March 17th.

St. Patrick’s Day.

Children’s Day in Bangladesh.

289 days left in the year.

Nat King Cole, Rob Kardashian, and Hozier all celebrate this date as their birthday.

So does Tracey Williams.

As I took a walk today, I found myself thinking of Tracey. As I have shared in other posts, I LOVE birthdays. Of course, I love to celebrate my own special day, but I always find an unexplainable joy in celebrating the birthdays of the people around me. I love making them feel important and loved… often giving back the love and kindness they share with me day to day. 21795_10153127208430699_5489461792317306101_n

Tracey, my former teacher, mentor, and friend, was an extraordinary lady. I only knew her for five years, but she packed so much joy into those years of friendship. It was a privilege to make her feel special on at least one day out of the year.

There was the year I had my classmates help me pull off a surprise party during our English class… in retrospect, locking her out of the room while we lit candles on the brownies sitting on top of her desk wasn’t the best plan. Let’s just say the principal got involved…

There were a couple flower bouquets sent to her… a bright, beautiful bouquet for a bright, beautiful soul.

And then there were the giant birthday cookies. I’ll never forget her message to me after the first birthday cookie… I was experiencing some chaos in my home life that year and Tracey thanked me endlessly for that cookie, followed by dozens of questions and encouraging advice about my own situation. What a truly selfless lady.

To celebrate Tracey’s 45th birthday, and her third birthday in Heaven, I have baked several giant birthday cookies. I will share these cookies with some of the people I interact with daily… people who make me feel important every single day. Some of these people never had the privilege of knowing Tracey so I will also get to share a piece of her with each piece of cookie they take.

I am not a poet, at all. Tracey always told me I had a gift for writing… but I know she was not including poetry in that statement. However, below, ignoring my great rhyme struggle, is the poem I wrote to go with each giant birthday cookie I give away.

Some believe St. Patrick’s Day is full of luck,

while others wear their shades of greens.

Others still search for gold to tuck,

away in the pockets of their jeans.

But I see the 17th of March,

as a day to celebrate,

it’s more than the rainbow’s arch;

it’s more than just another date. 

Today is the birthday of my dear friend,

A lady worth more than a pot of gold,

But, you see, today she will spend,

Her special day in a place where she will never grow old.

As the angels of Heaven sing that birthday chorus,

I know my friend will shine her smile,

Lighting up the sky just for us,

Her whisper, in the wind, “see you in a while.” 

So, today, I choose to remember,

With a birthday cookie, please take a piece,

Six years ago, I made the same kind for her,

Now, I share this day with you as a release. 

As you chew each tasty bite,

Please think of my friend,

Be kind, it would be her delight,

Or give a smile, something we all can lend.

On March 17th, and every other day, I promise to honor Tracey and her legacy by living life to the absolute fullest. She was never without a smile or a cheerful greeting. She was always kind and always laughing. She was passionate with her actions, and she was quick with her love. She woke up and lived as if every single day were her birthday.

Cheers, “Willy!”