Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12th

Tracey, Dad and me, Fall 2000
Every year, on March 12th, my world stops.

Tracey and me, 1984
No matter what is going on in my life, everything is put on the back burner on March 12.  For nine years March 12th has been the day I grieve the loss of my sister.

Dad, Tracey and me, Fall 2001
I remember her throughout the year, and often think of her when something crosses my path that I know she would enjoy, but on March 12th I grieve her death.

Cousin, Liz, Tracey and me, at Trent's wedding, Fall 2001
Each year, the grief takes a different form, but it is always the hardest day of the year.

Sister weekend, Minneapolis, Summer 1999
Tracey and me in Mexico, circa 1996
Tracey, Trent and me, 1985
Tracey, Trent and me, 1998

I remember times with Tracey on March 12th with vivid detail and I want to retell the stories over and over... even more so, I want to hear stories about Tracey as well.  I long to be with someone who has stories I haven't heard, or that I've forgotten.  I want to hear what they miss most as I share what I miss most.

Tracey, Dad and me, 1984

Tracey lived for a number of years in Minneapolis before moving to Western Michigan for the last few years of her life, and her Minneapolis friends meet for dinner on her birthday every year.  I would love to be there.  Every year, on Tracey's birthday, I am surrounded by wonderful people -- wonderful people who never had the chance to meet Tracey.

Tracey, Trent and me, 1998
Tracey, Trent and me, Spring 2002 (before my Sr. Prom)
I want to hang out with Tracey's friends for a night and tell her stories that they haven't heard.  I want to tell them about the very few but precious times she and I related as sisters instead of awkward people 21-years-apart who hung out because we were related, and that's what relatives are supposed to do.

Tracey, Dan (Tracey's husband) and me, 1987
Tracey, Trent and me, Spring 2001
March 12th is my day off of Lent... I don't take Sundays off, but I do take March 12th off.
March 12th is usually a day I try to see a movie in the theaters because Tracey LOVED going to the movies.  She and her husband used to go see a movie every week and as a result, as a kid, I thought she had seen every movie ever made.
March 12th is a day I drink Margaritas... even before I liked them because it was Tracey's favorite drink.
March 12th is a day I tell people how much I love them, because I may not get another chance.
March 12th is a day I squeeze my animals extra tight because Tracey pretty much loved animals more than people.
March 12th is a day to remember my sister.

Sisters Weekend, Minneapolis, Summer 1999

Happy Birthday, Tracey.
You are loved and missed.

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