Wednesday, June 17, 2015


It seems impossible, that 2 years have passed since we said our final goodbyes. I choose not to celebrate the anniversary of Teds death, it seems wrong to celebrate that. It's not celebration worthy.  I am not saying that the day is not important, it most definately is...the day is important, because it marks the day Ted was released from pain and suffering. So I will celebrate that. And on this day that he was released, I will  celebrate his life, his legacy his fun loving, easy going Tedness.

The heart has memory that the brain does not. It seems it knows far in advance the giant void it has in it,  and for weeks it quietly tugs, like a child on your sleeve. My heart knows before my brain when events,  milestones,  occasions are on the rise. It gently reminds me of the enormus hole it is managing to function with. It reminds me to go there, you know there... where all the hard memories are. I try not to go there too often.  If I let my self go there I can fall deep into the pain, heavy, full body ache from deep inside, breath taking sorrow. And I do go there for just a bit, from time to time, because it is inescapable, and I stay there  for just for a moment, because I have to honor when there, comes here. Pain is part of healing, I can't escape the pain, but I can controll it. So after a good emotional cleanse, I move from the sorrow and sadness and heaviness of Teds death to the joyful happiness that was his life. I recall all the wonderful times. All of the people he has touched, and I cry some more, but different tears. It feels lighter,  my heart still heavy... but heavy with memories, and love for what he gave to us.  And I am grateful for it.

I will not lie and say that the 2nd year is easier. In fact I found it much more difficult than the first. The reality is ever present. Things settle in but the alone feeling does not go away. That is hard to settle with. But I can say that there are more days than before that I can actually mention Ted's name without my voice catching and holding back tears...that is Big. I am moving in the right direction.

So today on the anniversary of Ted's 2nd year of no pain, I will celebrate. Tonight at 6:00 T-Moe's Lacrosse team plays in the Western Class A Finals. The winner of this game moves on to the State Championship on Saturday.  I will stand in his spot, cheer for his boys and know that win or lose, they played their hearts out. How fitting on this day, for Teds boys to be playing...the game he loved. I know he will be cheering loudly from his spot.

Monday, June 8, 2015

3rd Annual LaxFest

On this past Saturday, the South Portland Lacrosse Boosters held the 3rd Annual Ted Hellier LaxFest.  A festival named for my husband, a man who loved the game, played in college, who was a diehard fan, and a beloved  coach. The first Annual Ted Hellier Laxfest took place 2 weeks before Ted passed away. He was at that fest. Although he was tired, and very, very sick at this stage of his illness, I could not keep him home. He was hellbent on getting to the fields to be there and watch some good lacrosse. He did not last long that day, he tired easily, but he was there for a couple of hours and that  was a gift. He was so touched that his friends, players and fellow coaches wanted to rename the Split Lacrosse Tournament, the Ted Hellier Laxfest. He was extremely humbled and all his friends joked that "it's not  every day you get a fest named after you!"  An all day event, this festival of lacrosse, is not about winning or losing, but just for the love of the game.

Running a "Fest" is a community effort. The planning stage begins in January, (and quite frankly, it could begin  the day after the Fest) with bi-weekly meetings. So many moving parts...teams  invited to play, sponsors sought.  It takes lots of funding to run a fest...tents, porta potties, golf carts, radios, referees, water, ice, gas, T-shirts,  hats, banners, printing, trainers, all these items that need to be paid for up front. Items are needed for the raffle table, food vendors,  lacrosse vendors... and the list goes on. Voluntters Needed! Lots of Volunteers!  And it seems we can always use more than we have signed up. Many of this years volunteers were there from 6:00AM-5:30PM. And although we were a tired crew at 5:30PM, we were feeling the high of a successful event. Notes were made on where to improve, and how to better the fest for the nest year. How to build this fest into the premiere laxfest that it can be. And at the same time raise funds to continue to grow the South Portlands Lacrosse Program.

In 2014, a year after Teds passing, the South Portland Boys Varsity Lacrosse Red Riots  became the State Champion Red Riots. The boys on this team were the players that he coached in the first ever youth teams in South Portland. A program that Ted ran for years. He would beg,  borrow and quite possibly steal equiptment from anyone who would give it to him. He would dole out sticks, helmets, gloves, and pads to those who did not have them, all he asked is that they return them, and if they decide to stick with Lacrosse, to donate their old equiptment to the program.  His goal was to build a program, so that our boys and girls were introduced to the sport before High School. He talked about the talent of the class of 2015 often... such good athletes, nice young men, high lacrosse IQ, team players, etc... That is how he taught them to play, as a team. I remember him telling the boys  often, that one person does not win or lose a lacrosse game, you win or lose as a team. He also spoke often of the rising freshman class.  A group,  in his estimation that would surpass the talents of the boys on this 2015 team, and this is one very talented group of guys!  I am looking forward to watching that group of lacrosse players.

I know that Ted is pleased with the way this larosse program is growing. They have worked hard to go from a 4-8 season in 2012 to the 11-1 season thus far in 2015.

I am proud of what Ted started, 9 years ago,  and with the continued help of this amazing community, we will continue to grow the sport in his honor.
From deep in this Hellier's heart I thank you.