The plan as it stands right now for the July 2 Memorial gathering is: We will be at the pond starting at 2:00pm, meat will be off the grill around 6:00 pm and fireworks will commence at dark. Yes, I hope to put a bit of Ted in one of those mortars and let him sparkle in brilliance one more time.
Many are bringing a side or dessert, so if you can’t manage or don’t have time, don’t fret about it. No one has ever starved at the pond – or at any friend and family gathering for that point.
Sunset at the pond
There will be tables and chairs at the pond, but if you are one to like your own comfy camp chair to hang out around the fire and with friends and family, then do please bring it with you.
Young and old alike are welcome to swim and play in the pond, but please bring a life vest if the swimmer is not certified as a proficient swimmer. There will be no life guard on duty.
On the chance that the weather is a downpour (not forecasted), or if you cannot make it on the 2nd but do want to stop by at some point, we will also have more festivities on the 3rd as well (Ian has a memorable July 4th shindig every year) and truth be told, we will be celebrating time together on the 1st at the pond too. So, long story short, the memorial is on the 2nd, but come when you can. We would love to see you.
If you are now asking where is this amazing pond that you speak of, the farmhouse is at 5817 Mcclintocksburg Rd. Ravenna, Ohio. If you first locate the farmhouse at said address – picture for reference below, then the pond is 1/2 mile (or so) south of there on the East side of the road. I am told there is now a nice driveway back to the pond.
Come for a moment, an hour or all day. We would just love to see you and be in the playful atmosphere that Ted loved most. I hope to see you there.
For the first time I can remember, the spring season has been an emotional struggle for me. Who would have thought that grief also blooms in spring?
Ted died at the beginning of winter, so it was natural to curl up mentally and physically. That nothing was growing, no leaves on the trees, fewer animals about as they all hunkered down in winter – felt right. It was nature painting that of what you have when all is done and dormant. That view was where I was and it was somehow comforting to be encased in it.
But then, as it always does, spring opens its window and lets in its warmth and new songs in the air. I mean, truly, the air has a different song in the spring than in winter. Not just the birds who are back from their winter migration and chirping as if they have months of catching up to do. The actual breezes have a different song. I swear to you that if you sit by your wind chimes outside in winter and again in spring, you hear different notes. It is as if Winter has a different set of mallets used to play the chimes than Spring does. Winter plays with a harder more crisp beat and tone than that of spring, who brings out the brushes instead of the mallets and plays with a lighter touch. Even the gusts sound different. Winter gusts sound commanding and of a warning tone and in spring, well, the gusts feel like it isn’t about you. Springs gusts are a symphony of dance that wants to be frenetic and free – without the restriction of direction or rhythm.
For me, grief intensified once spring hit. I had thought that once we made it through Galen and Ciara’s wedding, that grief would ease. We not only made it through the wedding, but it was also amazing and joyful and it felt like Ted was with us and I thought spring would then be as grand as it always is.
I was right, but I was horrifically wrong too. Emotions are like weeds and flowers. Some come up easily and some are deep in the ground and take seemingly forever to come up. Then once they do arise, they are unrecognizable. You can’t tell what it is until it has filled the space and bloomed. And then, those deep deep rooted ones are hard to get out once you do know that they don’t need to stay.
I underestimated how much Ted’s presence would be missed when the switch was flipped from winter to spring. In winter, Ted would be in his mad scientist room and conjuring up new projects. He was maybe less visible in winter except for when he would come up to eat or watch some television and rub my feet. He always rubbed my feet and legs as we watched TV. That and a good back scratch are two of the things that I still miss daily.
In spring, he was outside figuring out where he was moving his shrubs around, how he would change the garden, undoing parts of his waterfall to redo again. He could never leave things alone. He always had to tinker and make it better, or change it or move it. I would get exasperated at how many times a shrub would be moved in our yard. One space would become too small for it when it grew or it wasn’t growing fast enough for him and so he would move it. Sometimes it grew and it just wasn’t how he envisioned the space to be, so he would move it elsewhere. This would happen with so many different annuals and shrubs. It use to drive me nuts sometimes. “Why are you making more work for yourself?” I would complain. But in the end, he was usually right and the much moved vegetation would be best where he finally left it.
