Lamott mentions many writer friends and fellow churchgoers, but she refers to Pam more than anyone else. Pam, who is dying of breast cancer, is physically weak and sometimes travels by wheelchair. She is an inspiration to Lamott. Pam has come to terms with her imminent death, and Lamott believes that Pam is wiser than most people because she has been forced to face her mortality. As Pam grows sicker, Lamott writes more and more, in order to give Pam a feeling of immortality after death.