In memory of Traci Oliver
October 26, 2015
Freshman Jack Johnson is a guest writer for the site. He is in 1st period Journalism I with Mrs. Bell
Laying on the couch with her pj’s, relaxing with her husband watching TV. Being five months pregnant, and practically jumping with joy, then getting a phone call from her brother, and being stricken with the overwhelming grief with the new knowledge of her mother’s sudden death.
Traci Oliver was a mother of three with a loving husband. She was born May 22, 1966. One night she was on her way to her son’s band competition, on the car ride she passed out. On the way her husband tried to wake her up and she didn’t. She died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm, which is an abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery. Normally, arteries withstand a large amount of pressure. Occasionally, however, a weak area develops in the wall of an artery. This allows the pressure within the artery to push outwards, creating a bulge called an aneurysm. After that her husband called 911 for an ambulance, They did CPR for 45 minutes. It was too late.
“I collapsed in my husbands arms and sobbed,” daughter Whitney Striclyn said. “Grief so deep that time itself seemed to stop. Life has never been the same again. Dealing with my mom’s death has gotten easier since my daughter was born. The first Christmas without my mom was terrible and depressing and none of us had a good year. The second year was actually filled with laughter and joy because we got to have Tylee there and watch her open presents and that was really great.”
Striclyn had just gotten married, and had a baby on the way. A little over a month before her mom died, she and her mom found out the gender of the new baby at the same time. A girl soon to be named Tylee.
“I never would have guessed my mom would die so soon,” Striclyn said. “Especially in that stage of my life. I was pregnant with my first baby and she was supposed to be my biggest supporter other than my husband on delivery day. She had always wanted grandchildren and out of nowhere she died five months before she got to meet Tylee. My husband and I decided to keep our baby’s name a secret until she was born, but now, I wish with my whole heart that I could have told my mom that her granddaughter’s name was Tylee Grace. It’s still hard to believe any of this is really true.”
Striclyn and her mother had a very close relationship. Her mom was one of the family’s biggest cheerleaders. She went to every single game/competition.
“If I had to describe my mom in one word, I would say loud,” Striclyn said “But not in a bad way. Well, most of the time. She cheered louder than anyone else whenever one of us was competing for something. She would be the first person to tell you exactly what was on her mind. Since she died, my dad has started encouraging everyone to “live life louder” in honor of my mom. She was always getting everyone to step out of his/her comfort zone. She was such a joyful, loud, and lovely lady.”
Their mother was a great person. She would actually make blankets for people and kids around town or for family and friends. Sometimes she would even find a material that reminded her of someone and make them a blanket or even sold them at football games. She loved gift giving, it was her language of love.
“Honestly, this life is so fleeting,” Striclyn said “I believe it is critical to invest in relationships and most importantly, to share about the saving of Jesus Christ. I’ve seen first hand how short life can be, and I’ve witnessed curveballs that I don’t wish anyone to have to deal with. Cherish the relationships you have and don’t miss opportunities or make excuses.”