Pamela (Pam) Denise Davis-Fuzz’s funeral was about a lady who had something to say. At her funeral, this lady combined the voices of family and friends to speak in one voice — hers — to develop her eulogy in words and song, about a subject that she wanted to give credance to, not for herself, but for others. Pam lived with a disease called Chronic Sickle Cell.
The church house, Gordon Memorial United Methodist at 2334 Herman Street, was filled to near capacity on Sunday afternoon, April 14, 2013, when her family, friends, church families, Pearl High School classmates, caregivers, associates, individuals who worked in Sickle Cell programs, and acquintances, came together to give an historical account of her life’s story.
From the prelude to the recessional Pam’s love and care were poured out to the people. At the end of her obituary on the program, Bishop James A. Jennings, Jr. of Detroit, Michigan, shared these words: ”A wonderful great woman of God finished her earthly assignment, but while she was here she taught us so much… how to love … how to laugh … how to endure, and … how to forgive …”
Phyllis Page Gardner shared the special relationship that she and Pam had, because each of them were rearing daughters. “We handled things together… and for each other,” she said. “If there was a problem at the school [or else where], and she was not feeling well, she would call and I would do what had to be done.”
Andrea Collins, a classmate and friend said, “Pam loved Pearl High School and her motto was, ‘I can, I will, just get out of the way and let my little light shine.’ ” Collins asked graduates of Pearl High School to stand as she lead them in the first verse of the Pearl High Alma Meter.
Eugene Ellis shared the great strength he saw in her, he said, “I never saw Pam give up.”
Then her niece Candi Springer came to speak. She said that she and her aunt had a special bond. We shared some good times together, because she liked to have fun. Both of us had Sickle Cell — right now I’m standing here in so much pain, but I know God has me!”
The Rev. Enoch Fuzz, Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, rose to began the first eulogy, singing “Some Glad Morning.” He shared how for the past three years they had talked about this day and how she wanted it to go … who was to do what, where, and how. He said, “Pam loved to have church, she was in the A-men corner. But, about that Sickle Cell Pam would often say, ‘Enoch why don’t some one do anything about this?’
“We know that 89% ofthe people with sickle are Black … I can say Pam was not scared, she stood up for herself and others; and she encouraged everybody.
“She not only had Sickle Cell, she was a Sickle Cell, but you have to know what it is.
“What is a Sickle Cell? he asked.”
The normal blood cell is oval in shape and soft in texture. A Sickle Cell has the shape of a Crescent Moon or a sickle like shape and it has a coarse texture. Normal blood cells move through the veins and arteries carrying and depositing oxygen to the body’s vital parts. As these normal oval shaped cells deposit oxygen they also gather oxygen. But Sickle Cells are not able to carry much oxygen and furthermore because of their rigid coarse texture and sickle shape, their are prone to logjam or pile up in the smaller arteries of the body preventing vital blood flow with its’ functions. When the Sickle cells clog the small capillaries it is like tying a really tight string around your finger. You know that throbbing feeling you get in that finger after a few moments of no blood circulation. Imagine this kind of pain throughout you body or in various places or even in one spot for prolonged times. The pain from Sickle Cell is described as excruciating.
“Sometimes, Pam would have logjam or pile up, stop some things, make somethings happen in order that things can change. We have to do that, we have to become Sickle Cells,” said Rev. Fuzz.
Following Rev. Fuzz, the Rev. Edwin Sanders of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, begin the second eulogy. He said, “I never thought I could fix my lips to say, I want to be a sickle cell, but what you have just heard,” he said, “would be called a PSA (Pastoral Sermonic Addresd) in a church that preaches social justice.
As he shared the words of the eulogy, entitled, “And, Jesus came to Bethany,” Rev. Sanders showed how important the coming together of community was. He said, “You can’t know anything that you can’t feel, see, smell, or touch, when Jesus came to Bethany — he came to the whole community. Jesus brought people together that would never have come together. He said that when Jesus came to or was near Bethany things changed … Larzarus rose from the dead … the alabaster box was broken … Jesus asked Peter to feed his sheep … when Jesus came to Bethany joy was released … things changed.”
Rev. Fuzz had reminded the group that There are thre kinds of people with Sickle Cell: 1) Chronic Sickle Cell 2) People that have Sickle Cell Trait 3) People that have Sickle cell Trait and don’t know it. For those in the third category they could experience symptoms like shortage of breath on a plane or swimming. Though the symptoms are not serious or chronic miss information can cause unnecessary problems. All African Americans should get screened for Sickle Cell Trait. Contact the Meharry Sickle Cell center or the local Red Cross for free testing. The message seems clear.
Pamela Davis-Fuzz leaves to cherish her memories a daughter, Bethani Fuzz; step-mother, Gertrude Davis; siblings, Tommy (Roslyn) Davis, Cynthia (Leon) Moore, and Keith Davis; and a host of family, friends, co-workers, life associates, cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, girlfriends, and special dedicated friend, Mr. Harold Moore.
The service of committal & Interment was held at Greenwood West Cemetery in Nashville. New Generation Funeral Home, 2930 Murfreesboro Pike was charged with her final care.