Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Tracey!

Happy Birthday, Tracey.

You would be 47 today. It's a little crazy to me knowing that you could be 47 (it sounds old to me... sorry, Trace) but the thing is - you would still be you. So it would be the most awesome 47. And you were never afraid of growing old... I think you would have appreciated the blessing of years and time especially given that you died so young.

Your 39th birthday was the last one we celebrated with you and it feels like forever ago. So much has happened and I miss you in my life.

You told us to:
"Remember me with joy and laughter for that is how I will remember you. If you remember me with tears and sorrow, then don't remember me at all."
Well, I'm glad to tell you that joy and laughter is mostly how I do remember you -- except March 12. March 12 is just about the only day my heart seems to admit that you, my big sister - my only sister, are missing from my life and acknowledge how much I miss you.

I moved to Colorado - just like you did when you finished school. I think of you every time I walk past the Vail popcorn wagon. And I tell anyone I'm with "That's where my sister worked when she moved out here. And that's where she met her husband. He came to buy popcorn and the rest is history."

I ski Vail all the time and I frequently visit your charm on Northwoods. It is still there. And by golly, I ALWAYS make a fool of myself in some way, shape, or form every time I visit that charm. Seriously Tracey, I've become a good skier - a great skier most days but when I ski back to visit your charm I ALWAYS do something silly and stupid. I get stuck in powder, or showered with snow, or fall in a tree well on my way out of the trees... I hope you enjoy the show because I'm pretty sure you have something to do with it. Maybe not something to do with it, but I always laugh and talk to you and ask you if you're enjoying the humor at my expense. :)

I sleep under the quilt Mrs. Minner made you every night. The fish are just as bright now as the day she gave it to you. I even brought it down to Denver with me tonight. I'm attending a conference today and tomorrow and I brought the quilt with me. Your birthday is certainly a night I want to sleep under that quilt.

I talked to a guy about buying a fish for my classroom a few weeks ago - - and it was such a reminder of you. I was looking for any reason not to buy a stupid fish and I just kept thinking of you -- you who loved any and every animal and could handle children in moderation. And I just kept laughing that I can love any and every child and can handle animals in moderation.

The last time we spoke, I was 18 - just graduated high school. Now I'm 26. I have a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees, a full-time job... I've studied in Rome, had different romantic relationships, traveled far and wide, and discovered the beauty of home. Don't be fooled. If we were to talk now, I'm still just as clueless as I was at 18.

I so wish I could talk to you, Tracey. I wish I could tell you about my crazy, dramatic, not-so-adult, grown-up life. I wear your two rings every day. FAITH and LOVE are on my finger because you put them there. They were yours... your reminder for yourself and the last night you were coherent, you asked me if I would want to have them. I have worn them every day ever since. Thank you.

Your life taught me so much and I'm thankful for that. But I really miss you.

Happy Birthday, Trace. I am thinking about you all day.

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  1. Such a beautiful tribute to your sister. I am sure she is smiling down on you and is so proud of you.

  2. Happy Birthday to Tracey - a wonderful post to honor her! :)

  3. A beautiful post to honor your sister Brooke. Memories are so very special aren't they. I agree with Amy....I am sure she is smiling down on your today and loves you and loves the woman you have become.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this... it completely melted my heart. I hope you are wearing your pearls!! I miss you so much.

    God bless,


  5. What an amazing way to honor and remember you sister! This is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart!


  6. Brooke,

    What a great post this was! I am sure that she is so proud of the lady you are and the things you have accomplished. You are one beautiful soul.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  7. Brooke,
    Thanks for sharing! As you may know - Mimi, Holly, Barb and I went out for Mexican last night to celebrate Tracey's birthday as we have each year.
    Happy Birthday Tracey - I am sure she approves of the celebrations to her life.
    Continue to take care of yourself.

  8. Brooke. I am so sorry for this loss. As someone who is familiar with loss, I know that it just never goes away. I must agree with what the others have written though - what a woman you have become. Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength - you have obviously so done this and I know your sister would be pleased.
    What a beautifully written tribute.

  9. Hey Brooke, As always, I love your honest emotion. I love that you live life to the fullest and with no regret. Tracey sound like an amazing woman. Happy birthday to her and blessings to you. Love, Emily


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