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...
BIG HUGE LOVE Y'all!

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

Doors

 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 cats...so 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 week...it 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 (http://www.carrieres-lumieres.com 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 http://villa-grenadine.centerblog.net) and Maison du Peintre also in Mallemort (http://lamaisondupeintre.fr) and our Gite Chez le Peintre   (http://www.gdf13.com/location-vacances-Gite-a-Mallemort-Bouches-Du-Rhone-13G388.html ) 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.

Friday, June 17, 2016

1095




1095... that is how many days it has been since Ted has been pain free and physically gone from our lives. Physically I say,  because I can see and feel his presence all around. In our home (s)  in a song or a moment. I see him in T-Moe, the same chin, voice, and now that T-Moe is working "on the truck" he dresses like his dad... sometimes I look at him and an emotional wave of love, sorrow and gratitude wash over me at once. And Eliza, Eliza has her dads eyes... those blue, sometimes greenish eyes, that change hue with the degree of green or blue she is wearing. I look into them and am so happy to see his eyes! I know he was at T-Moe's first college lacrosse game, and I know he was at Eliza's last. I felt him at her senior thesis show, and her graduation.  I see him on the South Portland Lacrosse field. This years freshman, for Ted were "the class to watch".  He bragged about this class, (since they were 7 years old) as  being amazingly talented athletes and great team players, He couldn't wait to watch them play HS ball. I was able to attend few games, but I have a feeling he has been at all of them. He is here, and although I am grateful for the feelings, I still miss his physical being, his silly Tedisums, his ...Hi Cappy, Hey Bubba, ...What up Sweetie, ya know just the way Ted greeted folks, easy and genuine. I miss that.  It seems impossible to me that it has been 3 years, 3 years! The memories of him so, fresh and right there. June is an emotional month... Flag day, today, and this year,  the selling of his beautiful house. Yet with all the emotion, it feels right and part of the plan, but it is  still oh so bitter sweet, so much emotion tied to it all for me.  So on that note before I begin sobbing again... I will leave you with  these images of the things Ted loved most... His family,  building the beautiful Hawthorne Lane house, The "other woman" (we called her Casey, damn he loved that digger!),  and of course Lacrosse. I miss you my dear, you are always in my heart.