This morning I was planning to blog about the next of my senior reps, Kailey from Coventry Christian School, the school my own children attend. But this morning, Kailey, and the rest of the CCS community, are mourning the loss of one of their own, as we all learned yesterday that beloved coach, parent, mentor, and friend, Traci Hoffman suddenly and tragically went home to be with the Lord.
I did not know Traci outside the halls of CCS, but I would certainly call her my friend. I think anyone who knew her would say so, as she had such a welcoming and loving way about her. She was a constant fixture in the library and in the hallways at school, and seeing her every morning was a wonderful part of our family routine. We'd talk about the kids, or photography, or Thomas the Tank Engine. My little Mikey was obsessed with her daughter, Malena's Cookie Monster Hat, and Traci often threatened to send me home with more choo-choo tracks from Mason's old collection (please, no!). Traci was always giving, whether with a smile, or with kind words, or a hug for my baby.
For over six months now, she'd been telling me how much she wanted to have family portraits done, and we'd casually talk about making a date when the weather got better. I am so sad that I will never get to do that with her, never get to give her beautiful portraits of the family she cherished so much.
The one image I was able to capture for her was late last fall of her beautiful little girl.
Traci touched so many lives and was such a blessing to everyone around her. And so we grieve for her husband, her children, our own children, and our community. Yet, as Christians, we do not grieve without hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) We can rejoice in knowing that Traci is home, that she is in heaven. We can live in comfort and hope that death is not the end, and that we will see her again. We have hope.
I pray for her husband, her children, and her family, who face a struggle more difficult than ever. I pray for her dear friends who feel the ache in their hearts as they long to understand all of this. And I pray for all of the CCS children who will, no doubt, miss the greatest cheerleader they will ever know.
The halls of CCS will be darker today, harder to walk through, and so much emptier. But they will forever be blessed for having such a wonderful child of God once walk them.
Thank you, Traci, for all you were to all of us.