Well, it's nearing the end of Christmas Day, 2008 and I'm home again. Throughout the day, whenever I got near a computer with internet access, I hopped on to read all of your wonderful, comforting comments. The day being what it was, however, there was never time for the thoughtful response that I owed to you all.
That time has now arrived.
Tracee had the type of personality that we all know of in someone who, upon walking into a room full of strangers, would invariably leave with new acquaintances and even friends. She was the kind of person you wanted sitting next to you on an airplane because not only was she not hard to look at, she could carry a conversation that left you feeling you had just spent quality time with someone who really cared about what you had to say.
She was an imperfect and sometimes maddening woman who always cared about what was right and you had better have your facts lined up if you intended to disagree. She wanted not only her family close but all of the extended branches to get together whenever possible. She created new traditions where none had previously existed.
I spent some time early Christmas morning wandering through photos of happy times when we were younger and better looking. The love for her family leaped out of the pictures in a way I had not noticed before.
It happened as the family was returning from a Christmas Eve party just a block or so from their home. As they pulled into the drive, Tracee began to cough. By the time Mark could throw the van into park and get to her side, her heart had stopped and she was gone. Eight and a half years of suffering had come to an end. He carried her into the house, laid her in her bed and went to make the necessary calls.
You know the rest.
Mark has been a beacon of light throughout the past eight and a half years. In an age when walking away from trouble is seen as the intelligent choice, how many men would stand and deliver as he has? It's been a sometimes rocky path and no doubt mistakes were made along the way but this man...this man...has remained committed to Tracee to the end. For this, he will have my undying respect and admiration.
Mark told us later that she had enjoyed the evening, vocalizing and responding to stimuli in a positive manner, which had become easily recognizable to us through the years.
We will lay her to her final rest in the next week.
So sorry for the loss of your loved one. My wish for you and your family is comfort in knowing she is in a better place.
Indeed Ed, there is no doubt that she was far better for leaving that tragically ruined body. Your wish for us came to pass as we talked of her all throughout Christmas Day and for that, I thank you.
Wow, Dig, you are if not already, one hell of a writer. The very best to you and your family this holiday season. Seriously, you need to write more, you have the gift.
Thanks. There are undoubtedly some here who think I write too much (see my post count) but your kind praise and wishes are greatly appreciated.
Hang in there bro...
...Very smart too! I had the pleasure of meeting him and I hope to see him more often
I am and we will. Count on it. I was hoping to catch you in the store before Christmas but even if you made it, I probably would have missed you among the crowds. Very successful Holiday season (for sales. The profit results have yet to arrive).
Heartbreaking. My heart goes out to you, buddy. Glad you shared this, hope you're encouraged to tell us more when the time is right.
Our hearts were indeed broken by this not-unexpected event. Still, no matter how much you know that such a day will come, you're never quite prepared for it. The gift of your heart makes it more bearable.
Your encouragement has made this once difficult task easy, my friend.
Originally Posted by Cancer_Researcher
She will always live on in your memories as she will always be smiling down on you guys and her children from heaven.
From your lips to God's ears, CR. I humbly thank you.
Dig, Best of wishes for those who knew and loved Tracee.....
You're a good and true man, Dave and you may be confident that your wishes found their target. Much appreciation.
Not the xmas you were expecting, Dig, but one that will undoubtedly prove more memorable than most. Condolences to you and yours, enjoy the holidays as you can.
Ever insightful, G.S., your thoughtful sentiments are truly welcome and comforting and they will help us to persevere.
Wishing you and the family patience, courage and goodwill to see you through this difficult time.
With your wishes at our back, Punjabi, there is no doubt that we will prevail. Thank you.
The very first post ever, on BWOT, that moved me to emotion and tears. I wish you and your family comfort on this Christmas Day.
Kind and humbling words, my friend. Your wish was granted and we are grateful.
Dig, God bless you & your family.
Words from the Book of Yosey are most certainly the truth. Our blessings, of which you are one, are many and for them and you, we are thankful.
Dig, I'm so sorry to hear of your family's loss. John's, father passed on Sunday which was his mothers 63rd birthday. I do wish your family love and good memories of your sister in law. And, our prayers go out to your family. Remember the good times and try not to dwell on the what could I have done to prevent this. I have learned that God takes the people he needs and leaves the rest of us until it is our turn to be needed.
Jody, your words so exactly fit Tracee's view of life that it's as if she is speaking through you. Amazing. I have already begun to practice your advice regarding the memories. Thank you for your love and please accept and pass to John my sincere sympathies on the loss of his Father.
Condolences Dig, to you and your family. Hoping 2009 brings an uncommon peace to you all.
Thanks, mate. In your hopes, perhaps we can find our way.
Sorry to hear of your loss. Best wishes to you and your family.
Animals, you must know that you're part of that family as I probably would not be here without your invitation a short while back. You are already a wise man in your youth and your wishes are received with gratitude.
Heart-wrenching story--the pain is palpable. My holidays tend to be a tad melancholy for similar reasons.
The sharing of common bonds makes it possible for us to know one another through our individual experiences. How odd. That you can know my pain through your own, you lessen mine and hopefully, I, yours.
Sorry to hear that Dig, We will keep you and your family in our prayers. Keep up the Faith Man.
Call me if you need a friend to talk to. Take Care.
Prayers are good. Everything helps, my TRUE friend. I'll be in touch when I can.
I know, Chris. I know. Thanks.
This is just awful.
Thanks, Ike. You are 100% correct. It IS awful and it seems so unjust.
After we accepted those facts, we were able to move on and deal with the everyday needs of our lives.
Dig, I am sorry to hear of you and your families grief.
Words are so often inadequate...
Yet yours are so perfect, mate. Good on ya and thanks.
Sorry to hear of your loss. Like others have noted, losing a loved one is a uniquely painful experience each time, every time and really doesn't diminish with time. Hope everyone can share the better memories and look ahead to brighter days. Jim
Thank you Jim. As usual, you are right on the money and we will use your hope to look in the best direction as life continues to unfold.
Dig, so sorry for your loss. Sounds like Tracee added a lot to life even as she struggled. My thoughts are with you and your family. Thanks for sharing with us.
You are welcome and you are so right about Tracee's influence on us, even from the prison that her body had become. She was a joy to us all, right to the end. Thank you for the kindness of your thoughts for us.
Sorry for your loss Dig.
I am not sure whether it is appropriate, but this was sent to me some time ago, when someone close passed on:
"TO REMEMBER ME"
"At a certain moment, a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and
that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
"When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my 'deathbed.' Call it my 'bed of life,' and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
"Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face, or love in the eyes of a woman.
"Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
"Give my blood to the teenager who has been pulled from his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
"Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
"Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
"Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.
"Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
"If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all prejudice against my fellowman.
"Give my soul to God.
"If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever."
----by Robert N. Test
No worries, TT, it is completely appropriate as well as relevant. Tracee was signed on as an organ donor early in her life but the ravages of her final years kept her from fulfilling that last wish. She would have loved the piece and you can be certain that I will share it with the family.
I understand more than you know as I live that very experience in my own circumstances. Thank you for responding in a manner that was most meaningful for you as, in this matter, I would rather hear from your heart than from your wit.
Now it's time to rest and perhaps see what tomorrow will bring.