"I sit and wait
Does an angel contemplate my fate
And do they know
The places where we go"
~ Robbie Williams ~
From the news of her accident, to her funeral and memorial service, questions remain as to why such an effervescent and spirited young lady would meet such a fate.
A 2005 graduate of Jefferson High School, Tracey's passion for religion led to her to begin a Bible club at the school. She was also an active member of the Bolivar Pentecostal Church of Christ.
Tracey made her first appearance at VFCC in late August, and immediately made friends with her outgoing personality.
However, this was Tracey's first full-length time away from home, Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia, and while she expressed joy for being at school, she also missed her family.
When the Duncan family spoke Wednesday afternoon, they expressed how exciting Tracey was about her plans to come home that weekend.
Her father, Mickey, said that Tracey was planning eight or nine days worth of stuff into two days. Both of her sisters, Jennifer and Sara, were looking forward to Tracey's visit, as Sara said that Tracey was planning to spend the entire weekend with her.
After Tracey was finished working that Friday night, around 11 p.m., she spoke to her father on the phone and was still bursting with anticipation. Not wanting to curb her excitement, Mickey asked Tracey to wait until Saturday morning to drive home.
However, Tracey called a friend and planned on surprising her family by driving to her friend's home, and then waking up Saturday morning to come right home.
Unfortunately, less than one mile from her home, the Jeep she was driving went off the road around 3 a.m. and hit a fence.
Although she had her seatbelt on, the short life of Tracey Michelle Duncan came to an end.
In the three weeks she was on campus, Tracey left an immense impression on everyone who came in contact with her.
The college held a memorial service Wednesday morning, which featured a plaque in her honor and a ceremonial tree planting in front of her dorm building.
Charles "Chick" Coles Jr., vice president of Institutional Advancement, read aloud the scripture on the plaque, Psalm 23:6, a personal favorite of Tracey's that was read at her funeral.
It's the same scripture that Tracey used to read to her little sister Sara all of the time.
It goes "Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."
Ironically, the home that Tracey was longing to go to led her to her eventual home, as where most angels reside.
On a personal note, in all of my ventures at the college, I never had the opportunity to meet Tracey. But after speaking with her family, friends and faculty members, I certainly wish I had, and I'd be a better person for doing so.
* * *
Guilty Pleasure Of The Week - It was merely two months ago when the talk of Tastykake pies was in this spot. Now that the Strawberry pies are gone, the Tasty-Klair pies are prevalent, but there is one I forgot about. Lo and behold, how could I let slip the Tastykake Pumpkin Pie, which is in stores right now. Granted, it's not Grandmom's home-made pumpkin pie, but it does the job when you get a hankering for some holiday pie. No whipped cream is necessary, as these handheld spicy delights make a nice treat at any time.
* * *
Until then, some final words of wisdom to "write-off" to - a grand opening here, an event there, and at most of these functions, Mark Gellert, owner, Panini's Italian Cafe, is always present and smiling. He graciously provides awesome hors d'oeuvres and answers the long-awaited question "When are you opening?" The time isn't soon enough, because the big man knows his way around a kitchen, and all of these samplings are making quite a few people anxious to try out the real deal. I know a plate of Chicken Lydia has my name on it in the near future.
* * *
Dennis J. Wright's faith has been shaken, but not stirred, at email@example.com.