Woe is me.com, my friend Ted dubbed this blog—wicked sense of humor. For Ted’s tastes, my posts are too personal, too revealing. Privacy mattered to Ted.
Ted and I met when I worked at the law school he attended. Our paths diverged a few years later, but our friendship withstood the distance, and for the past thirty-one years, we have been good friends, traveling companions and confidants.
He went on to become a successful lawyer and retired when he was thirty-eight to pursue his passion of owning a bookstore. Ted loved books.
When we both lived in Philadelphia, we regularly had dinner together. When we lived apart, our communication was mostly via the phone, and we chatted at least once a week.
He was a staunch Catholic who had a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. He loved his family and put them ahead of everything else. He was smart, loyal and generous.
I learned a lot from Ted—about myself, my faith, family and the world.
We seemed to look at life through different lenses, and in the early years, our differences caused some issues. Over time, though, I saw that our different perspectives helped me to clarify my beliefs and become stronger and more confident. His challenging questions made me a better person.
Ted helped me to see my work in the nonprofit world as giving people an opportunity to be generous, an outlook that has kept me mission-focused. He was one of my biggest champions, and I can trace my leadership skills directly to Ted’s tutelage.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo was a favorite of Ted’s, and we once met up in San Francisco to visit the places where it was filmed. We stayed at the York Hotel and connected with the film through stops at all the sites—from Muir Woods to the Golden Gate Park to the Mission San Juan Bautista.
Other trips took us to such places as Orlando, New Orleans and Rome, Italy.
Last summer, we started planning a pilgrimage to the Southern California missions. We had already been to the missions around San Francisco, and Ted wanted to visit the rest. He thought March would be a good time. His bucket list also included the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, and a return trip to Italy.
Ted died last Sunday from esophageal cancer; we buried him on Friday. His four sisters had given him excellent care and his death was on his terms—at home and surrounded by family.
Woe is me. My heart is broken. I am bereft. No more phone calls. No more visits. No more direction or guidance. No more advice or assistance. No more challenging questions.
After so many years of this close friendship, the question that keeps running through my mind is, Who am I without Ted in my life?
While I don’t know the answer, I do know that Ted enriched my life more than I could have imagined. I have been blessed and I am deeply grateful.