I had been vice president of our school's chapter of the National Honor Society, but in my sr. year managed to fail off completely. I was in danger of not graduating. (This, too, did not make my Dad or Mom proud). But Tracey was there for me, and every morning before classes started she coached me and kept me working hard on my extra credit assignments as well as my regular assignments. If it weren't for her help, I doubt that I would have graduated with the kids I grew up with.
In August of that year (86), I went to Japan as an exchange student with Rotary International. The worst part of that trip was that I listened a 'friend' back home and broke things off with Tracey. Never checked with her about the claims, just trusted this BOZOThus began the downward spirals for both of us. I won't go into details on either of our lives here, but suffice to say both of us hit our perspective bottoms in the years that followed.
We both made attempts to find love again, with limited success.
Fast forward to the spring of 2003, when i got an email from Tracey through Classmates dot com. As it turns out, we were only living about 30 minutes from each other. It was amazing to me that we hadn't bumped into each other while grocery shopping! Come to find out, what is equally impressive is that one year, over the same 4th of July holiday, my (now) ex-wife and I were camping with friends on the SAME BEACH in MAINE that she, her kids, and boyfriend were staying at a hotel. (did that make sense?) We all have picutres of the same very, very red sun burns from those 4 days. I can't make this stuff up, folks.
Fast forward a few weeks after the initial email, and we decided that i would keep her company on a ride to Burlington, VT, where she was to pick up a friend at the airport. We had breakfast at the Parkway Diner, and the conversation flowed like the last 18 years had never happened.
We continued to meet again and again. And again.
Fast forward to 2005, and we got married in our living room, with her boys as Best Men. We planned and put together the ceremony in 2 weeks, and it was wonderful. A day I shall never forget.
The years since then have certainly seen their ups and downs, most of the downs caused by yours truely, while most of the ups are thanks to Tracey. She deserves all of the credit in the world for putting up with me and my moods and my bull$h!t.
So that, readers, is us in a nut shell. I could fill a book with fond memories and thankful thoughts of her from the past 7 years. She is my best friend, my muse, my Saviour, and my Soul Mate. Without her, I would be nothing.
I Love you, Tracey. Today, Tomorrow, Forever, and a Day. +1.