Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy Birthday Joanie!

January 8, Joanie's  birthday ( AKA my mom). She loved being the center of attention.  It seems impossible that she has been gone for 3 years now. Crazy how time passes yet I still feel like it was yestrerday that she was just here. I miss so much about my mom, but mostly I miss hearing her voice, her laugh, a giggle really and her sneezes. Nothing is more comforting than the sound of your mothers voice when things are upside down in your world. I miss just calling to say hey when having a bad day. I miss her laugh, such a feminine girly laugh... I do not laugh that way, but she had a distinct,  Joan way of laughing and yup her sneezes, she sneezed like no other. If you can all say along AhhhhhhhhTissue in about 5 octives higher than your natural voice, then you nailed it! Always made me laugh.
I was so fortunate to have such great parents, of course when in my teens I dont think I thought them so cool, but all my friends loved them. And as I grew into adulthood, so appreciated every bit of them. I remember calls to my mom to just say "oh my God, I am so sorry"  about a thousand times when Zaz & T-Moe were babies, toddlers, pre teens, you get my drift. You do tend to appreciate them even more once you have your own. And how many time do I wish I could pick up the phone just to hear her voice? Well every day these past few years. She walked my walk and again I wish I could say "Oh my God, I am so sorry" As I think back to when my dad passed at 50  ( I was 25) I don't think I had a clue how difficult it was for my mom.  She was a strong, funny, kind woman and I miss her dearly.
 One of my last pics with my mom. I had the good fortune to travel with her to was a bitter sweet vacation.

I always thought I looked like Bob (my dad) until I saw this pic... 

Joan  would dislike each one of these, but  I love the stories behind each one... before my wedding, with Eliza after her first surgery and shortly after  one of her many craniotomies

at T-Moes Christening

I cherish the memories.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Auld Lang Syne

"Should old aquaintance be forgot and never come to mind. Should old aquaintance be forgot  for Auld Lang Syne"
I  have never really known the exact  meaning of this song, but I like to think it means remember all friends and loved ones, for old times sake. All those who are gone. All those who were at one time close friends, but are no more. All those that are present now. Remember them,  all of them for old time sake.  Move forward to the new, but always remember the old. So as I move forward to the new year, I remember all those who have gone before me, and all the amazingly wonderful times we shared. 

The wonderful life I was lucky enough to share with Ted.  How very fortunate we were to find each other. Some people never know such happiness. 

My life in Cranford on Cayuga road with my mom & dad, who gave me the gift of laughter and sarcasim, wit and kindness. I am grateful for such a happy childhood. 

My childhood friends Michelle & Michael , so fun, and funny and beautiful and handsome and taken before they could grow into cool, fun, amazing adults. I learned young the value of true friendship.  

My grandparents, Nana & Pop-Pop, she taught me how to enjoy cooking and  how to make people feel special. My Pop, took me to boxing matches and would always remember me and bring me figs and "chinese apples",  from him,  I learned the importance of  thoughtful little gifts.

My Nana D, taught me to crochet and sew and as I was learning from her, I never imagined that I would make a career in the arts through fiber. But I knew I enjoyed the making.  I am grateful to her for opening that door.

Peggy Clausen, the most awesome mother in-law. So gracious, kind, smart and non judgmental. I strive to be like her.

Lina, my dear friend... so smart, way cool, very talented and so tiny! I miss her wise words daily. I hope to one day be as wise. 

Mimi Dornblaser... another  smart lady,  Teds aunt and keeper of all the Hellier scoop! From Mimi I learned the importance of family history and  connectivity. 

Ted Hellier, Steve Onos, Tim Salce, Paul Black, all these fathers, great fathers, good husbands, amazing men. All well loved in their communities, talented men, artists, builders of community, lovers of life. From them I learned how precious life is, how short our time is here and the importance of being present. The effect of doing good, however loudly or quietly you do it.
So as I sit here in this wonderful home that Ted built, wondering what 2015 will bring,  I hope to, be kind, live in the moment, touch hearts, be happy and DO GOOD!
Happy 2015!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Promises Kept

I just returned from Italy on a lovely family vacation with T-Moe, my niece Cate and my son's friend Chris.  We went to visit Eliza who is studying in Florence. It was a wonderful trip, lots of laughs, eating, drinking, history, walking and just enjoying the country where my ansestors are from.
It was always the plan for Me & Ted to visit Italy once T-Moe was in college... a vacation by ourselves. We had always taken our vacations as a family...we enjoyed that, but were looking forward to this vacation, alone,  together. We had planned it and it was only a few years in our future when Ted got sick.

