Sunday, June 17, 2018

1825





I love this image of Ted ... classic Ted, scruffy and  happy after a long day of building our house... and the grin, his how ya doin, just happy to just be spending another day on the planet grin.
Today Ted has been gone exactly 5 years... from this planet...1825 days to be exact. I could say a lot, but I won't. I think I have said it all before. So I will just say... you are missed dearly and  loved greatly, today as much as you were  on this day in 2013.
 I'll leave these words which I feel deeply and was sung so beautifully at your memorial service by our friend Michael Rancourt, writen by Warren Zevon...
 I'll keep you in my heart for a while.



Sunday, June 3, 2018

6th Annual Ted Hellier Laxfest





Its June...bringing all the feelings front and present.

  It's hard to  believe, yesterday, June 6, was the 6h Annual Ted Hellier Laxfest. A FUN filled day of lacrosse. This Festival brings together hundreds of Middle School and JV girls and boys lacrosse teams. A day long festival,  playing lacrosse for  the love of the game. and the Love of Ted.

The first Ted Hellier Laxfest was in June of 2013... 2 weeks before Ted passed away. He was hellbent on attending the  newly named festival in his honor. It meant so much to him, to have his town and his players want to name a "Fest" after him. Not one for being the center of attention... this was a high honor for him. As I said, he was hellbent on being here on this day. He was quite ill at this time, it took hours for him to get ready to go out...it was a process. He was there early and only able to stay for a couple of hours...he was surrounded by  players past and present, their families and friends...so many friends and well wishers.  It was a beautiful thing  to see, and a memory that I hold so close to my heart.

It takes lots of work to plan a fest...the planning for Laxfest begins in January... many hours logged... so on the day after he 6th annual Ted Hellier Laxfest, I am truly grateful for the hard working folks who tirelessly give their time and talent to the game of lacrosse, growing the program and making this one of the premiere Festivals in Maine.
A huge THANK YOU to ...the South Portland Lacrosse Boosters, all of our Generous Sponsors, all of the Varsity team volunteers and their families, all the JV and MS families and their players,  all of the returning folks from teams past, and all the boys Ted coached (and not just lax players) who showed up to say hello and offered to help. I am continually touched to hear stories of how Ted not only coached you on the field and court,  but also taught you life long lessons... it truly warms my heart that he made such a significant mark on you all. And to all the future lacrosse super stars... like my little friend below... may you always have fun and know the love and brotherhood of a bonded team.


Till next year... I hope you all continue to play, and have fun doing it. For the love of the game and the and the Love of Ted,  The Hellier's thank you for your support and passion.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tis the season for tradition

It has happened for me, each year since 1985. That feeling...longing for  those who are not here with  us during the  holidays. When they come, I get all the feelings...you know, sad, happy, joy, heartache, but I must say these days the biggest feeling I get is comfort. An overwhelming feeling of being wrapped in a sweet, love filled blanket. When Ted & I married and then had children we blended each of our families traditions. Christmas eve, was his. Since 1997, we have had a Christmas eve open house at our home, an early evening soiree. It was Teds family tradition, and now our Hellier family tradition. I swear, at certain moments in the eve, in my mind and heart, I can see and feel Ted holding court in the kitchen! (The man loved to holiday, and he did them so well) All of our dear friends continue to show up on Teds favorite eve, sharing good tidings of comfort and joy. At the nights end, my children and I  take stock of who was there, who we missed, who we got to chat with, who we hardly had time to talk with or who was there, but we totally did not see!  We love the night, and are so grateful for all of our friends who continue to share our tradition and who have made it part of their family tradition.


 I find continuing traditions connects me to Ted and my Mom and Dad. Their place in my heart always, ever present...and certain celebrations... bring them right to me!

Christmas season in general, that is a Dad holiday... I won't say Bob LOVED  Christmas, but some of my favorite memories and traditions come from my dad. I will share a few here. Bob did nothing before Christmas eve... well, except the making of his fabulous Peace and Joy light signs... in the 60's and 70's my dad would get a piece of plywood, spell out the GIANT words in big magnificant light bulbs and then make a peace sign... I LOVED THOSE SIGNS! I think I was channeling my best dad when Ted & I made our giant peace wreath.


