By Teresa Barnes, Supported Living Coordinator
April 28th 2013 marked the date of the passing of a great friend. I suppose- being in the line of work that we are- “friend” is a bit of a boundary crossing. I cannot seem to help it though as I closely guard that feeling of “friend”. And Tracy Sawyer was just that- he wasn’t merely a client but a very good friend.
He touched the lives of just about everybody he ever met. From doctors that became like family, to the Direct Support Professionals here at The Arc that helped Tracy to live out his dreams, to myself, the coordinator that had the privilege and honor of being there for his last breath. Tracy, just living was a miracle in every sense of the word.
A story I like to tell that sums up Tracy best is one that took place not long ago. He had just been transferred up to the ICU unit after an emergency surgery. I was there as he was being wheeled into his room, and I was holding his hand. He was in such a tremendous amount of pain and I was encouraging him to squeeze my hand, to help him get through it. As I was telling the doctors to please give him something to allow for a moment of relief, he looked at me and said “ Are you okay, T?”
“Are you okay?” In the midst of extreme pain and circumstance he looked outside of himself to make sure I was alright. That was Tracy. That was the man I had come to know and admire. He has taught all of us who knew him humility. Not just humility, but humanity. Tracy leaves this world having left his mark for sure. He left this world a little better then when he came into it. It’s amazing, how our “clients” teach us more then we teach them, and ultimately give more of themselves then we could ever think to give of ourselves.
What an amazing man to know, an amazing life to be just a small part of. Goodbye, Tracy.