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.
" The Ted Riots" That is what one of Ted's oldest friends calls this South Portland team. It makes me smile!
It was a well anticipated game last night vs Kennebunk. For me and many I know, thoughts of Ted were close to the field.
I stand in the same spot Ted watched all the games from last year... it gives me comfort and strength and hope and a feeling of closeness to him, knowing many of his best last days were spent here.
For many the win last night just another High School game. For me... a beautiful sign of a life well lived, as Ted taught many of these boys the game of lacrosse. He shared his passion, he had a great way of communicating with these small boys, who are now young men. He shared his knowledge and taught them what it means to play as a team and not as a one. Boy oh boy was that evident last night. This team of amazing athletes, awesome young men, played as a team... no super stars here (well in my book they all are). They all sacrifice for the better of the team. What a beautiful thing when it all comes together. Ted is one proud coach today! And me so proud of all these boys, and so grateful Ted had the opportunity to do what made him truly happy in his lifetime. I wish that for all theses young men.
Once in a while you are given a gift that is the most beautiful, unimaginable thing ever. Ted, Eliza,
T-Moe and I were given such a gift...our friends and community came together to support our family by throwing an amazing party in my husbands honor. There was an abundance of auction items donated from friends far and near. There were items donated by people in our community who we have yet to meet. Our talented Artist friends donated their talents of beautiful art, jewelry and music. A professional Lacrosse playing friend, had his team of amazing players...(all whom I have never met ) donate signed jerseys, and attended the live auction event via skype. An old college friend donated a portion of his restaurants sales one evening. Friends donated vacation homes, friends & strangers donated baskets of goodies, talent, music time, space. Friends spent weeks organizing and gathering auction items, cooking, baking, planning an amazing party, for all to celebrate Ted...simply amazing.
It is a rare gift in life when a group of folks who have touched your life and whose lives you have touched, gather together to share that feeling of love respect, adoration and at the same time share strength. We were given that gift and we will be forever grateful for such an amazing experience. But mostly I am grateful that I married the man they all were there to honor. This beautiful event was on a late November evening. How can I ever thank these dear friends, wonderful acquaintances and kind strangers?
I have thought long and hard and the answer, as I believe it, is to simply live like Ted...Be true to yourself, be kind, help when you can, say yes when asked, mentor our youth, do good, work hard, make friends where ever you go, live in the moment, pay it forward, have fun, be silly, and laugh...a lot!
I know the memories of that November evening carried Ted through some of the darkest days of his illness. I must admit, when I am sad and missing Ted, I think of that night too, and the love and support from all of our friends, family, still, well it warms my heart...but what really resonates with me is the the feeling I had seeing my hubby actually see what he meant to others, such an unbelievable gift, to actually see the love, touch the love. That alone brings me such bittersweet joy.
I am a widow, it has been 276 days now, of life without Ted. Widow...it's a lonely word and I find it a hard word to say. I dont know if I have spoken that word yet to describe myself. These past 9 months have been tough. Grief is unpredictable, it is as unpredictable as the cancer was and it as unpredictable as life itself. I try to steady the course and forge forward, but I often find myself thrown by unpredictable waves of emotion. Everyone grieves differently. I dont know that there is any guide to grieving the death of a loved one. I am what grief looks like. It's silent and right now, always present. I think the only true healer is time, and really how much time no one knows. For some only a few months, for others years. I have heard many with the best of intentions suggest that I cry more, cry less, talk to a counselor, exercise more, do yoga, go out, sell your home, get rid of photos, the thoughtful list of suggestions goes on. And although I appreciate all the kind advice, I listen to my heart. We all process loss, sorrow and heartache uniquely. No one can tell us how to grieve or how long it takes to mend a broken heart. What I do know is that I am happy when friends share their grief. It is comforting to know Ted is missed by friends and family as much as I miss him and as much as our children miss him. Ted had a large personality, he was a huge presence. I miss his presence daily and dearly. Large and huge....hard to shake.
This is why Ted loved Bob Marley so...and why we named our son after him...my wish on this snowy day...may you all find your soul mate...be it your spouse, brother, sister, friend...someone to share all with...its amazing.
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
― Bob Marley
I have not been in the studio much this past year, I do miss the making. I have however, been sketching madly and designing new cards, prints, fabric & wrapping papers. I have also been doing some design work for brides and grooms, expectant moms, and new moms. Such fun. I really like the process of working with clients. Some have a very clear vision, some none at all and some think they do. As we follow that vision, they often decide that they are not loving that direction. I like to meet with clients first to get a sense of who they are. I try to grab a sense of their style by he way they dress, talk, color choices and just their general essence. I just delivered wedding invitations Friday to happy clients. The process was fun, here is where we started.
I thought a little story about them would be a sweet invite...
K & J Liked the idea, so I did a quick mock up on the computer
They liked the idea, but not totally smitten. I had visions of hand lettered loveliness for the above,
but then had another idea...sketched and sent it off...
K & J liked where I was going , so I went!
I drew a few few more sketches and hand lettered.
K & J liked this, but wondered if trees might be heart shaped- ish...
another sketch to see if I was heading in the tight direction
YES! Below is final drawing before I scanned into computer and colored.
K & J originally wanted cream card stock, but I liked trees bright white, I suggested a lovely green which would go lovely with the brides muted color choices.
RSVP Postcard choices:
Below are the final invites. It warms my heart to able to make the bride & groom happy. Wedding invites send a beautiful message...I am thrilled they asked me to be a small part of it.