But getting the tree, shopping, wrapping, you know all the biggies, that was a Christmas eve event. For years (like, until I was in my 40's) I thought getting and putting up a tree on Christmas eve was an old Italian tradition. For as long as my dad was alive, that was ours. We would get a tree early christmas eve... bring it in the house, let it settle in, and then a few hours later begin the decorating!  Years later I asked my mom about the tradition  and where it began... and she said it was a "Bob" tradition... my dad didn't want to spend lots of money on a tree, so he waited until the last possible day. And can I say, the anticipation of that day... OUT OF OUR MINDS...me and my 3 brothers... it was MAGICAL!

And the shopping for gifts... also a Bob tradition on Christmas eve. After we purchased the best possible tree left on the lot, and put it up... he would take me on his shopping extravaganza! Just me and my dad... we shopped for my mom, and special gifts for my brothers...it was always and adventure. As I got older,  my dad would wait for me to get home from college, NH, or Maine, where ever I was living, so we could get our shop on! (we did it until his last Christmas in1984 when he was too sick to make it out...I remember that year clearly,  Christmases as I knew them, would never be the same)
And then the wrapping. (or lack there of) Of course cheap Bob  did not want to PAY for wrapping paper, so he crafted his own... truly beautiful, funny works of art.  And Santa gifts in my house...unwrapped, thats how you knew they were from Santa!

From all of  those traditions... we have created our own.
Ted and I caved on the tree thing... our kids wanted it up before Christmas, so we get it a week before and leave it up for a week after.
Almost all of our ornaments are handmade which we all made each year to hang and gift.
We would get all of our shopping done in one night, though not Christmas eve, that was party night, but usually around the 20th... one day of shopping together and then dinner and drinks after... We Loved that tradition.
NOT WRAPPING  Santa gifts, my dad, TRULY GENIOUS,  all the big gifts, bikes, snow boards, doll houses, hamsters, sports gear... those difficult to wrap things...SANTA!!!
And the other gifts... handmade paper.
I continue those traditions, with a nod to the master paper maker!




 My mother did the lions share of the Christmas shopping, and house decorating on Cayuga Road, she LOVED it... shopping was her thing.  She was a thoughtful gift buyer, always thinking  of what would truly make each of us shreik with glee. As she got older and compromised because of brain tumors and many craineotomies  her gifts became a little crazy... but still she shopped. I have to say... those gifts... some of our favorite family moments, wondering what she was thinking as she was purchasing, and the looks on our faces as we opened them... so funny, and usually they were extremely large, extremely ugly or extremely not reflective of the recepiant at all. But we loved them all the same.



When she decked the halls, she would bring out the family decorations, wreaths, stockings, and Christmas up the house (until the Christmas eve tree event). Each tear, a fight about the Christmas tree beads... only she and I loved them, my brothers and my dad did not!  Each year when I joyfully trim the tree in my own home, with my vintage glass beeds, ( as the box my brother made a zillion years ago reads) it brings me back to family heated discussions on why they should or shouldn't be on the tree, I put them up without a fight, but always I am brought right backt to Cayuga Road.
And her Navity scene... the envy of my children. When my mom remarried she had a lovely Navity set. My children loved it and were kinda mad that we did not have one. Upon our return from a visit with my mom, Eliza & T-Moe set to creating a beautiful scene of their own. Barbie, Ken, Rescue Heros,  various animals,  playschool barn and a golfball, were the key players of their scene.  To this day my favorite decoration. Now 20 somethings, my children still set it up... it is the best! My mom passed away in 2011, the day after Christmas... I believe she was holding on, so as not to spoil the day that she so loved.


Traditions, I love them so, they send me right back, they warm me, bring tears, smiles and such a feeling of pure love and joy.  My children are tradition keepers, I love that about them both... I envision, a future with their version of our traditions that have been built over the years  and I look forward to each and every tradition filled year. Whatever your holiday and traditions... I hope thay are fabulous and spent with all you hold near and dear.




Saturday, October 7, 2017

It's been a while



So, years ago I took a metalsmithing class with the oh, so talented,  Susan Bickford. I learned lots. I had been dreaming of mixing metal and fiber... I made the jewelry in photo then, it  now seems like eons ago. But still I dream of metal and fiber. Sewn and hammered, riveted and wrapped, wool and jersey, repurposed, brass, copper, silver... so many ways I have dreamed. I was in the studio today, pondering what to make, I am a maker,  I love to see the maker's mark on things made by the hand. It has been a while... I am feeling inspired. It will be a surprise to me... I hope what I have been dreaming and sketching... is good... you never know... I will see where it takes me!


