Thursday, October 26, 2006

Amazing Grace


Well, there's no easier way for me to say this then to just say it. After battling (and I mean battling) cancer for about a year and a half, my Mom finally closed her eyes one last time and "went home" on October 3. During those last difficult days before her passing I had been working on getting myself out of Japan and back to South Florida, and although I was not able to be physically there with her then, I know she felt the love of all the people who were able to be there. Thank you if you were one of them. Knowing that you were there, holding her hand, telling her stories, smuggling in chocolate, bringing her flowers, (even taking care of the wildly spirited Gretchen for Dad!) knowing that you were simply THERE was a great comfort to me, half a world away. As most of you know, I was home for a little while, and during that time I tried to collect as many hugs as possible, since the Japanese are pretty "hands off." If anyone can figure out how to email or snail mail hugs to me here in Japan, please do! At both the visitation and the funeral I was so touched by how many people from so many different aspects of our lives were there to show their support. Thank you if you were there - there's something to be said about "strength in numbers" I think...And, speaking of the funeral, I don't know if I'll ever be able to hear "Amazing Grace" again without a stash of tissues close at hand.
So here I sit, halfway around the world again, surrounded by a people, a landscape, a culture still so foreign to me, yet, on the edges of my horizon, I feel Mom's strength, the warmth of her pride and love for me, and I know, somehow, we're all going to make it through this...
I hope you smile at the photo I chose - it's one of my favorites. I believe (and Papa san will correct me if I'm wrong) that it is at Chapman Falls, where he proposed to her once back in (well, whenever you proposed the first time) and then again - with a huge, gaudy ring from consignment shop - when we took our last family trip during the summer of 2004. I'm really glad she said "yes"...
t
xo

9 comments:

Papa san said...

Me too. Oh yes, ME TOO!!
Thank you #1 daughter.

Moh said...

Please accept my deepest sympathy...
"Toutes mes condoleances les plus sinceres".

Courage Tracey!

Gina said...

I miss her. I miss you.

But love is powerful and we are always together.

Hugs (the virtual kind for now),
Gina ;~}

Tracey Petruff said...

I miss you, too! Make sure to send me pics of the kids in their Halloween get ups!

Andrea said...

If you find out how to send those hugs, please let me know. In the meantime, accept my virtual hugs, also.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracey, Ginny here..a hi school "girl friend" of Pappa san :-). After receiving news of your Mothers death,I tried to write your Dad only to find that words failed me.So,I picked up the phone(now what do I say?) and your Dad & I chatted a long time. To find a "lost" friend is a joy even in a time of sadness. While not knowing your Mother, I know she was a SUPER LADY! I join others in sending a VIRTUAL hug & look forward to following your adventures now that George has given me your "address".

Aunt Barb said...

It's taken me awhile to be able to comment on what you so openly shared with all of us, Trace. I wanted so much to continue to comfort you, and with your beautiful and gifted way with words, you have comforted me! I DID love the photo you chose. It was a very special time for me, too. See, when your Mom said "yes" to Dad, I immediately gained another "sister."
Love, and a boat-load of those virtual hugs to my second daughter.
PS: I hope all your kids know how lucky they are to have you for their teacher! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Tracey,

As soon as I get them, I'll send along the Halloween pics. B dressed as a wizard and G was--shocker--a princess. Yeah, they were the cutest trick-or-treaters out there. And, no, I'm not biased in the least.

Smooches,
Gina ;~}

Anonymous said...

This brought a tear to my eye, boo. I wish I'd been there. Yes, I found your blog! :) Talk to you soon.