Sunday, January 1, 2017

New, Nouveau, Nuovo, Happy, Heureux, Felice!

2016... You were a year! You made me think deeply, feel deeply, laugh til I cried, cry til I laughed, experience joy and fear.  Here are a few things I will take away from you, some I will leave behind and some I will and take into 2017.

... My amazing children who daily make me proud to be their mom... (even though they give me grey hair...) I wouldn't want them any other way.
...the simple pleasures you brought me
...the gift of patience
...the friends who helped me pack, move, sell one house and renovate another, motivate me, kept me moving and once again lifted me up and pushed me to the finish.
...David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Leon Russell, Buckwheat Zydeco ( Stanley Dural Jr) Maurice White (EWF one of my faves), Paul Kanter, Glen Frey.
Your exit in 2016 made me so sad to see you go, but for all the years of listening pleasure you gave me and for all the amazing music that makes up the soundtrack of my life...Big Happy
...the presidental election, yup, that. Though not happy with the end result, happy for the enlightenment, so that in 2017 we move forward with more kindness, compassion, activism, and accountability.
...Ted... always in my heart, and ever present. I was honoured and blessed to be able to spread a little of you this year with some of your favorites... and you did not let us down... the signs...AMAZING! Amy, Captain Rich, Melis, Rich, and the gang on the boat, a little Casco Bay love for Ted, thank you for allowing me the moment to spread a little Ted from  your boat in our beautiful part of the world. Therese, Marie, Angela, Didi, Laurence, Eileen, the perfect spot in Provence for Ted and the heart signs EVERYWHERE, so grateful for the love and kindness and your willingless to share your time with a little of Ted! Mags, Amy, MaryJane, Allie...Teds Cove... just amazing really, the heart, the harvest moon, shooting star,  little dipper... stars alligned in Ted's kingdom! His favorite place, I will alwyas carry these memories, thank you all for allowing me the moments to share Ted with you all and our big beautiful world. For remembering him with me, missing him.
I will take all the Happy, lots of HAPPY in 2017!

... for our country
...for my fellow humans
... for our global community
... for our planet
... for my friends in the fight of their lives,
I would love to not be fearful... I'd like to leave fear behind in 2016

...That there truly is a cure for cancer. So many friends in this fight in 2016.
 Marilyn, Patrick, Susan, Irena... you are my HOPE... your remissions,  truly  my favorite moments of 2016!
And to all my friends in the fight... I am in your corner, I am hopeful, I have seen good things after the chemo ravage... I admire your strength, tenacity and grace and pray for the cure.
...That there are more good people than bad, and the negative hateful images we see on TV,  in war, in unexpected places, in politics are not the view of the masses... I hope, I hope, I hope. I will bring hope to 2017

...So much sorrow... all over our world, so much sorrow. I will keep sorrow though, as with great sorrow comes great healing and hope, and compassion and power to make a change. We have all had personal sorrows, experienced the global losses.  I wish sorrow on no one, but to experience such sorrow, makes you appreciate the simple little pleasures and the ability find joy in the tiny moments. So I will keep Sorrow in 2017.

...So much more than I ever knew in 2016... I was horrified, saddened, angered, and so disappointed.  ...No place for it EVER, in any year, any time any place.  Hate can stay in 2016.

JOY... art
... in my friends successes tiny special moments surprising friends
....Bring on the JOY... look for it, seek it out, find it, be it. Put yourself in the position to feel it. JOY, lots and lots of JOY in 2017.

...You can never have enough friends
... keep the old, make new open
...don't judge a good one
 Friends true friends, support, lift, encourage, cheer, cry, and are present. Be a good friend, make new friends in 2017!

...It really is all you need
... 2017 be filled with love
... for your family
... friends
...our planet
You get me. Hard to be loved if you do not spread love. BE LOVE, BIG LOVE in 2017!

PEACE... wish for all
... in war torn areas
...with inner demons
... in your heart
To all, bring on PEACE in 2017.

... this word... really expresses my feelings for all of you in my life. But especially since 2012... you have all shown up, embraced, lifted, carried, and ARE the LOVE. My family is truly grateful for all of you in it. I hope we show you the same. Gratitude and stay in 2017.

...we take it for granted
... in good
... in bad
... in recovery
... in remission
Be good to your body.. honor it, take care of it. I want to keep GOOD HEALTH in 2017.

So there it is...another year... my wishes for this shiney new year are simple really. I look forward to what you bring... I pray for all of the above and the strength and power to execute it all with grace.
2016 made me realize how many folks there are in this world who do not feel like me, and I was blown away. The hatred, bigotry, and ignorance that was so frequently publicized and televised during the past year. The vast number of folks who hate, because of color, sexual orientation, disability, gender, religious belief... and on and on. For me ... so disheartning, I truly thought we were more evolved!
So my plan...kill em with kindness, and good, and love. Be happy, be joyful, appreciate each other. Show compassion, show 2016 what a year should look like... 2017... I'm counting on you!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A reminder... and a good one!

