Blog, Quilting, Travel Stories
Comments 7

The letters of a journey that changed my life.

I have a confession to make.   I Don’t Do Football.

Family and friends are inside watching the finals and I find peace from the noise  out here in the studio listening to Arwens Vigil by the Piano Guys.

It’s a week  since I’ve had time to sit down to write. Family and work have been occupying my time. We have been preparing the summer house office for the coming wedding and I came across a book of emails I sent to my family in 2013. I’ve not see  them since then. They were secreted in my Mothers things found in her studio after she passed away.

Letters of a journey that changed my life.

Saturday, October the 25th 2003.

As I sit here far above the clouds, the light is tipping the horizon and the clouds are bathed in pure light. The pain of shock and sadness aches deep within me and seems to flow out with the tears that are never far from the surface.

This is not how I intended to send my first post – but at the moment I can think of very little else.

5 days before we were due to leave for Houston we got a frantic message to say our son Matt and his beloved Karen had been terribly injured in a motorcycle accident just 5 minutes from our home. A car coming in the opposite direction lost control and mounted the median strip and charged straight into them.  How can I say it……Our Karen died and Matty has many broken bones and  will be convalescing for a long time. I decided to cancel my trip, but as you see I have come, I was literally pushed onto the plane by a determined husband and family members. Qantas took control and I have been looked after with compassion  and a great deal of care. I’m numb. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The support from family and friends has been humbling. I thank you all.

Jamie our eldest son kept vigil at Matt’s bedside for 3 days and nights and now the rest of the family are taking shifts. Matt is stoic and thinking only of Karin at the moment despite his terrible injuries.

What can I say in a situation like this? How many times can tragedy hit our family, I don’t think I can  cope any longer, but I will try to take every day as it comes. Perhaps as time passes I will understand. As I write this I’m in LA. Numb, tired and I wish I was home with the family.

Sunday, October the 26th 2003.

Thank you everyone for your wonderful thoughts and emails.

Life will never be the same. How will Matt recover from this.

I’m now in Dallas., no luggage and only the clothes I’ve been in all day, I do carry a spare toothbrush, it appears that Houston Airport has a no fly curfew at 8.00 pm.

Our plane was involved in a security scare which made our flight late and we had to land in Dallas, rather than Houston so I’ve not even made it to Houston yet. The pain in my heart is terrible, I’ve contemplated getting on the next plane home.

It was dangerous in LA today, when I walked out of the hotel I found ash on the ground, it was like snow. As we flew out of LA. The sight was spectacular, it looked like the after shock of a bomb, a cloud so high of smoke that we had to fly round it.

Tuesday, October the 28th 2003.

The day has dawned. So many emotions. No sleep, lots of crying and the sight of the woman  in the distance at the hotel who caused me so much heartache with her terrible letters added to my grief.

What will the day bring?

Joan and I will just go out and walk somewhere to get away from the emotion. Its going to be a tough day. Thinking of the funeral at home. Matts pain. I should be there. It’s so unreal.

Wednesday, October the 29th 2003.

So nervous, we arrived on time, we were ushered into the reception for the winners. 70 general winners and 5 masterclass.

Joan and I were placed at the front in the winners circle and with some pomp and ceremony the events began. It was all a bit of a blur. It seem to take ages for all the categories to receive they awards and finally the masterclass. The curtains went up one by one. Joan told me to get a grip on myself, Luijin Newman grabbed my video camera, my heart was pounding, my head felt as though it would burst and then the final two curtains. Suddenly my quilt was the last and I realised that I had won best of show. The ground below my feet felt as if it was moving and I thought my heart would burst.

The Aussies in the crowd yelled Oi, Oi, Oi 

What a night. Phone calls home with lots of tears and a talk to our precious boy. A bus ride home to the hotel with my new Aussie mates, a huge bunch of flowers and a 4 ft Cheque for $10.000.

What a joy at such a sad time, what a gift.

These are the letters I just found.
certainly not the end of the story, indeed it was just the beginning, but the words rekindle the memories and I now have 13 years of life experience that directly came about from that amazing day.

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7 Comments

  1. Kim Boland says

    Oh Pammie what a path you have journeyed. So many wonders it has taken you to but always with those poignant memories. You have experiences for two lifetimes together.

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  2. Bethany Donaldson says

    You are one of the strongest women I know. Your depth of compassion, your incredible work ethic, and your kind, generous spirit have blessed all your amazing children, your beloved grandchildren & extended family, your friends, (new & old) & of course, Uncle Keith. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions. Thank you for your continued example of true love. Love you, Auntie Pam.
    Bethany xoxo

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  3. Sharon Lee says

    How very sad for you and your family! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. My husband rides a Harley as often as he can. Sometimes, I ride with him. I always worry that an accident like that can happen and pray that it won’t. If it does, I’ll be consoled that he was doing something he loved. If I’m with him and it happens to me…well, I would have been sharing my beloved’s passion–something I chose to do. I know words alone bring no consolation. Only time and the love of family of friends will help all of you to heal. Please know that those prayers are there

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  4. Wendy in Kennewick says

    You have an amazing generous family that accepts sharing you with the world! We, your students and friends, are very thankful!

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  5. Diane Kaczmarczyk says

    Hi Pam
    What a sad and inspiring story.
    You are one special lady. So generous with your, time, sharing your knowledge and a great teacher to boot.
    It’s a shame about the footy though!

    Like

  6. j11889012c says

    Pam, thank you for sharing your journey. I have to tell you, reading your life stories helps work through some of the times I am going through right now. It helps put things in perspective and gives me strength. Life is a journey, full of “ups” and “downs”. Staying strong, facing those difficult times, and having a supportive family are key elements to working through life’s moments. Your written words, are words I needed to read. Please keep writing, sharing, and encouraging, because it does reach out and touch the hearts of people that know you as a friend and follow you as a teacher and mentor.

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  7. Morning Pam, thank you for sharing yet another of your family stories if I remember rightly the story behind that quilt was also a family tragedy? One I have never forgotten. You have such a HUGE family you will get more than the average family ups and downs; like my great grandmother who came out from Prague as a child to NZ and married at 16 and had 14 children and buried several of them, she wrote in her diary NO parent should have to bury their children!!!!!! From reading your blog for many years now I know how strong the bond is with you and your family that is so lovely to read. Take care Glenda FNQLD

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