A smile is something money can’t buy. It’s contagious. It’s also the best way to greet every morning.
I have a friend who always has a smile and a positive attitude. Her name is Tracey and I’ve known her about 35 years. She and I went to Fayette County High School back in the ‘70s.
Tracey was born in England in 1963 and moved to America in ‘67. Her mother and father, Joe and Marion, moved to Georgia to find work as it was hard to find in England at the time.
Tracey had three wonderful children, Andrew, Ashley and Richard. They’re the apple of her eye. She’s a mother who cherishes all they do.
In 2002 Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it and has been cancer free for 10 years. She treats everyday as a bonus. Tracey lives life to the fullest every day with a big smile.
In 2010 Tracey got a call that no mother ever wants to get. Her oldest son Andrew had been murdered by a thug who thought his life was worth a few hundred dollars. Tracey and her family were devastated. After almost a year and a half the thug was put on trial and sent to prison for many years. This was not enough in my opinion.
I went to the trial in Clayton County that took a week to come to a verdict. Tracey had to endure the entire nightmare once again. I cannot imagine what she was feeling on the inside but I was there to be at her side as a friend during the week long trial.
You never get over the death of a child. She thinks of Andrew every day. Tracey would have a smile and positive attitude during this ordeal. She amazes me.
Tracey was moving to Gulf Shores, Ala., when Andrew’s life was taken. She was trying to start a new life in a new place. Just as she got settled in, the Gulf oil spill took place and kept many vacationers away. Tracey is in the photography business and does many weddings on the beach. Times got tough but she endured through it all and found other jobs to pull her through.
This year she has booked many weddings on the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. She also works a full-time job at a local building supply company.
Just when everything seemed to be going well she developed appendicitis about two weeks ago. She was in a great deal of pain and drove herself to the hospital just in the nick of time where the doctors did surgery. Three days later Tracey was back at work. She’s one tough woman.
Through it all my friend has endured lots of pain, mentally and physically. She has been an underdog and still has the attitude of a person who has everything going perfectly.
There was some good news for Tracey in the past couple of weeks. The BP Oil Company finally came through for her financial losses during the oil spill. That was a blessing in itself.
On April 14, her daughter Ashley will be in Daytona Beach vying for the national championship of cheerleading. Ashley is the captain of the Hawaii Pacific University Cheerleading squad. She already has a national championship ring and is looking for number two in two weeks.
Tracey will be at the national championships supporting Ashley. Whether Ashley wins or loses, Tracey will have a smile on her face. It’s just her nature to be happy and positive.
We can all learn from people like Tracey. I’ve learned being happy and having a positive attitude make everyone around me happy as well. When I have a bad day, all I have to do is think of my friend Tracey and smile. Keep on smiling Tracey, the world is running low on happiness.
If you’re fortunate enough to have your mother alive, call her and tell her you love her. I’ve got to go for now, I have a phone call to make.