My friend Joanne, a friend from childhood posted a little reminder the other day on Facebook. Jo's brother Mark, (aka Mini Mark, aka Max, Maxie, depending on which part of his life you knew him from) passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. I'm paraphrasing but it goes something like this....

 "If you know someone who has lost a loved one or  very important person in their life, and you're afraid to mention it because you think you may make the person sad by reminding them of that person... you are not reminding them... they have not forgotten, they will never forget. What you are reminding them of when you mention them, is that you remembered that the person lived... and that is truly a great gift."

I might add to that,  there it is never a bad time to let someone know that you did not know that their person had died, or that you have not seen me to let me know how sorry you are at the loss of my husband,( father, friend, mother, brother, sister, grandparent...  whom ever).  Or you just didn't know what to say at the time... there is NEVER a bad time to let the surviving loved ones know you are missing, thinking, sending love. 

And may I also add,  for me, personally, don't feel bad if you did not know of Ted's death and you ask me how Ted is doing... I know it's an awkward thing, I have had to respond to this remark more times than I have ever thought possible, and the person who asks ALWAYS feels so awful. Please don't, I know you asked, because you knew and loved Ted, ( or me or Zaz or T-Moe) so I'm sorry that you didnt know and that I am just letting you know now. And when I get teary, well, I think I always will, and I'm not speaking for Jo here, but my guess is that she does too. You  don't ever get over the loss, how could you possibly get over the life of someone you loved so very much. You do move forward, you do enjoy your life,  as they enjoyed theirs. You honor their spirit, and memories. And you share stories, so they are always present. I NEVER, EVER get tired of hearing a Ted story, or a story about my Dad, or my  Mom, my Nana's & Pop-pop, Uncle Sonny, Aunt Marie & Aunt Terri, Uncle Alvin, and my sweet  friends Michael and Michelle, NEVER! So share, remember, and keep their memories in your heart.

As I head into the Christmas and New Year... I am always reminded of Ted's LOVE of a good party. So we PARTY! Our traditional X-Mas Eve Open House has continued in true Hellier form, and it is a beautiful reminder of a life lived fully.
May your holiday season be JOYFUL and FULL of LOVE, HOPE and HAPPINESS...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks

I think this one of my favorite holidays! No gifts, no candy, no other focus besides being thankful for the wonderful things in  life. Although I have always been grateful for things in my life, I believe in my youth I was not as reflective or appreciative. As I celebrate my 56th Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful for so many things...but mostly for all of you... each day, I  count myself so lucky  that I am blessed with an abundance of beautiful people in my life who lift, strengthen, encourage, share wisdom, kindness and love. And for that I am so very grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 7, 2016

happy 27

These are a couple of my favorite wedding pics of me and Ted.. we had THE BEST wedding. So fun, surrounded by all of our friends and family.  A weekend long affair. I often can't remember the exact date 10/6 or 7 (7 it is!) I wore Joanies dress, (boy was my mom tiny!) And we had our wedding rings made with the gold from my dad's wedding band... it was special.
After Ted died I wore his wedding band around my neck with one of my favorire neckalces that he gave me. It gave me comfort and I felt him close to me. On my recent trip to France, Teds ring was lost to me. The chain broke somewhere on our adventure to an outdoor market.  I was devastated at first, I have not been without it since 6/17/2013, but then after shedding some (many)  tears, I was ok. I think it was a sign from my boy. Time to move forward... and although I am not there, he wants me to know that it's time. I have always said when I can take my rings off, I will be ready... mine are still on...he's just giving me the OK for when I am ready. I will forever  love him and I miss him dearly. When I look at these pics, I see us so young and in love. I am happy to say that when Ted passsed away 4 months before our 25th wedding anniversary, we loved each other even more than we did in these sweet pics. I have been blessed in love and am so grateful for our 27 years together. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Some folks never get to know this kind of love and I am so greatful we found each other. We had a good life, we share amazing children, an awesome family and a tribe of wonderful friends. And although I will not get to grow old with Ted, I will grow old with memories of a wonderful life shared. So tonight I will raise a glass ( probably a green Heinie) to all our happy days!

Thursday, October 6, 2016


 I seem to have an obsession with doors and windows. Beautiful, colorful,  passageways. And their meaning for me... what lies beyond, a passageway from one place to another, beginnings, endings, openings and closings. 

