A year ago today, my sister was killed in a car accident. So, February’s Amazing Canadians will feature her remarkable life. I thought I would have it written already, but it's been hard to get the words out, so I’m just going to wing it. No doubt I will wish I said things that I have missed. My only sibling, Tracey and I were close and I miss her every day.
Tracey was a force in life. She threw herself into everything she did with an energy that most of us only dream of. During her school years, she involved herself in school activities, taking roles on student councils and working tirelessly to help with fundraisers and programs. Outside of school, she worked at the local theatre and restaurants, taught figure skating, and developed her musical talent. With all of that, somehow there was always time for some mischief and shenanigans with friends. As an adult, her lifelong dedication to her work and her community continued to be very important to her.
So much might be said of many people in our lives. So, what made Tracey amazing? Tracey vibrated on a whole other level of energy. Napoleon Hill once said "If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way". Tracey did a good deal of both.
While most of us focus on our day-to-day lives and those of our families, Tracey was always looking for an opportunity to help her community and the people around her. Tracey considered her community part of her family. When she and Brad settled in Arden, Manitoba, she attempted to revive the community with an organic grain elevator project. Widely supported, this was only prevented from becoming a reality by government bureaucracy. As a property manager, Tracey worked for Manitoba Housing for several years, taking care of her portfolio and further developing training programs to help others progress in their careers. Upon her death, we received many messages of compassion from colleagues throughout her long career, who had never forgotten the impact she had on their lives. While most of us come and go from one job to another, Tracey was remembered....for her support, encouragement and dedication to people. Tracey always went at least one step further.
Eventually tiring of the commute to Winnipeg to work with Manitoba Housing, Tracey accepted the position as the Chief Adminstrative Officer for the RM of Landsdowne. She worked tirelessly, taking courses to expand her professional capacity, working long hours and supporting her colleagues.
Miraculously, Tracey always made time for her personal interests and people. Her passion for learning led her down the paths of travel, history, genealogy, writing painting, music, gardening, and her greatest passion – Reiki. She became a Reiki Master and began taking patients of all ages and ailments to help them heal. She began running Reiki classes for those interested in embracing its tenets. Throughout her life, she was the mentor and safe haven for broken hearts, wayward children and struggling spirits. While the toll on her own health was great, she never turned away someone needing help.
The impact of her life on so many was evidenced by the 500+ people who turned out for her gathering to celebrate her life, and the 100 who left because there wasn’t a square inch of space left to stand in the small-town hall. Tracey’s memory has been honoured by her community, who recognized her efforts to create an historic tour of Arden, by creating Tracey’s Trail. This trail is a sight-seeing tour of the community of Arden, Manitoba, where she spent the last 17 years of her life. It was winter, when I was visiting Manitoba and my family discovered the trail. It will be beautiful in the summer, like Tracey was. If you are passing by Arden, take the time to stop at the Crocus sculpture. Check out the little visitor box to find a pamphlet describing the trail and its sites and blow a kiss to Tracey, the most Amazing Canadian in my world. From the day of your death, Valentine's Day for me will mean wearing purple and remembering you. I am so proud to be your little sister.