I’ve had alot of help this spring with clearing up the yard, projects around the house and general repairs, but that too made me miss Ted. It just showed me how many people it will take to assist to handle the things that Ted has always done and I took mostly for granted.
Spring is a season of newness, hope, and promise of things to come, and honestly, the embodiment of moving on. It is hard for the boys and me to want to move on too quickly though. I can feel my heart opening up to spring and her beauty of new grasses, flowers, and buds everywhere. To the playfulness of the robins again finding nesting spots around our porches and eves and the new bunnies in the yard. We are not sure if Peter found a mate, or if these are from some of his friends or relatives. But while my heart opens to all of the newness, it also breaks as it reopens.
Spring makes me feel like it is forcing me to open up and take a new look at my surroundings. But that opening up feels like a protective shell cracking and under the shell, it is so new and fragile. It makes me realize that Ted was my protective shell. He made it easier for me to just be me and not worry about getting enough water to the right areas and the water storage monitored. He took care of so much of the indoor and outdoor space. All I had to do was feed him and he was the energizer bunny who was always busy with something. I mean, I did help obviously, but I could get out of much of it just in the time it would take to make three full meals a day for us.
I realized as I listened to an interview this week, that my cooking skills may have been honed by the avoidance of some other duties. In the interview, the host was asking the gal how it was that she mastered the piano. The gal admitted that she had never washed dishes growing up. She explained that as dishes were being cleared from their table, she would begin to help clear the table, but then find herself at the piano and would practice and sing the latest song that they were all interested in, and in doing so, she was entertaining the ones who ended up washing the dishes. They liked it, so they let her continue on the piano as they washed, dried and put away. She got better at the piano and also never ended up washing a dish in many years.
I guess what I am saying is that spring has shown me that my audience is gone and that I now need to do all of those other things that I so willingly avoided while Ted was here to do them. I’m also realizing that I had the better end of our deal and it is a bit overwhelming to have to fill in Ted’s shoes.
So overwhelmed by the thoughts of all that needs to be done at home, for Ted’s business, and in getting ready for Ted’s memorials, I have decided to step away from my job for the summer to figure things out and give myself some time. It has been so very busy with work and visitors and the wedding and getting Ted’s projects figured out, that I just felt like time was the one thing that I was craving the most. Yes, it will come at a cost of loss of salary for a while, but it’s never been about money for me. I need time. Time to spend with friends and family and not have to worry about getting to work the next day. To be with the boys and help Galen out with Ted’s business for a bit. To sit on the deck and take notes on how nature carries on. Nature is after all, a wonderful teacher.
I wish I had more time with Ted, but I don’t, so I’ll not kill myself working too many hours with not enough time to focus on what it is I need right now. The job will either be there for me when I hope to go back in the fall, or it won’t and I’ll move on to something else. Spring is here to show that life changes quickly sometimes and if you want to enjoy it, you just might need to slow down and stop and just watch to see what is growing around you.
This quote came up in my feed recently, and felt it was speaking to me.
My living wants to include travel, new places, learning the unicycle, seeing friends and family and making and keeping connections with those that I meet along the way. And Hugs, lots and lots of hugs.
And as if Spring did not want me expect all steps to be forward and not to have a step backward in there from time to time, after a week of very warm weather in the 80’s and 90’s in Denver, she sent a bit of winter back for a visit.
This was our yard yesterday.
Proof that life can be all over the place, but there is beauty in it all.
