At the end of her poem "The Summer Day," Mary Oliver writes:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
I don't know if Tracie Gaylene Tatum who passed away on February 11, 2021 at the age of 51, knew that poem, but she certainly knew the answer to the question it asks.
For years, she helped classrooms full of Salt Lake City preschoolers decode the mysteries of construction paper, music, and poems.
For years, she taught older girls at Juan Diego High School how to find their athleticism and their voices through the good hard work of cheerleading.
For years, she was there on the phone or available in person, ready to listen to your despair, ready to offer a thought that would nourish you.
For years, she showed up every day with optimism and empathy. The patient mother. The empathetic sister. The devoted daughter. The loving wife.
The abiding wise woman.
Now she is gone too soon and too young, claimed by ALK-positive lung cancer.
And we ache.
What did she do with her one wild and precious life?
She loved the people around her fiercely and unconditionally.
May we rise to her example.
May we pass it on.
She is survived by her mother and father, Sherry and Dave; her grandfather, Krikor (KoKo) Davian; her husband, Scott; her three children, Max (Sheryl), Isabelle, and Chloe; her beloved dogs, Nala and Tate; her mother-in-law, Judy Tatum; siblings Jeff, Kelly (Brian), Steve, sister-in-law Karin, (George), nieces and nephews Devon, Nicholas, Bryce, Calvin, Maya, Rosie, Elizabeth, Mason, William and Ella ; Godmother Sandi, Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike, Aunt Angela, Uncle Jerry and Aunt Jettie, Uncle John, Aunt Suz and Uncle Dick, Uncle Joe and Aunt Elaine, numerous cousins, and dear friend Paige.
Her family is planning a memorial service to be held at a later date.
Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors
I know your up in Heaven with family and friends. It helps to know that. But I will miss you so much. So many wonderful memories. I was so happy to be your Aunt and Godmother. You will always be SPECIAL in my heart. I know Heaven is a much more beautiful place with you there.
I love you...Aunt Sandi
Tracie - I know you're up in Heaven sharing smiles, stories, and laughter. Thank you for letting me come and stay with you during these last several months. Our morning "sister time" are memories I will treasure forever. I love you! - Kelly
We are heartbroken to lose our beautiful daughter Tracie. We know she is with our lord and is out of pain and no more suffering. She will be missed every day, she was deeply loved.
I'm devastated to hear this news. Rest in peace Tracie.