28

     Happy Anniversary Ted! 


 This would be, as you would have said, our 28th year of "Wedded Bliss". That was always your answer.
  It was a weekend long wedding, such amazing memories of that weekend with our friends and family. My heart carries amazing memories of our 26 years spent together.        

I will raise a glass tonight to us... tomorrow will watch our boy play fall ball, you would have so enjoyed that as part of our celebration! We were good together. I miss you like crazy. Always in my heart.








Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy 62 Cappy!

62, its your 62nd Birthday! Seems so crazy to me that 5 birthdays have come to pass. It truly seems like yesterday that we celebrated you in true Ted style. Surrounded by love... your family and friends. You did so love a party! I wish we were doing it this way today. 

We have missed celebrating you these past 5 years. 

At the risk of being repetitive, I think of you each day. Each year my wish is a little less pain in my heart, but now at year 5 I'm thinking that will never go. I'm ok with that. I think if we did not love so greatly, then the pain would not be so great. And I would not have changed a thing. (Maybe the plaid shirts, with striped shorts, but that's it) You loved me, Eliza, Moe, our families, and all who knew you with such Big Love. It is so true, the greater the love, the grater the loss. 
Missing you today and every day Greatly.


                                                               
57th birthday.
50th

Saturday, June 17, 2017

1460 and no plan



Oh June...
Upon your arrival I am immediately reminded of what lies ahead...Ted Hellier Laxfest (5th annual) a day of celebrating the game he so loved) Flag day, (Teds high holy day!) Fathers day, and June 17. I feel your presence creeping up as May winds down. Unexplicable bouts of sadness, crying for no apparent reason, an emotional roller coaster. And then it occurs to me that June is on the rise and it all makes sense. It will be 4 years (1460 days) since Ted has not been sleeping next to me, 4 years of amazing things our children have accomplished. I witness it without Ted by my side, beaming with joy and smiling that beautiful mustached smile. I do feel his presence, but it's not the same. After 4 years I still miss him like crazy, I still sometimes have the feeling like he's going to walk thru the door. I have become quite good at camouflaging the huge Ted chamber in my heart, but it's always right there, and when it's covered I'm good, but often, I feel like I can physically touch it, like giant hole, where everything Ted lives. I literally put my hand to my chest to keep it all in.

I had lunch the other day with a friend who lost her husband a year ago, we talk about our loss and grief and where we are in that process...we wish there was a book, with hard fast rules. This process is so very different for each of us, yet so the same. We are oddly comforted by this sameness.

 It is an odd journey for sure. The roads unfamiliar, the map not clearly marked, and definitely unsure where it all leads to. Where there were plans, I now have none. I wing it, my new mantra "its all good". For the first time in my life I have no plan. Ted and I had plans, but things have changed, I truly have no idea what lies ahead. Truth be told, that's a little scary. I'm a girl who likes a plan. But it's all good... forward movement.

Ted and I were together 27 years, 27 really good years, we loved each other, loved our children, our friends, and our family. And we really liked each other and each other's company. We did our own thing, but always made time for each other. I miss the conversations, the coming together after a work day to catch up, talking about our kiddos, our day, and just the daily happenings. I miss talking about our future. (back to that plan thing) it's just not the same planning by oneself, no one to toss ideas around with, I'm a dreamer, planner, I don't know now what my dream is, it always had Ted in it. And that, after 4 years has settled in hard. Mind you I have always been strongly independent, I don't mind being alone, I'm not lonely, I am truly so fortunate and, to quote Ted so "Lucky" to have so many dear friends, whom I love and who have been present for me in so many huge ways, these past 5 years. I have 2 amazing children , who bring me vast amounts of joy, and a family that has always had my back. I am now,  after 1460 days, trying to figure out what my new dream will look like. It's all good, I have a pretty great life, it just aches to know Ted is not taking part in the conversation. I will look for signs, it's how I roll these days. I know he's with us, I just have to be aware.

So today I will honor Ted by being happy! I will go to a lacrosse game, (we have friends playing in the state finals... Ted will be there cheering Gavin on... as will I,  just from different seats! ) And later on I will raise a nice cold Heinie, to a life well lived and a man HUGELY loved and dearly missed.