on Tracy.

by - July 12, 2017

I've had some time over the past couple days to take a walk back through my life while revisiting all the photos and remembering old moments.
It has become a part of the process I need in order to say good-bye- it's almost like I relive my life through my memories of who that person was to me so that I can fully understand the impact they had on my life.  

On Sunday heaven gained a shining star: our cousin, Tracy, passed away unexpectedly.  Tracy was young, she was vibrant, she was a creator, a dreamer, a free-spirit.  Her death is still a shock and it leaves such a huge hole in many lives.

Growing up, Tracy was that older cousin I always looked up to.  She was stuck babysitting me while I was busy admiring her gorgeous thick, curly hair, her social butterfly status and determined confidence.  I have so many memories from our frequent visits to Edmonton to hang out with my cool, older cousins. All three of them (Tracy has two older sisters- Tisa and Glenna) were the perfect female role models that I needed.  
Tracy and I with Grandma and Grandpa at their mortgage burning party
Tracy and Lau- their wedding weekend
As I grew up, my fascination with Tracy never wavered.  She was a couple steps ahead of me in life and it was easy to take her advice and to ride the waves of the utter zest and zeal she embodied on every endeavour.  She married the perfect man, Lau and together they made the epitome of a power couple to me.  He works passionately as an ER surgeon and she managed the house, the kids, the life and then had all her adventures on the side.   She really did it all.

Tracy loved her 9 children with limitless energy and enthusiasm- they were her life and I absolutely adored that about her.  She was strong, having lost a set of twins and Phoenix's twin, Phynn.  But grief didn't make her hard, or distant, but strong and determined to love all her babies- regardless where they were.  She had such a wonderful relationship with her kids and it was always amazing watching her parent.

Tracy with Willis at Kyla's wedding rehearsal
The thing about Tracy is that she was also the pioneer for our larger family.  She frequently was messaging me, asking if we could put together a family reunion or telling me how excited she was to see us.  She cared deeply and sincerely about every.single.member of our giant family and she made you feel so very loved.  When Dan and I started dating, there were many trips to Edmonton to visit and meet my older cousins (secretly it was their approval I was searching out....)

Tracy at cousin Sarah's wedding
Tracy and her daughter, Taelynn

The other thing that I absolutely love about her was her ability to tell you she loved you.  Tracy didn't hide her love- she shouted it from the rooftops and that brings me so much peace.  I know that those wonderful kids and Lau know exactly how much she loved them and how much joy they brought to her life.  She was so proud of her world.

Tracy also loved our grandparents and was gentle and nurturing with them.  She was a pioneer for the care of the elderly in pursuit of always bettering the lives of others, and worked tirelessly for the creation of luxury care homes for the elderly, finally getting approval to turn her current home outside of Edmonton into one of the care homes.  You can learn about her project on her website: A House, A Heart, A Home. 

To me, Tracy was a rock.  She was the foundation of our giant family and her own.  She built up anyone who was down and was a cheerleader and supporter no matter what.  She taught us the importance of family, building those relationships and staying in touch. 

The loss of our Tracy leaves hearts broken and she won't be one that will be forgotten.  Her legacy will not only live on in the lives of her beautiful children but also in the cousins that she also touched with her beautiful heart and kind soul.

Rest peacefully, cousin.  You are so very much loved.

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Have a lovely day!