Eulogy for Pamela Leigh Hagman Shepardson Williamson

My name is Jennifer Woolf. I am Pam’s youngest daughter. Please forgive me if my thoughts are a bit scattered, but I just wanted to share a few of my favorite moments with you about my mom.

My mom was…..well, my mom. How do you narrow down the most amazing, influential woman in your life into a few paragraphs? I guess I will just start at the beginning. Mom always called me her special gift from Heavenly Father. My mom had a still born baby before me and was told not to have any more children. My father went in for a vasectomy. Soon after I was conceived – it obviously hadn’t worked. My sisters are 12 and 8 years older than me. My parents divorced when I was 10. From that point on it was just mom and I at home. My relationship with her was very different than that of my sisters. Not only was she my mom but she was also my very best friend and remained that way until the day she died.

While growing up I wasn’t always the easiest child (I know, hard to believe, huh?) but she was a great parent – although I might not have called her that then. She used many parenting techniques that I have or will use with my children. Whenever we were deep into a heated battle she would have enough wits about her to blow a raspberry at me. This instantly diffused the situation and we were able to talk calmly. She would often drive me to a remote parking lot somewhere, park the car, turn to me and say “Is there anything you would like to tell me?” This was the most horrifying question. I never knew if she already knew something - which then meant that I better tell her what it was before she had to tell me what she heard from someone else, or it meant that she was fishing and I didn’t want to give anything away. My mother was strict but fair. I usually knew the consequence before I ever made the choice – and she stuck to the consequences!

We have never lived apart for a very long amount of time. When she moved to Texas for her job, I followed within a couple of months. When she moved back to Minnesota, I followed in less than a year. When I moved to Arizona, she moved in less than a year after me. I know that Allen wasn’t real thrilled to move to Arizona. But I am more than grateful that he wanted to make my mom happy by agreeing to the move. I LOVED living here with them. I LOVED the fact that we were blocks apart and that my children could and would ride their bikes to Grandma and Grandpas house. That Jilly would decide that she wanted to go water flowers with Grandma Pam and on a moment’s notice that was exactly what we were doing.

She made moving to Florence so easy. Becoming the Relief Society president of our ward six weeks before I moved here meant that everyone already knew who I was. By the time I got here it was as if I had lived here my whole life. I was even called “Jennie” over the pulpit – and no one had calls me Jennie but my family.

I enjoyed hanging out with my mom. We had many “Adventures”! One time we stopped at a gas station to get some gas and was apparently so deep in conversation that we were completely oblivious to what was going on around us when someone yelled “Get out of the line of fire!” we looked around and said to each other “I don’t see any fire”. And just then we see that we are surrounded by police cars and they have their guns aimed at a man at the pay phone directly across the lot from us. So what do we do? We jump in the car and get the heck out of dodge, of course!!!!

Did you know that my mom was the 1996 Texas Mom of the Year? Just after I moved to Colorado I saw a commercial on tv for the MOM USA pageant. It said that every mom that was nominated received flowers and a certificate. I thought I could be “the good daughter” for a while and sent my nomination in. About a month later I got a call from my mom and she asked “what is MOM USA?” and I said “Oh, you got the flowers?” She said “what flowers? I was just named 1996 Texas Mom of the year! I have to be in Jacksonville, Florida next month for the Mom USA Pageant.” Once we were there for the pageant we got the opportunity to hear all of the other nomination letters for the other moms. These other moms did things like take in orphaned children, and while being almost completely blind made quilts for the homeless. Mom turned to me and asked “what in the heck did you write about me??” The pictures and the nomination letter are all on a table in the cultural hall. She was honored by the Governor and given the Texas flag that flew over the capital. She was also honored with an article that was in the paper for her company.

One year we decided that we wanted to get a real live Christmas tree. We went to the lot and picked out the best tree. The man at the lot strapped it on to the top of the car for us. As we are driving down the freeway to get home the rope managed to start to untie itself. So I am inside the car holding both sides of the rope so that our perfect Christmas tree doesn’t go flying off our car. Mom is yelling “hold on, hold on I’m almost home!!” Thankfully we got the tree home. However, we got the tree upstairs to our apartment, into the tree stand only to find out that the trunk is curved and the tree continues to tip over. So my mom in her brilliance decides to just nail it to the floor! And it was the most perfect Christmas tree ever!!

My mom was fun! She was eternally optimistic and happy. But above all, my mom was deeply spiritual. Her dedication to the Gospel was the driving force in the majority of the decisions she made in her life. She committed herself fully to her callings and served with a dedication that was unfailing. She loved to bear her testimony and share her love of Christ with anyone and everyone that would listen. I loved that about her. Every time I left the house she would say “remember who you are and stand for T & R” (which stood for truth and righteousness) She took this very seriously. I loved that she took every moment as gift from Heavenly Father. She would sit on a bench and stare at the lake for hours on end because the Lord provided it just for her. In fact, one day she was on the park bench in her sleeping bag (because it was fall in Minnesota) and a family came up to her and offered for her to come live in their home assuming she was homeless.

My mom just had a way about her that touched the lives of every person she came in contact with and that is her legacy. She lived her life for today because she was never sure there would be a tomorrow. She was very good about savoring every moment by taking the time to stop and smell the roses. She loved life and enjoyed the beauty around her. That is what we have to do to honor her. So please, in honor of my mom take a moment every day to savor the moment you are in. Give thanks to the Lord for every blessing that you have. Listen to the sound of the birds in the trees, or listen to your favorite music, or enjoy the taste of your favorite food. This is how her memory will live on in each of us.

I love you Mama and I will think of you often!!

I want to thank you each of you for coming tonight to celebrate my mom’s life. And I am pleased to see the sea of red being worn in her honor. She thought everything looked better in red.
I’m going to end tonight by sharing my mom’s favorite song His Image in your Countenance. I know many have heard me sing it in one class or another that she was teaching. I have even travelled around multiple stakes singing it for her. So in her honor I will do it one more time because it was her favorite.

Once I have finished we will open up the time for anyone who would like to share their favorite memory of my mom for I know you all loved her. Because how could you not?


scrapmom4 said…
Oh Jen...this is beautiful! Love you...(((hugs)))

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