Oh, and if you think you are coming to one of the memorials, go back to yesterday’s post and fill in the rsvp form for the one you are coming to. ❤
Learning something new today and testing an RSVP add on so that organizers for Ted’s Memorials can get a grasp on the number of people attending so that we have food for all. Meat will be provided, along with water and some snacks, but we are hoping that some attendees will bring a side dish to go along. Not required and we would rather have you here with open arms than full arms, so, if you are crunched for time, visiting from farther away or just don’t feel like it, don’t think another minute about it. Just come. We have never had a gathering where people went hungry, so just come. Oh, but do bring a camp chair if you have one. We will have extras at both places, but having your own will ensure you have a spot to sit.
I’m not yet claiming myself as an organizer as I have no clue what I am doing (and that doesn’t just include the memorials). I hope this works, but if it doesn’t, maybe you can send a text, email or smoke signal and let us know which one you might attend. There should be two rsvp’s on this page – one for Colorado and one for Ohio. I hope to see and give lots of hugs to those who have been holding us up in thoughts and prayers through this rocky road.
None of your information will be shared and I promise you will not end up on some email list in the future.
First form is for the Colorado get together.
And now the one for Ohio to be had at the Tomlinson Pond
Ted has been in the ICU since October 19th and today he got out.
He didn’t walk out with me like I had hoped, but his spirit is free from the horrid Covid and free from his ravaged body. Everything went sideways today and he just couldn’t overcome it.
My first emotion is shock followed by an overwhelming gratitude. I’ve been lucky and have thirty some years of memories to hold fast to. While I know he is gone, my mind – or maybe it’s my heart – doesn’t want to believe it. I feel like I’ll go home and he’ll be in the garden messing with his water storage system and making sure nothing will freeze in the next cold spell. He’ll be mad that we didn’t fold up the plastic for the secondary greenhouse and will comment that the heater for the bees isn’t how he wants it – but will acknowledge that at least we tried and it should work. He’ll be exasperated at why we haven’t brought more wood over and gotten it cut and split because you know we are going to get hit by cold and snow before we know it.
I also feel lost. We have been part of each other for 32 years and can’t imagine what this will be like. I am also now so use to coming to the hospital everyday and watching his care and connecting with this incredible hospital family of folks who have cared for the both of us, that I feel sad for losing them as well as Ted. Weird I know, but I do get attached to folk. (well, some I am holding onto and will definitely stay in touch with, but still.)
I’m the one use to adventures and having Ted there at home to return to. Now he has gone onto the eternal adventure and I’m left as the one at home.
It is going to take the brain trust of everyone we know just to figure out all of the contraptions and things that Ted has contrived in and around the house. I hope I can find at least some of his hidden stashes. He never much read manuals, but I sure wish he had written one to go with all the switches, hidden compartments, LED setups that are abundantly thoughout the interior and exterior of the house. This just may be the worlds next mystery.
Ted was my guy. I could bitch at him, to him, make fun of him, love him, want to kill him, make him three full coarse meals a day if we were both home, find his tools when he couldn’t remember where he set them down and threatened to buy five of whatever was missing so that he would always have the tool handy. He was my guy who could fix anything and if he couldn’t, he’d make sure it was so broken that no one could. He’s been the only guy I even ever dreamt about. I mean I have friends that have really good hot dreams with all kinds of famous people, but my hot dreams always had Ted in them.
One of my dear friends that is across country booked a flight yesterday so that she could come be with me for a while. I think some angel must have known and whispered into her ear that the time to come was now.
I’ll be around for hugs and will need lots of those and will return them as I know so many of you also need a hug because Ted wasn’t just my guy, he was lots of people’s guy and it isn’t just me that lost him today.
Ted’s body won’t be around, but Ted’s energy will always be in our midst. There will be tons of reminders for us all.
I feel like we’ll need a memorial cornhole tournament at some future date for us all to celebrate his time with us. Maybe a pig roast to go with. I don’t know, but with everyone’s help, we shall figure it out.
He’d want a party.
I want Ted.
I don’t suppose there will be a daily update now, but I’m sure thoughts will eek out and I’ll share since you have come this far with me.
Hug your loved ones today, tell them you love them, get vaxed if you haven’t already.