Monday, September 25, 2017

My Tracey.

Tracey sitting like the beautiful queen that she was. 
My beautiful Tracey passed last night. Our family surrounded her yesterday. We gathered around her bed and showed videos of her trip to Ireland. My niece cooked her favorite beef stroganoff, which she could not eat, but she could smell it cooking in the house. We each had our private conversations with her. We told her how much we loved her and promised her we would take care of her mama and each other - and her beloved rescue dogs. After we all left last night, we had asked a nun to come to stay with my aunt, and to be at Tracey's bedside overnight. The nun was praying over Tracey, singing hymns to her, when Tracey stopped breathing at 10pm. I rushed back to the house to be with my aunt and niece. We kissed Tracey, told her how much we loved her. I put her favorite facial cream on her, and her lip balm. My aunt put her in her coziest pajamas, and put her favorite perfume on her - Angel. We held hands with the nun around her bed and prayed for her soul's peaceful journey. 
At Kamran's roaring thirties party
Yesterday morning, my aunt woke Tracey, told her to open her eyes as the sun was rising. Tracey had watched the sun rise on her last day on earth, a Sunday. She was surrounded by love and family and laughter and stories and the fragrance of cooking in her house. Her rescue pups were curled on the floor beside the bed. It was what she wanted. 
But what she really wanted more than anything was to not have cancer, and to live, and she gave it hell and lived almost a year from her diagnosis, when they only gave her three months. 
Tracey was my big sister. Sometimes I lived at their house, and sometimes she and Tammey lived at our house. She protected me when I was little. As we grew, she drove me and my cousin Tammey around, took us to movies, like Billy Jack, Halloween, the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And then when I was old enough, she taught me how to drive, what to do when I got my period, what it was like to be with boys. 
She never had children of her own, but she adored and took such good care of all of our children. Evan loved her so much. Friday night, she could barely open her eyes, and the cancer in her spine had completely paralyzed her, but when Evan came into the room, she perked up, forced her eyes open and said, "Evan, are you excited about your birthday Party? Tell me what you've got planned." When my aunt was stepping out to get some lunch, she said, "Mom, don't forget to buy lunch for the person behind you."
That's who she was. That's who our Tracey was. 
God, I loved her.

I told her yesterday that her soul is pure and made from love, that her soul doesn't have cancer. That when she leaves, she gets to take all of the love, and all of the wisdom from what she has lived through, but none of the pain. She gets to leave the pain behind. And I told her that she lives on in all of us. Every person who loved her, every person whose life was touched by her. How lucky are we?
Tracey and Tammey were my bridesmaids at my wedding

Tracey, Tammey and my Uncle Dan. We have lost all three in the past three years. 

So many of you prayed for her, some of you donated to help pay for her nursing care, some of you sat bedside with me, or offered me guidance and advice on what to do in hospice. She knew this, and she was so grateful. Thank you for being part of Tracey's journey. Someone told me once that for every kind deed you do, you lift the entirety of the universe just that much, and it can never be erased. So thank you - with everything in me, thank you.

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