Sunday, November 19, 2006

Trace's Wrinkles

There’s an email going around about the people who come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Those who are there for a reason are there to assist you somehow, but the relationship is fleeting and usually ends abruptly. Those who are there for a season may teach you something you have never done and usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. But it too is short-lived. The lifetime friends are rare. They accept you regardless of your faults and they are there for the duration, no matter what twists and turns the road of life maps out for you.

I’m not sure where Trace falls, but I’m hoping it will be the lifetime road. Trace believes you are always where you are at that moment. Some moments in time may be filled with abundance, others may seem quiet and sad.

Trace recently watched the “mother tree” come down at her home. It is believed to be one of the oldest in her hometown with approximately 200 to 225 years of growth behind it, but it was a sick tree. Although eight years have passed since her mother lost her battle with cancer, the tree’s undoing made the loss feel fresh again. Like her mother who fought for her life for a year and a half, the tree also struggled to survive strong winds and destructive roots. Trace said being in a caretaker position and watching someone you love pass has added many wrinkles to her otherwise cheerful face.

Her mother made a deep mark upon Trace’s soul. She was a very creative person who encouraged her children to map out their own destinations. She didn’t interfere, but rather tried to help them open the doors of their own choosing. Her mother used to sing with the Everly Brothers and her parents ran the county's Republican Party, but were also involved at the state level. When they lived in Memphis, all Trace remembers is fire; her mother told her it was because the garbage workers were on strike, so all the trash was burned. Trace watched when Martin Luther King came in support of the striking workers and she worried about her grandfather who was in the National Guard.

Both her grandfather and mother influenced Trace. She watched the Watergate hearings at her grandfather’s behest when she was just 9-years old. Her mother encouraged her to watch Maude’s abortion show. These made her try to see all sides of a story and to be fair in her reporting.

Trace is the managing editor of a small-town newspaper. She believes everyone on her staff adds value to the newspaper; each has a vital role. Trace will not allow anyone a “glamour fit” because their work is more important than others, and in fact they all take a turn cleaning the toilets. Trace said the difficulty is that although she doesn’t consider herself better than anyone else, when you have the top seat there is always someone gunning for your position. She believes, however, that if they can do the job better than her, then she needs to be replaced.

While Trace is a strong leader, she carries around some personal guilt about smoking cigarettes, especially after her mother’s death from lung cancer. She has quit several times, but never long enough to kick the habit. She’s the only smoker at home and is amazed her family doesn’t make her go outside to puff. But when you become an adult, you can do anything you want. And the older you get, the more credibility you have. Trace believes it is ironic that people in their 40s are given credit for their wisdom, when the real kick is that it takes four decades to realize you don’t know anything.

Maybe it’s when we admit we don’t know anything that we really do become wise.

2 Comments:

Blogger newscoma said...

Wow.
I am honored. My grandparents ran the county party not the state, but they were intricate in it.
Kathy T., that's amazing.
And I hope I'm the lifetime variety friend.
Very honored.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Lynnster said...

Well, look who's on the wrinkles spot today! Yay! Lovely one, Kathy, and what a great picture of Trace!

1:39 AM  

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