Remembering Pam Garrett
By Dean Shipley
High school senior night is a special event.
For Nick Garrett, of Madison-Plains, it was very special. Typically, parents walk proudly across the floor with their child, whom may be playing his/her last home game. Nick’s parents, Pam and Rocky, could not be present physically, but most certainly were with him spiritually.
Not present because Nick’s mom, Pam Garrett, a very active person in the Madison-Plains community, was clinging to life at home, with her husband, Rocky, by her side. A very aggressive form of cancer, discovered over the summer of 2012, was draining the very life from her body.
She was just too ill to make the ceremony.
So Nick’s sister, Hayley, stepping in for Pam and Rocky, stood by his side. Then, as a show of support for Nick, the coaches and the entire basketball team walked across the floor with him. That was Feb. 2.
Pam Garrett passed away Feb. 9. She was 50.
In those short 50 years, Garrett made a huge impact on the lives of families in the Madison-Plains district. An easy-going woman described as a person who would do anything for another human being, Garrett’s major community outreach was the Madison-Plains Scholastic Boosters.
She was co-president with good friend Sherri Meier. They worked together to provide scholarship dollars for Madison-Plains seniors headed for higher education.
“She was always part of a fundraiser,” Meier said. “There wasn’t anything Pam wouldn’t do.”
Even though Garrett was physically drained due to chemotherapy treatments in the fall, she and Meier worked side by side in the football game concession stand.
“She never complained,” Meier said.
Meier said Garrett exhibited all the traits of a dedicated parent, rarely missing Nick’s or Hayley’s sports contests.
Certainly Garrett felt personal regret that her disease had robbed her of walking with her son on senior night.
But as Kerry Whitaker, athletic department secretary, put it, there was a certain beauty in her absence that night. The visiting team, Southeastern, sensed something special was happening around them. As word somehow was communicated to them about Nick’s mom, the visiting team joined in the consolation.
“It was touching to see the emotions of the students with the situation,” Whitaker said. “As sad as it was, it was an eye-opener. It made some kids realize, you just never know.”
But the Garretts know in their time of loss, they are loved.