothers are hangin’ at the Wright’s pool.
I had two baby sisters, Sarah and Annie. Beth had an older sister, Pam. We idolized her, of course. We never thought we’d grow up, but if we did it would be very hip to look and act like Pam. She was a loving big sister. She watched over us when she was asked to, she chuckled at our little girls games, she was very protective of Beth. And, as you can see from the photo top left, she was gorgeous.
About a year ago, out of the blue and after decades of not having a clue what had become of my childhood friend, Liz found me through Facebook. A miracle! Liz–I will refer to her as Liz from here on–had very recently lost Pam to lung cancer. If ever a broken heart jumped through a website it was Liz’s as she spoke of her loss and emotions. Pam would have been just 61 a few weeks ago. These sisters had a powerful connection; they were best friends, continuously supporting one another.
People come together for a reason. We are sent to one another to learn and exchange energies and passion and lessons. And hopefully love. When Liz contacted me, she had no idea that I too had lost a sister to cancer. Annie, the baby in our family, had died five years earlier, a victim of metastatic colon cancer. She was 35.
Pam’s birthday is February 15. Annie’s is February 18.
Liz is a couture designer and researcher. She designs remarkable period costumes and gowns for the film industry. She has two sons she loves with fervor. And Liz has created a remarkable way to commemorate Pam and to raise funds for cancer research. Here is her story, a story that began in the Fall of 2008:
“While taking care of my best friend and sister Pamela during her battle with lung cancer, I began doodling on my clothing. I doodled on jeans, skirts and blouses—whatever I had on, as I waited outside Pam’s treatment rooms. I doodled as I watched her sleep. Writing in a journal was not personal enough at that time; I wanted to create something I could physically feel as well as write down my thoughts and prayers. Drawing was my way of keeping in touch with my passion for art, fabrics and my “couture sister.”
After more than a year of mourning I finally approached my dear friend, pattern-maker Colleen. She helped me create garments I call Journal Skirts. I wore them to various functions and my classes (Liz is pursuing a PhD). I used the journals for taking class notes, doodling, autographs, recording memories…. all sorts of record-keeping! After a while, people began asking me where they could purchase a skirt or journal; and that is when I knew Pamela was guiding me towards an idea that would help raise funds for cancer research.
20% of every journal skirt purchase price will be donated to the American Cancer Society. This link will bring you to my Journal Skirt Website: http://web.me.com/journalskirt/Journal_Skirts/Welcome.html . These skirts are wearable art, they’re performance art, and they are art from my heart to yours. Go forth and create. And thank you.”
Sincerely, Elizabeth P. Galindo