You Are Everything

                                            I am the one with big mistakes
                                            Big regrets and bigger breaks
                                             Than I ever care to confess
                                          Oh but, You’re the one who looks at me
                                              And sees what I was meant to be
                                             More than just a beautiful mess   

                                                        -Matthew West

I’m at the age where…well…there’s no other way of putting it…my friends are dropping like flies. Yeah…I mean DYING. Cancer, mainly. And anybody around my age that’s dying??!! Is just WRONG.

Last week I found out my friend is battling cancer for the second time…and I’m gobsmacked. Last time she was given a bill of clean health. This time it sounds bad. It’s spread to her liver and lungs now. And to me that’s just bad, bad, news, and doctors have given her one year to live. Of course she’s fighting like the Ukrainian rebel she is…and I hope?! REALLY HOPE?!! SHE WINS.

And to be honest? Why I am telling you all this? Well, we had our daughters just a few months apart. So, her daughter? Is the same as age as Marky. And that fact? MAKES ME REALLY SAD. REALLY. SAD.

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Marky is the redhead, in case you didn’t know hahaha-the other beauty is her BFF Amber. They’re amazing together, so talented. And will RUE THE ANIMATION WORLD SOON JUST WATCH.


To imagine not experiencing the rest of my Marky’s life? Her graduating college? Getting a job? Getting married maybe? Being one of the few, YET talented females to FIGHT to get her cartoon idea into a a show on TV? Or FILM even? I can’t. I WON’T. I just WON’T.

I’m not blogging about this because I’m scared of dying. I’m at peace with that. I’m not scared of dying. I’m a Ukrainian Orthodox for cripes sake, so my beliefs tell me I’m gonna end up explaining to my mama up in heaven why I didn’t do…you know what? I’m pretty sure my mama is cool with my life, now that I really think about it. Because she was pretty cool for a lady who went through so MUCH crap in her life. But I AM scared of not seeing my daughter become who I KNOW she’ll become. And that, makes me so sad for my friend…I’m sure she’d LOVE to be able to see her daughter become whomever she was meant to be too. And she should be ABLE TO. It shouldn’t be a question. It should be MANDATORY.

Life. Is. Not. Fair. We all know this, sort of…until something really hits you close to home and you realize how true this stupid saying is.

What’s my point? I don’t really know anymore. I think I just needed to talk about it. Because there’s nothing that can be done, except of course…pray. And if you do pray, then by all means please, add my friend Noella in those nightly prayers of yours(yes, she was born on Christmas eve so that’s why she was named Noella). She’d appreciate it very much. As would I.

I think I just really wanted to say how much I love all of you. Really, I do. I’ve met so many AMAZING people through blogging. Some I’ve even REALLY met in person. PR people too HAHAHA! AND WE’VE HUGGED. Hugging is my ultimate connection to someone- I’m an actual Professional Hugger-I actually have a certificate somewhere in the mess that is my house. My brother and I? ALWAYS HUGGED. EVERYONE. And for some people, it was/is hard to accept that hug …but they grew/grow to LIKE it, accept it. My family HUGGED. Always did. And so, I continue to hug people I’ve met/meet.

You know why I hug? Why Huggers Hug? Because we want to keep you in our hearts.

But regardless of having met you in person or not-all of you are just so special to me. All of those whom I’ve talked to because of this silly blog. And, hugging in person is not always possible these days. WE’VE VIRTUALLY HUGGED THEN, HEY. And shared so many laughs! So many good friends I have through blogging! And you need to know, REALLY NEED TO KNOW- how special you are to everyone around you, and to me as well.

You. Are. Everything.

~Tracy xoxo

  • Massive hug to you from the other side of the Atlantic! I believe in the great healing and comforting power of them. Sending positive vibes and thoughts to your friend. No one should have to go through this xo

    • Thanks my lovely friend! HUGS TO YOU TOO, I know you went through something similar with your brother. Nobody deserves this is right.

