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.
"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
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
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
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.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
" 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.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
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.