Ode to Tracey

jim and tracey Magnificent men.jpg

Never ever before have I felt such an incredible admiration, respect and love for one person. This love has been around for over 20 years but the intensity keeps growing each and every day.

Not only has Tracey been tending to me for the last 5 years but she has been the glue that has bound our family throughout all our ups and downs over this time. Actually she was doing it since the kids were born but the intensity of care has increased for all of us over the last year or two. Partly because I’ve been a bit of a mess which means Tracey needs to help the kids out psychologically and partly because the kids are at an age where the issues are bigger and the distance is further.

When I get sick, like I did last week, it affects everyone. Each of us has our challenge, mine is physical and mental but I seem to have more of an understanding as it’s my body and mind. But for the kids they just see a Dad that is sick in a hospital with tubes, drugs, IV’s, medical staff everywhere. And when I get home I have a hard time eating or moving. I sleep a lot and I am seriously lethargic. and when it affects the kids it affects the Mom like no other.

And that is on top of Tracey’s own demons that she has to deal with when helping me through the adventures. The ongoing and relentless adventures. For the last year I have seriously been through the ringer, so many surgeries, so many emergency rooms, so many painful moments. And each and every time Tracey has to watch and help in any way she can. And help she does. She is the one at the hospital each and every day, she is the one bringing me clothes, food, toothbrush, books, music and anything I could use to be more comfortable. And when I get home she takes over full responsibility for my diet, my sleep, my medicines and my well being. She does it without an ounce of regret and is full of love throughout the process.

I of course have to fight the feeling of guilt for putting the family in this position, and for causing Tracey and the kids so much stress, but I’ve been told so many times that this is a ridiculous feeling and to put it aside. I think I’ve gotten there but when I see Tracey scared, well that is when I wish I wasn’t putting her through the pain.

But regardless of what we go through, regardless of the scare, my sweet, loving, capable, relentless, caring Tracey is there to pick me up and move us forward. And for that I love her, and I love her more and more each and every day.

It’s a love that only those that are truly connected to their partner can feel. Maybe it comes with age, maybe it comes through shared experience but I can tell you without a doubt it comes in large part because of a combination of a billion little moments. Good moments, bad moments, confusing times and times of complete alignment. It also helps that both Tracey and I love to laugh and for the last five years our gallows humour has been quite proficient - even the kids have upped their game.

I‘ve been telling Tracey I love her for a long time, she does the same. We both know this to be true and we’re proud that our children have been raised in a home full of love. For if there is one thing that gets your through a difficult time like this it’s love. True Love. (ha ha, as I wrote that I had the visual of marriage on Princess Bride).

And if I’m being really honest I couldn’t imagine going through something like this without the love, the unconditional love of my family. And our family is led by Tracey.

Thank you my dear Sweat Princess. You are my world.

PS Sweat Princess is not a typo, it never ever was. Just for the record.