  • What a heartfelt post! It hits close to home for me as my mom is battling stage 4 breast cancer. It definitely gave me insight into how she might be feeling and for that I thank you. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own feelings that we forget to stop and think about how others around us might be feeling too. Hugs are wonderful. Have you seen the free hugs video on YouTube? Makes me smile every time. Sending you and your friend lots of hugs from the East Coast!

    • That’s what Noella has as well-she had a double mastectomy, and now…it’s just bad.
      I wish you mama all the best as well-nobody should have to deal with this ugly monster that is cancer. It takes people away too soon.
      Hugs to you and your mama Tracy! xo

  • Emma Bovary

    Hugging you virtually all the way from Australia.
    Beautiful post Tracy x

  • Daisy

    Sweet, loving, caring, Tracy…..I feel your despair, your pain….Life truely is NOT FAIR, infact, it can really suck big time….and it hurts, hurts bad. We mere humans are so fragile, so, so very fragile….how we find the strength sometimes to get through all the crap I really donot know, I surprise myself everytime I survive yet another horrible “natural” disaster. …but you know what? I believe that is what the circle of life, as cruel as it is, is all about….We are constantly pushed to our limits, and what ultimately happens is the inevitable. …and life goes on….those left behind grow closer and stronger, and those departed are cherished and loved even more, and watch over us from beyond….
    Noel, God bless her, will see her daughter’s every step, whether she is here on this earth, or on the next plain….donot worry about that, sweet Tracy….You have

    • BIG HUGS to you Daisy–you’re one of the best people I’ve met lately and I so appreciate every kind word and thought you leave me. You are a gem lady, and please never stop. NEVER. Love you lots too.

  • Aww Tracy, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. This really isn’t fair. Her daughter really shouldn’t lose her so early, and neither should you. I am not even religious (wow is it a bad time to admit that?), but all my good vibes go to Noella and her family. Big hugs to you!

    • No, of course it’s not a bad thing. We all have our ways, and your good vibes are muchly appreciated my friend. HUGS to you always!

  • Angela

    I see your hug, and raise you another. I’m very sorry to hear the news about your friend. That is one of my fears since becoming a mom…that something will happen to me and I’ll miss out on their beautiful, wonderful lives. Or that they’ll suffer because they don’t have a mama. Yep, tearing up at work now, just reading your blog and thinking about that. I guess all we can do is pray and I will certainly keep your friend in mine. I love you, too, my virtual friend.

    • HUGS to you my dear friend…It’s the scariest thought as a mama…I just get so teary-eyed thinking about this. And thanks for the prayers…I so appreciate it. Love you too Angela-lots. <3

  • Hi, my beautiful friend. I am so. sorry. that Noella, Amber, Marky, you and everyone else in Noella’s life are going through this. I am experiencing something similar, but from Marky’s perspective. My best friend’s father (my Godfather and basically a father to me) was diagnosed with dementia right after Little D was born. He is 56 years old now and the disease has taken his memory, his dignity, and his joy. It is heartbreaking to see the most amazing people in my life suffer and ache. He took a turn for the worst at the end of May and we are now in that horrendous period of hoping the disease kills him quickly because there is nothing left of the man we know except his failing body.

    My Godmother keeps telling me how thankful she is to have me in their lives. I didn’t get it at first because all I do is call regularly and say it really sucks. But they need that “outside friend”…that person who isn’t mother/daughter of the dying so they can let down that strong front they hold up for the others. I’m glad Noella and Amber have you and your daughter to go through this with. And never doubt for a second that I am here in turn for you. Keep me posted, you know I’ll be praying.

    Two songs getting me through it all right now…”Cast my Cares” by Finding Favour, and “Just be Held” by Casting Crowns.

    And now for a chuckle because we could use a little comic relief….I went to visit (say goodbye because we don’t know when the time will come) my Godfather in June. It was crazy difficult. I came home and decided to run off some of the feelings and I heard “Just be Held” for the first time. Nearly flew off the treadmill at full speed from the tears! Moral of the story? Pick angry music without sad feelings while working out <3

    • Thank you so MUCH for your word Alison. And I know what you’re going through with your Godfather-my dad dies of Alzheimer’s, so yeah. It’s so horrible to watch.
      I just heard Just Be Held today and WOW, what a powerful song…thanks for telling me about it. And HAHAHA at your story! I’ll remember to only listen to angry music when working out hahaha!