Ted was a wise and deliberate man. Throughout his illness he  asked for very little, he was a perfect patient, generous and thoughtful of those around him. On days when he was so tired and could barely stay awake, if the phone rang he would answer, and I would hear him say, in a very quiet voice
"ok, sure, see you in a bit" and I would ask who it was and he would tell me and say they are going to stop by. I would say are you sure you are up for it? His reply, always,  was " yeah, we may never see each other again" So as he was making the journey toward the end of his life. He asked me to promise a few things. I won't share them all, as some things are not to share. But one was to promise not to sell his "Kingdom" on Barters Island and the other was  for me to "promise to go to Italy and not wait. We should have gone, promise me you will go and not wait" And so when Eliza was planning on studying abroad, and she decided on Florence, I knew that I would make the trip and Ted would finally get to go to Italy. We would go together, though not alone.

We traveled a bit around Italy, to Florence, Rome, Pisa, Sienna, Lucca and other little villages. My posse of 4 decided that Loro Ciufenna, a little village that we stayed in with a series of beautiful waterfalls, was the place to spread a little Ted. I think he would have loved it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To have and to hold...

Today would be our 25th wedding anniversary. We shared 24 blissful years...that would be the answer Ted would give you if you asked how  long we were married. He would say "24 years of bliss!" So on this 25 year... I miss my blissful mate. I know it says "til death do you part". But even though he is no longer here, I feel him close. I still feel married. I know that sounds odd. We did not step out of the marriage. It just ended, and just like that I am alone without  Ted and him without me.  So on this day that Ted never forgot and I was always confused about the exact date. (the 6th or 7th?) I am so grateful for the 24 we had together and so sad that I will miss growing old with that cranky old Yankee. I miss having him to hold.
( He would have loved Eliza's version of one of our favorite wedding pics. )

Monday, September 1, 2014

Still in my Heart

Today is the the Anniversary of Ted's memorial service. It was a lovely day for all of us to say goodbye, remember Ted moments share our stories and our tears. I miss him. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


And on the 366th day without Ted on this planet, this happened...

I find it no coincidence that the State game is on the day we all  said goodbye to Ted. 
He Loved this team, he knew their potential, as players and amazing young men. He is one "Happy Cappy"!!!! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Life without Ted

It is amost at that year mark, soon to be 365 since we have had to adjust to life without Ted. I will not color it rosey and say it has been easy. It is most difficult living a life you once did as a whole family,  with an important element missing. Of course there are many good days, but if I am truthful with myself, I will say,  I miss Ted more today than I did in the beginning of this new life without.
We have celebrated many important life events without Ted.. all of our birthdays have come and gone, Christmas Eve, Christmas,  the New Year, Halloween, Thanksgiving, anniversaries, and of course just the silly little family events only we cared to celebrate. He is missed not just by me and our children, but by our entire family, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, our dear extended family, all his "brothers".  All of us have missed  that certain lack of Tedness in our lives. As Flag Day soon approaches, ( June 14 for those of you who are unaware) the Holiday of Holidays for Ted,  ( It was Teds fave. No really, he is the only person I knew who spent his year planning his huge Flag Day celebration.) I find myself sitting often with a heavy heart. Missing my husband, friend, partner in crime, father of our amazing children. Sad because he is not here physically to embrace our children, and tell them how amazing he thinks they are. Sad because selfishly, I am often overwhelmed with the day to day of mothering, working, housekeeping, yard maintaining, bill paying, car fixing,  appointment making,  volunteering, house maitenaining, dog chasing, and the list goes on. Not complaining...I can do it, but oh how I miss my partner in all this. Our children have risen to the occasion, but they are still kids and I am mindful of heaping an adult load on them. They have their own grief to carry and their own path to navigate. It is difficult enough, being a teenager,  without adding the loss of you dad, best buddy and confidant. So we forge forward. I dont know when this heaviness subsides a bit. I am more certain now than I ever was, that grief is not a short term condition. Thoughts of Ted find their way in every day, I did not know it possible for little things to just creep in and for a moment, feel like I should call, that life was normal. I  feel stupid for not knowing how to answer certain questions. Silly questions,  like a question that came up for the Lacrosse program..."what  would you like me to put down as T-Moe's parents" ?  Just me?  I am the only one here... but he did have 2 parents. It's just so damn weird, that little question... made me all upset, confused, and not knowing how to answer. What the what! So I asked my son... he looked at me like I was crazy,  and in the end I put me and Ted, because we are his parents, even though he is no longer here. So I continue this long strange trip, with my children friends and family, hoping for clarity, calm and normalcy soon. I know it will come. I wish there was a clean cut guide, and definitave date. But I am also a realist and know that would be too good to be true.
So I thank you all for your  love and support, kindness, friendship and understanding, as sometimes I am not the easiest person to be around. You have helped us navigate, steadied us, picked us up, heard us out, cried with us, and distracted us. We are grateful for you timing and continued embrace.