"Let your son die..." A Mother's Story

By: Amy Gibson

Women’s History Month celebrates the diversity, authenticity, and contributions of women all around the world! Because of this TXTURE Magazine wanted to feature an inspiring woman who is making a positive impact in society.  We featured celebrated international author, Tracie Frank Mayer, who is also a blogger, lyricist, and public speaker.In our interview with Tracie she discusses her memoir “Incompatible With Nature- A Mother’s Story” which is about her struggle of raising a son with Heterotaxy Syndrome.

Amy: Hi Tracie thank you so much for interviewing with Txture Magazine! We felt like your story would be a great article to feature during Women’s History Month!

Tracie: Thank you for wanting to feature me. I’m very grateful for the opportunity!

Amy: Well let’s jump right into the book.  In your memoir you talk about falling in love with your husband and moving to Germany; you also talk about raising a son with Heterotaxy Syndrome. What inspired you to share your story?

Tracie:  I didn’t intend on writing this story.  It all came about as a result of taking notes when my son, Mark, was first admitted to the hospital.  At the time, I couldn’t understand the language or anything about the medical situation itself so I began taking notes and this was my way of keeping track of things and trying to get a grip on myself and the situation. One day it dawned on me that I was spending 20 hour days and nights in the hospital with these doctors telling me at any moment to be prepared for Mark’s demise. All the while I’m loving and nurturing him and it dawned on me that while this had become my normal situation this was far from normal.  I thought if I can survive all of this then I owe it to others to inspire them should they face their own mountain of adversity. That’s actually why I wrote the story. I’m hoping my story will encourage and inspire others, especially mothers to hang in there for the good fight.

Amy: That’s very inspiring! How was it raising a son with Heterotaxy Syndrome?

Tracie: I will tell you Amy, it wasn’t easy. I had many difficult days. Mark and I spent more time at the doctor’s office than we did at home. It was to the point where his pediatrician would tell me to bring him first thing in the morning so that he would be the first patient.  Another thing that bothered me as his mother was to see him be uncomfortable or hurt by medical pricks or probes. Mark was always tough; he’s always been my strength.  Even as a little boy at the age of 4 or 5 years old he would never cry when he went to the doctor. He would take his shots and I would try to turn his head away so he wouldn’t see the needle. His strength gave me strength.

Amy: Thank you for sharing that.

Tracie: Sure, Sure

Amy:  In your book you also talk about meeting your husband and moving to Germany. Can you talk more about your experience? How did you meet your husband?

Tracie:  That’s really an interesting story.  I went on a last minute vacation with a girlfriend from high school to Mexico; I met Mark’s father on the last day of my vacation.  It was as corny as it sounds but it really was love at first sight! We dated long distance for a year.  He came to visit me like 3 or 4 times in Seattle, my hometown and I came twice to Germany. We thought it would be more economical and better for us in general if we just got married.  It took a leap of faith for me to get up and leave my family and friends, but it was worth it. My marriage didn’t last but that’s a story for the next book. I will say my marriage didn’t dissolve because of Mark’s health issues. We stayed married for 24 years.

Amy: How is Mark doing today?

Tracie: Amy he’s doing great! Thank you for asking. He’s 32 years old and he’s physically wonderful. He takes meds and goes to check-ups twice a year.  I still go with him because that’s what I do as his mom. He trains, physically works out at the gym. He flyboards, skis, works in sales, and he loves to travel. I’m thrilled because he and his girlfriend just moved around the corner from me in their first apartment.  They are crazy in love with each other and I’m crazy about her! When Mark is happy, I’m happy!  He has a positive outlook on life. In the book he shares his thoughts on living and loving life.  He’s an amazing young man; he’s truly my pride and joy!

Amy:  Awww that’s so good to hear! 

Tracie: Thank you, thank you!

Amy: How did he feel about you releasing your memoir and sharing some of his story?

Tracie:  This is a very good question and you know it really concerned me. I talked with Mark about it beforehand because he knew that I was either going to tell the story or I wasn’t. Mark said we owe it to the world to tell our story so that we really can inspire other people to not give up and to keep their faith and hope. He’s happy that I told my story and he’s proud of me and that means the world to me.

Amy: That’s really good to hear!  How has the feedback been from other women and mothers?

Tracie:  It’s been amazing! It has actually humbled me because when I was writing the book I wasn’t expecting feedback.  I just wanted to put the book out there and hopefully support other people. I was the keynote speaker for the Go Red for Women Luncheon in Rockford, Illinois, and I also spoke at the University of Illinois.  After both of the speaking engagements people were coming up to me and hugging me, and saying God bless you. It was so inspiring! That’s one of the most important things that we can do in life is to inspire and give hope to people. Especially in this day and age, we need stories of inspiration.

Amy: I agree, I really do!  Where can people purchase your book?

Tracie:  The book is available worldwide on Amazon and at the American bookstore Barnes & Noble.

Amy:  Well Tracie that’s all the questions that I have. Thank you so much for doing this interview with TXTURE Magazine!  I really enjoyed talking with you and learning more about your story.

Tracie:  I appreciate it very, very much.  I hope I inspire you and your readers.

Amy is a Mississippi native who currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina; she is a writer, blogger, and aspiring filmmaker.   Amy is also the co-creator of The Double Scoop Media Company.  She is a lover of the arts and enjoys traveling.   

Get to know Amy more by visiting her blog. www.thedoublescoop2.com  

IG: @thedoublescoop