Monday, July 30, 2007

The Moon It Is

Noah and MacKenzie decided that Tracey now lives in the moon. Whenever we see the moon in the night sky, we say hello to Tracey. This gives them comfort and something concrete to look at as they grieve our loss.

Moon image from USGS.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Day 1

Today is Sunday, July 29, 2007. This is what I will forever call "Day 1." Today is the first day of my life as a widower and as a single parent. It is the first day for Noah and MacKenzie to be motherless and have only me in their daily routines.

Everyone is gone now. Tracey's Mom and Kayla left yesterday evening and made it to Canada without incident -- and that is great news because we were concerned about them crossing the border with all of Kayla's stuff.

The kids and I had a busy day. By 6:30 AM we were all up and having breakfast. We then stripped all beds, did laundry, and cleaned the house. By 1 PM we sat down to watch the NASCAR race -- I guess we were all tired because we fell asleep for about two hours. I surprised the kids and we went to eat at Moe's -- I decided that Sunday's will probably be our day to eat out (at least for awhile) so that I can get other things done (such as preparing meals for the following week).

Either because of the nap or because it was so quiet in the house, both kids had a difficult time getting to sleep. It was past midnight before they both fell asleep.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Birthdates are one of those celebrations that some people love and some hate. Tracey always thought birthdates were as important as Christmas, maybe even more. I usually took a more subtle approach (as I tend to do with many things). Today is my birthday and I am sad that Tracey is not here to celebrate with us. The kids (with help with their Grandmother and oldest sister) mounted a great little birthday party for me. I normally would not have mentioned the birthday here except to invite you to consider every birthdate as a very special day. However you choose to celebrate, make it the best day of the year. After all, this world would not be what it is without you in it!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tracey's Eulogy

These are the humble words I shared with those present at Tracey's Memorial Service on Friday:


Dreams are the Divine power within us that separates us from all other beings on Earth.

Dreams are God's gift to each of us so that we can fulfill our purpose in this life.

Tracey was a Master Chef of life. Every Master Chef has a signature dish that he/she shares with the world. It is usually made of the simplest ingredients, but the Master Chef's touch turns them into a delightful masterpiece. Tracey had a signature dish: her dreams.

Like all Master Chefs, her signature recipe was a secret, and she took it with her. Over the years I did learn of a couple of those ingredients, and I would like to share them with you. The first ingredient is quite simple: action. Tracey put lots of action in every dream, regardless of how small it was. I think that's what made many of her dreams come true.

The other key ingredient is not so simple, and we know it as love. Every one of Tracey's dreams was filled with love: love for her family, love for her friends, and love for her community.

Our Tracey is beautiful in every possible way. Her bright blue eyes remind me of a clear blue Spring morning sky, her smile brighten my days like the brightest sun, and her soul filled my every moment with love and joy.

I am very lucky to be married to Tracey. She is my dream come true.

A lucky husband

Why is it that we seem to take people for granted and we do not always fully appreciate them when they are with us? I must tell you -- I am a very lucky husband. Tracey is so very beautiful in all ways I can think of. I can only hope I have been a good husband to her. We should all live our lives so that we will never fear regretting any moments or actions.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tracey's Update: Memorial Service

We have now finalized arrangements for a Memorial Service to celebrate Tracey's life:

Date: Friday, July 20, 2007
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Prosperity First Baptist Church
115 Wessinger Road
Prosperity, SC 29127

Directions from Columbia:
* I-26 West towards Spartanburg

* Take Exit 82 (Pomaria/Prosperity)

* Left at the end of the ramp onto SC-773

* Right onto US-76

* Right on Wessinger

Directions from Charlotte:
* I-77 South to Exit 34

* Right at the exit ramp

* Follow Route 34 to Route 76 (you will go over I-26 just before you reach Route 76); this is a long stretch of road (45+ minutes at the set speed limits).

* Left on Route 76

* Left on Wessinger Road

Please call me on my cell phone if you need any other information.

If you are not able to make the Memorial Service, I ask that you take a moment at 7:30 PM to celebrate Tracey's life with a thought and prayer. Think of her sense of humor, her honesty in communicating, her dreams and aspirations, and all the good she did while she was with us. Most of all, please be happy for her life and for the time we shared with her.

Hugs and love to each of you,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Update on Tracey -- July 18, 2007

It is with infinite sadness that I must share the worst news I ever thought I could share with you. Tracey passed away this afternoon after fighting breast cancer for more than three years. Her daughters, Kayla and Jennifer, her Mom and Dad, along with other family members joined me in spending very significant moments with Tracey as she began a new journey.

I will let you all know of details of when a memorial service will be held. Whether afar or not, I ask that you join us at that time to celebrate Tracey's life and amazingly beautiful spirit.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider donating to the American Cancer Society or the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (

Hugs and love to all of you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tracey's Update -- July 17, 2007

I spoke with Tracey's Oncologist this morning. Although the brain tumors do not appear to have grown significantly, the swelling in Tracey's brain has not subsided. The amount of steroids she is taking is as much as they can give her. Dr. Madden thinks Tracey may only be with us another day or two.

Tracey is being moved out of ICU and into a regular room in the Oncology wing.

Hugs and love go out to all of you.

Tracey's Updated (Juy 16, 2007)

I am very sad to let you all know that Tracey has had a relapse and she is currently in the ICU of Lexington Medical Center. She is unresponsive and her breathing is very labored.

Last Saturday, July 7, Tracey began having flu-like symptoms. On Sunday I took her to the hospital and she was admitted. The original diagnosis was of a stomach virus. The hospital did ultrasound tests of her gallbladder and kidneys and nothing unusual showed. An MRI of her head revealed that one of the existing tumors had grown about 2 mm, but the swelling in her head was significant. The hospital staff has been treating the nausea and headaches with various medications, and also restarted her on the Decadron steroid to control the swelling affecting her brain. By Wednesday, I was advised by the staff to prepare for the worse. But, Tracey being the fighter that she is, after a week in the hospital it looked like she was making a little progress towards a recovery.

Unfortunately, this morning I was called to let me know that Tracey's breathing was bad and she had been moved to the ICU. The hospital has scheduled a CAT-Scan of her brain and lungs to try to pin point the cause of the breathing problem.

I will do my best to keep you all informed of any changes as they happen.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Corporate Customer Service

Not long ago I read an article that, not surprisingly, sounded very familiar — as I am sure it will sound familiar to you. The article explains that consumers are dissatisfied with corporate customer services, especially when problems and concerns remain unresolved. Consumers are using other methods to seek resolution of issues -- including using small-claims courts to resolve matters. This is clearly a warning to all companies, small and large, to refocus on customer satisfaction and resolving problems the first time.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

We are being cheated — The Hot Fuel Effect

It is bad enough that gas prices are at near-peak levels, but now we find out that motorists in the USA are actually being cheated because of what is called "hot fuel." The USA Today has an article on this. It is clear to me that oil companies are extremely greedy and should be held accountable for what appears to be an unethical practice. Of course, if it comes to pass that they are found liable and made to pay — who do you think will absorb the cost in the end? I suspect it would be you and I that would pay for such through even higher prices at the pump. That is a loosing proposition for consumers. In the long run, the best option for all of us (including our fragile Planet), is to stop using fossil fuels and develop other ways of fueling vehicles. Also, effective, economical public transportation must be developed for all communities. Finally, we will need to realize that we need to change our priorities and use public transportation and car pooling to cut our consumption of fossil fuels. Only then will we be able to curb the greed of oil companies and implement real solutions to this increasing problem.