I have just returned from an amazing yoga retreat in Provence, France with my dear friend Therese, and a posse of fabulous women. I was lucky to be included among this group of funny, fun, strong, talented ladies. We covered some french ground, Saint Remy, Baux, Aix, Mallemort,  Salon de Provence, Lourmarin, so many sweet villages, so many beautiful doors and windows. But the best part of this week for me were the moments unexpected. The first leg of our journey and laughs in the lounge (who knew making a margarita was so complex). The hot drive from the airport and arriving in Mallemort. Settling into our respective "Gites" in this adorable little village. The many cats! The hill to our Gite... never NOT winded! "Would you rather?" OMG how have I not ever played this game in all my 56 years? So damn funny, especially with the Martin women. Getting lost on a nighttime walk back to our house. And signs from Ted, which brings me back to the door /window meanings. 

 Below is a photo of our pad for the was awesome! Behind the little white shutter is my room.

After meeting our wonderfully delightful hosts... Armelle and Magalie, we headed to Villa Grenedine... Magalie's Villa at the base of the village for a yummy welcome reception. After much wine and getting aquainted, we walked back to our little homes, the first of many hikes that week. 

Our first day ( as every day)  began with yoga @7:45. before yoga  a bowl full of coffee, seriously a BOWL of coffee...heavenly for me! After yoga... an amazing breakfast filled with french things, croissants, baguettes, figs, jams, madeleines, fruit, yogurt... so many tasty french things. 

Each day we headed out on a new adventure, planned by the lovely Laurence King, yoga instructer magnifique! On the advice of my oh so wise daughter I did not research anything on the itenery... so happy I took her advice, as each day was an awesome surprise. It began with the amazingly moving and beautiful Chagall illumination at LesCarrieres de Lunieres ( but if you plan to ever go...don't look... I did not it was a total surprise, and I have to say it was a religious experience for me. )  walking and shopping in Aix, a french cooking class at Villa Genedine with the lovely Cecile, Sight seeing in St Remy, Hammam... a Morracan Spa in Salon... so fun, and the yummy meal after in the cutest little restaurant. Shopping at the outdoor market in Lourmain and a wine tasting and picnic at Chateau Bas, a vineyard and Roman ruin, where I spread a little of Ted. A perfect end to a most lovely week in Provence. There were so many  signs from Ted. during this trip. Lots of heart sightings, rainbows and well, just lots of things, letting us know he was present! Miss that man, he would have loved Provence, he totally dug old things! 

If you ever find yourseld in Provence and need a place to stay I highly recommend Villa Grenadine, in Mallemort ( you can find it on air B&B and here and Maison du Peintre also in Mallemort ( and our Gite Chez le Peintre   ( ) Beautiful Village, amazing hosts and oh so fun! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ted's Cove

I so often write here of my feelings and life without Ted.  My hope is never to make anyone feel sorry for me or my family but to put my feelings down so I can try to make sense of the grief and move forward thru this thing called life . I try to make sense of it all in the best way I know how. I have shared my sorrow and pain. So today I wanted to share a little magic.
 On September 16, 2016, 2 days after Teds birthday, (1 day after his fake internet birthday) and 5 years after he began work on our cottage on Barters Island,  I spent my first weekend there in the company of some of my favorite women. I planned on scattering a little of Ted in our cove... his favorite place to chuck a line, watch our children swim, mud or just sit and drink a cold Heinie.  And this happened... we walked to the cove on a beautiful full moon lit night at low tide and we saw this! A heart a big beautiful heart. We have been hanging at this cove for 17 years now, and never have I ever seen a heart at low tide. So my dear friend ( and Ted's favorite) Margaret beautifully poured Ted into the hearts center. And as we stood on the rocks  admiring the moon and its reflection in the heart with Teds ashes... an amazing, most brilliant shooting star flew over our heads. I have never seen one so large, and so close... we could see the red and blue tail... it was just magical. Ted and I spoke often of him giving me a sign that he was around.. I took the heart as that sign, but the star... nice touch Teddy! Large in life... large in after life... I am so very happy that he is in his special place and that some of his favorites girls were there to see him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Happy 61 Cappy

Today would be Teds 61st birthday. I miss celebrating birthdays with Ted. Boy did my  man love a party. I wish  that he was here for us to make a fuss over. And sad that our kids  won't be starting this day with the customary "happy birthday old man". I so miss those days.

I know I have said it before, but I find myself extremely emotional before life events, Ted's birthday being a biggie. I know I am supposed to move on, and I am moving in that direction. It seems like an eternity since I have been able to talk to him and see his face, and then again it feels like yesterday we were sitting, enjoying a cold heinie after a long day of work. I still think about Ted daily... truly, not a day in the past 3 years has passed without thoughts of Ted. My head knows the reality, my heart is hard to convince. It's wierd how 2 parts of the same body can be so disagreeable. But I'm ok, I'm alright, just missing him. So many changes in the past years, and so many decisions. I miss having my mate there to help make them. I miss his laugter. I miss his making diffucult situations bearable, and I miss his calm easy way. I felt I was a better me with Ted and I miss that. I will settle knowing that I am the person I am today because of  who we were together. We were lucky... So Happy Birthday Baby, I've got you on my mind, and always in my heart.