Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Boo

Tracy and her Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Poster In Central Park

Today would have been my sister Tracy's 40th birthday. She passed away this summer after a four year long battle with breast cancer. My heart is aching something awful right now. I just simply don't get it. Four months later and I still cannot accept it. She should be here and she should be turning forty at a huge, ridiculously over done party. It's just not acceptable to think it's just not going to happen.

My original plan for today was to head to Paris by myself. Tracy and I headed to Paris a few times. We travelled the world together for years. Even after I met Fen, Tracy still came along for many of our trips. She lived with us for three years when she first moved to Brooklyn and then eventually moved into a flat right next door. God bless Fen for his patience with the two of us! Peas in a pod were we. Even the Atlantic wasn't big enough to keep us apart. So now I feel a huge void in my life. One I will always feel. I miss her. I didn't go to Paris because the thought of being there alone on her birthday was too ... well, sad. I didn't want to be alone. Work is also very demanding right now. Finally, Fen really thought I should stay here. I'm glad I did. Instead of hitting all our favourite spots in Paris all alone, I decided to fill my day with things that are busy.

I'm going to my women's club white elephant board meeting which should be fun. I want fun. I have to work in the afternoon, but Fen has promised something nice for lunch (that I don't have to cook). Distracting myself is the best thing I can do right now. I don't want to think about reality at all.

But I will leave you with the obituary I wrote for her memorial this summer. This way you can get a glimpse into the wonder that she was.
Took this photo of her in our bedroom window overlooking the back yard in Brooklyn.

Tracy XX was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on December 6th, 1971 to Al and Carol XX. She joined older siblings Scott, Kelly and Erin and became the light of their lives.

Tracy attended St. Andrews in Nassau, Bahamas, The Berkshire School in Berkshire, MA and graduated from Belmont Abbey College outside Charlotte, North Carolina. She moved back to her beloved Bahamas to work in public relations for several years before turning her attention to publishing. She then came to work for the family business before deciding to truly follow her passion - gardens. She always had a knack for growing plants and flowers. Tracy loved being outside surrounded by nature and her animals.

Tracy moved to Brooklyn, NY to study landscape architecture and design at the New York Botanical Gardens. It was during her studies there that she learned she had cancer and her four-year long battle began.

With the same eloquence and tenacity that she approached life, Tracy took on cancer. Because of her resilience and spunk, she helped change the laws in the state of NY so that all women, regardless of where they were diagnosed with breast cancer, could receive financial assistance for care. By joining forces with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in New York, she became the ‘face’ of breast cancer.  For several years, this year included, Tracy’s beautiful photo hung in Central Park in New York City during the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

In addition to helping change the law, Tracy donated blood and tissue samples for research at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center to help develop new treatments and to help study her aggressive form of cancer.

Through it all Tracy remained upbeat, undefeated, filled with her trademark wicked sense of humour and hilarious one-liners. She never complained and surprised all of her doctors and family with her determination to beat her disease.

Tracy was a loving and generous woman. She was elegant, intelligent, delightfully funny, thoughtful, and unassuming.  She will be forever cherished and missed by all of her wonderful friends and her devoted family.
The four of us back in the day....


  1. What a wonderful lady. I'm truly sorry for your loss x

  2. I am sad to hear of Tracy's passing. She was a dear friend of mine at Berkshire School. We traded notes about a yr ago, never a mention of her battle with cancer. She was a wonderful friend years ago. Your blog is great, thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family on this very tough day.

    Sherry Lautenbach

  3. Hi, I found your blog through Expat Mum and I've enjoyed looking back over past posts. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister and that you're feeling so... bereft. I'm a British expat living in Thailand and being so far away from home, I miss my sister. I can't imagine a life without her. This was a lovely tribute to her.

  4. Thinking of you and your family on this very sad day. I'm so glad you're not alone in Paris. x

  5. What a wonderful and touching tribute. I really love all those old photos.

  6. So sorry. She sounds very special and a garden girl too (what could be better.) So sorry for your loss.

    Tons of love, looking forward to seeing you all. xx


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