Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

June 2, 2008

He will be missed!

This evening I gathered with my family who have come in from points far and wide to talk about and remember my Uncle Ted. We all received a bit of a shock on Friday when he passed suddenly of, what I understand, was a severe heart attack. We took a little while as a family to throw out adjectives and descriptions and memories in an effort to sum up our experiences with a person who's life was like few others.
I've written about Ted before on my other blog as one of my life's influences:

"My uncle Ted - The roaming uncle with the VW beetle, wrap around sunglasses, stories of rock hounding in the southwest and works of art that painted my childhood. He was the first "great artist" that I ever knew. I think a good deal of my curiosity and desire to learn how to create things were influenced by him. I wanted to paint, and draw, and learn to make silver jewelry like the octopus earrings that he made that would seem to climb up the wearers ear. If your reading Ted, Thanks."
It is no less true now.
Ted was born with cerebral palsy. I say this not in an effort to paint a portrait of him, but more as a sort of frame. It was something that was immediately apparent to some degree, but really had nothing to do with the main work. I speak in the terms of the art world, of paintings and frames for a reason, because they were a great deal of the context in which I always knew him.
My earliest memories of Uncle Ted are of a wild haired story teller in blue jeans and black glasses. He reveled me with tales of finding turquoise and geodes in the mountains of the Southwest, living in a garage near the beaches of Southern California where he painted or made jewelry, or driving across the desert in my Grandpas old '64 Ford truck. (This would later be my first vehicle.)
As I grew up and gravitated toward the arts, Ted was almost like a silent mentor. Our home had paintings and watercolors of his on the walls, and from time to time he'd "Blow in" and tell me how good my work was. In the late 80's and early 90's when I was just starting to find some of the possibilities that were becoming available in the arts through computers, he again showed up and blew me away with the work that he was doing on them that was ahead of it's time.
Through my 20's, as I served in the Army, the day to day of life kept me busy with myself and I had very little contact with him. The one time I do remember us being together he surprised me with stories of his days in the Navy, he had lied to the recruiters so that he could get in. No mere government officer was going to stop him if he had a goal!
In 2000 I had the pleasure of seeing him again and this time I was meeting the wonderfully sweet woman that after over 50 years of living life, was finally enough to fill his heart. As with everything Ted did, he loved Betty with a passion that only he could. I have no doubt that his life was richer and fuller in his last years because of her.
In the last 7 years or so he had moved back to Salt Lake City and we've been able to visit more often again. We've debated politics, talked about dreams, shared our over the top ideas and laughed. I feel so blessed that just a few weeks ago, I was able to have Ted over to the house for the day. We caught up with what we were planning, walked in the garden and I got to show him the butternut squashes that were growing from the seed he saved and sent me for Christmas. He'd become quite a gardener of his own in the last few years and shared with pride his successes with lemons and kumquats that he had had that year. (I laughed inside when we were at his house tonight and I found the refrigerator note pad with his tick marks counting the citrus as he harvested them. We really are so much alike, I have been meticulously weighing and documenting all of my harvests too.) He also wanted to pass on to me a shotgun that had been my grandfathers, my fathers and his. I will treasure it forever.
Ted accomplished so much more in his life than many people ever do and more to the point, he did it in his own way, with a smile and a story. In looking back, and talking with Betty today, she mentioned that had Ted been born with a different body, a stronger one, that he may well have been a very different person. It struck me that perhaps he was given that burden because not only could he bear it, but because he would excel despite it and in doing so would enable us to learn and see all that was possible when we believed in ourselves and accepted no less that our very best.
Ted will be missed, yes. But far more than that, he will be remembered!


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss p. He sounded like a gifted an inspiring man. xoxo

jayedee said...

i'm terribly sorry for your loss! what a wonderful person he sounds like. how blessed you are to have had him in your lives!

Eva said...

WOW! Sounds like he led an amazing life, and what a wonderful influence. I too, am very sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

You have a wonderful way with words. I couldn't have described Ted better than that. He certainly will be missed by us all. Your mom (Ted's sister-in-law)

Anonymous said...

Patrik, what a beautiful tribute to Ted. Ted is beaming, I am sure. Thank you so very much for being able to express the different ways that you saw him.

I was 41 when I met Ted, who was 53. We often said had we met one another earlier..., but I was blessed to have him for as long as I did.

Ted believed in Today, as tomorrow's plans can change as they so frequently do. He was Love personified.

Anonymous said...

My nephew: your descriptive words describing my brother, your uncle, are a treasure. I remember him always talking about his times with you and laughing about the stunts in your life...you mirrored him in so many ways. Cherish the memories, the life dreams he dared you to live. He will be with us always, love...Tia

Anonymous said...

Your Uncle Ted is the only one of your father's siblings that I didn't have the pleasure of meeting. After reading what you wrote about him, I'm certain we would have seem eye to eye. I love the smile on his face. Lucky for you to have had him in your life.

Next door neighbor on Glasgow

Anonymous said...

Big Man, I have nothing to write, you said it all. Uncle Ted was his own person, with the best of souls. I'm so glad that you were able to put down in words the way we all feel about him. Love you!

Anonymous said...

As everyone has said, you described Ted beautifully and it was fascinating for me to read how you saw Ted through your own eyes. I will always remember him as a tease with that sly grin, enjoying whatever it was he'd done to 'get me'! Of course, that was always followed by one of his tight bear hugs and then getting down to business to see how we were doing. Thanks for letting me see a side of Ted I knew little of. Give your family hugs from the Indiana Garcias! Love, Diane

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss; and happy for you that you were touched and blessed by his life.