  • soooo many virtual hugs right now, Trace. So sorry to hear about your friend — sending so much love her way!

  • Liz

    Need a Trakee hug NOW. :)))

    I’m so sorry for your friend but maybe there’s still a fighting chance! Hug her every day! Maybe your ma can pull some heavenly strings! Hell, I’ll pray for her and I don’t even pray.

    • SOME DAY. And it’ll be one of those long ass ones too so be prepared lady hahaha!

      Thanks-I so appreciate it and you are right-there’s always a chance.

  • Oh I’m so sorry to hear, Tracy. LOTS OF HUGS TO YOU COMING FROM ME!!! Life is definitely not fair, but as Gandalf said, “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” And I mean that in the most sincere way possible. HUGS.

  • Tracy, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Hope God gives her courage and strength and she wins one more time.
    I felt a little sad to be reminded of certain aspects in life but at the same time grateful to be reminded reading this post this morning. *hugging you again*

    • Thank you Lena I hope so too.
      HUGS to you always my dear friend. I’m so lucky to have you in my blogging life.

  • Tracy, I will absolutely pray for Noella. Hang in there. I know it is hard and life is so crazy unfair. Noella sounds wonderful and so does her daughter and I really hope she will get to live to see all of those milestones. I couldn’t imagine my momma not by my side. Even though we have never gotten a chance to hug, reading what you write always feels like a warm hug to me. Thanks for sharing with us, because we all love you so much!

    • Than you Margo….love you you too…you’re someone I enjoy talking with so much and I love your relationship withy your mama too. It reminds me of me and Marky.

  • Eugenia

    This is just so heartbreaking, and you’re right – it’s so totally not fair. I’ll be adding my prayers to those of everyone else, and also sending tons of positive energies and healing vibes Noella’s way. Miracles do happen, Tracy….let’s all share the faith xo

  • Damn. I’m so sorry. <3

  • Hi Tracy, I’m sorry to hear about your friend 🙁 That’s very sad. I hope she’ll fight her ass off and pull through! <3

  • Holy shit Tracy….life can be so arbitrarily unfair and it’s just the way it is with no explanation. I’m so far away but please know that I genuinely care about and love you and am hugging the air between us. Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way. xoxo

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your friend 🙁 You’re right, life really is unfair. And cancer is such a nasty disease, ugh. It doesn’t discriminate. And that’s what makes it so scary. It could get any one of us. You never know. So yes, I agree, it’s SO important to enjoy life and to tell your loved ones how much you love them. ALL THE TIME! Because you never know when it might all of a sudden end 🙁

  • Your friend is in my thoughts.

    My family is having our difficulties with illness as well. My mother is fighting breast cancer. She was able to detect it early but it’s been a struggle for us all.

    You and yours take care.

    • Thank you Iris!

      Oh, I’m so sorry Iris. I will keep your mother and family in my thoughts as well. Stay strong.

  • <3


  • Amy

    Babe! I am so sorry about this. I am not a hugger, but I am giving you such a big e-hug right now! A year ago my mothers best friend past from breast cancer, her daughter being a year younger than me. It tore my mom up, I think she was thinking the same things as you. That she didn’t get to see her daughter get engaged (which she did a few months back), or see her finish her degree. However before she past, the daughter and mom dropped everything and went on a year long vacation through Europe to be together. I know you are strong, and your friend sounds very strong as well. She beat it once, Hopefully she can do it for round two! She will be in my thoughts and I am sure many of the rest in the blogging community are cheering her on to beat this! xx Amy

    • Thanks love, your words and e-hug mean a lot! HUGS to you too. And I’m so sorry for your mom’s friend. SO sad. And not fair. HUGS to your mom for me too hey? And yes, I hope she can beat this! I think she will!

