Traci Genereaux

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

A lot has been written about Traci Genereaux over the past month or so.

Much of it since the RCMP confirmed that her remains were discovered on the Silver Creek farm linked to Curtis Sagmoen earlier this month.

My hope is that the parallel being drawn on social media between Sagmoen, and Robert Pickton, in regards to Traci and the other missing women from the area, is off base. [The RCMP have not made that connection,or implied that there is a connection/comparison to Robert Pickton]

But we only know what we know. And right now, that isn’t a whole lot.

For the sake of Traci’s family, and the families of the other missing women, I hope we get some answers soon.

What I do know, and I think this is something that becomes easy to forget as reporters while we’re clamouring to get those answers, is that Traci is more than a headline.

She is more than the way she died.

A lot of labels have been thrown around in the media lately when we talk about Traci; drug addict, runaway, sex trade worker…it ultimately doesn’t matter because, above all else, Traci was human. She was a person.

Sister, daughter, friend — those were the words most used to describe Traci by those crammed into the Upper Room Mission for a memorial service held for her on Wednesday afternoon.

“She was a fun-loving tomboy who liked digging in the dirt for worms (when she was little),” Pastor Dave Bootsma read in his eulogy.

She liked elementary school and wore a beautiful pink dress to her Grade 7 graduation.

She had a great sense of humour, one of her friends told the audience.

Traci also loved animals. She volunteered at the SPCA and wanted to be a veterinarian one day.

She was 4-ft-11 and about 95 pounds, and “fiery.”

“She was definitely sassy at times,” Lisa Anderson, executive director of the mission, told me with a smile after the service. “But she seemed fragile,” and not just because of her tiny frame.”

With a tear rolling down her cheek, Anderson explained that Traci, while she had her moments, was the kind of person you want to take home and “just love.”

Traci’s waters ran deep.

Bob Oldfield, a retired school administrator who taught a young Traci, told me she wrote poetry. He said she had a “depth of understanding” beyond her years.

She was bright and willful.

If things had gone differently for her, who knows where she could have ended up.

In many ways, I think, despite a loving family who wanted the best for her, it sounds like Traci ended up living a hard life.

And based on the fact that her remains were found on a farm in the middle of nowhere, Traci presumably died, what I can only imagine, was a hard death.

No one deserves that.

I hope that Traci’s family will be able to find some kind of peace someday. I hope that if this does turn out to be like the Pickton case that we don’t make the same mistakes. I hope we remember to look beyond the headlines, and hopefully one day, find justice.

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Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff


@VernonNews
erin.christie@vernonmorningstar.com

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