  • Toya

    This was a beautiful post Tracy (despite the terrible news…I’m so sorry for your friend and am sending hugely positive, healing vibes to her!!). I only recently can really understand what you mean – the thought of dying too soon before seeing Elena grow and experience life scares the crap out of me and takes my breath away. I feel so much for your friend and I really really hope the worst doesn’t happen!! I am definitely so glad that I ‘met’ you through blogging and though I might not be ‘around’ as much as I used to I still creep everyone’s posts even if I don’t have a chance to comment, and your fun, funny & sarcastic nature always makes me smile 🙂 BIG HUGS!!! (because I am a hugger too!!!!)

    • Thanks Toya, your kind word mean a lot! AND HUGS TO YOU and your BEAUTIFUL ELENA. She’s so precious! And as gorgeous as you. Enjoy her! It goes so fast I tell ya!

  • Aw, Tracy. I’m so sorry about your friend 🙁 One of my high school classmates is actually battling cancer right now, too – I’m gonna go see him in a couple of weeks, as he’s at a military hospital near me right now. It really makes you stop and think, and yes, it makes you appreciate all of the beautiful things you have and the world around us. I’m so glad to have met you and experienced a Tracy hug in person! You are amazing 🙂

    • It’s so not fair. I’m so sorry for your friend-hug him for me too.
      And YES. Meeting and hugging you in person was one of the highlights of my blogging life! You are amazing my friend.

  • Oh, I’m sorry sorry for Noella, and sorry for everyone who loves her. Life is extremely unfair and so fleeting. I will certainly pray for her and send unlimited virtual hugs to her, her beautiful daughter, and everyone else who loves her.

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  • I’m so sorry this is happening. Sending her an you much strength. I can’t bare the thought of thinking of this kind of thing happening. It’s to devastating to comprehend but I am sure I can’t go long without a similar situation smacking me in the face. Miracles do happen so wishing one for her and her family. Hopefully one day we can HUG! xo

    • Thanks Christa , I so appreciate it and will pass on the message to Noella. She’s battling pneumonia right now and is in the hospital. She needs lots of strength and god vibes sent her way!
      And hugging you is on my bucket list lady! xoxo

  • I am just catching up on your blog but I am so sorry about the sad news…Sending positive thoughts to Noella and her family! It’s heartbreaking to know that there are things in life that we cannot change, no matter what…

    Sending hugs to you and most importantly, remember that you are amazing too!!! Still hoping to give you a real hug one day!

    • Thanks Agata. She really needs it right now. It just makes me so sad.
      HUGS to you lovely! And yes! A real one some day is my goal as well!

  • HI Tracy. You made me cry today. The entire last year when my mom was battling cancer, I just let it float, not let it get to me – I had to take care of her. I had to grow up. Cancer is so rampant these days. Of course, I’ll keep her in my prayers. Not just her, her family and most importantly her daughter (I was in her shoes only a few months ago). She will overcome this. Its not death that scares me, it is inevitable but rather untimely death that makes me angry and lose control. Lots of love to her.

    • HUGS to you Shivani….I know your mom was sick. You were so strong last year helping her out…I admire your strength girl. You are so strong.
      And thank you…that’s it…the untimely death…it’s just not FAIR.

  • Lily

    Oh I’m sorry to have only read this post now! I hope your friend will conquer this, Tracy. Big hugs to you. Life is fragile, that’s for sure. I remember losing a friend when I was too young to, she couldn’t even live her childhood without pain. Then, when I was 21, a friend of the same age just dropped dead while he was playing soccer! A few years later, my first boss died of a heart attack very suddenly. A couple of years ago, my uncle died of cancer, after his second attack. All these deaths played a role in how I treat life, that’s for sure.

    No job is worth your family time, or your personal life. No douche bag is worth your time getting mad at. No hater is worth my tear or make me question my self worth. I hope your friend is staying strong. And you too Tracy!

    • Thanks Lily! You’ve been through a lot my friend, and I can see why you are such a strong lady. I love that about you!
      She’s fighting hard! But, it’s spread to her bones now…which isn’t a good thing. I just can’t believe someone so young can be hit with this…it’s my first friend with cancer and I’m afraid it’s a bit much for me to understand.

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