Wednesday, December 1, 2010
He was made in the mold of a bad boy hero with the insides of a marshmellow.
After almost a week since Ted’s death, I’m ready to emerge and pay tribute to my husband, cross-posting this on both my blogs. Please bear with me for this, dear readers and then we’ll be on with all things about books, reading and life in general.
Before beginning, I want to again thank the writing community to which I belong for their support and words of condolence. I discovered many have been in similar circumstances as I have and emerged refreshed and recharged. Your comfort has meant the world to me.
Now on to Ted…
I met my husband in 1979 at a small store on Rivermont Avenue called “The Cavalier.” My cousin introduced us. Ted wore a white hat with a feather sticking out of it, and his first words to me were, “Just call me Robin Hood.” I wasn’t sure his head was tied on real tight, but we soon fell into a very passionate and romantic relationship that lasted that whole summer. Near the end of it, he told me on the first day it rained he was taking a bus across country with his bike (big bike enthusiast, biked nine miles to and from work everyday, while climbing electric poles during the day at work). He said he missed California and was going back there but would call me. He did as he said he would and called me a few times cross-country, but then I heard nothing.
Fast forward four years to 1983. One day he showed up again, evidenced by leaving a dozen steamed crabs in a plastic bag around the doorknob of my apartment front door. He called and asked me out that evening for a welcome home party. We started seeing each other again. Then, on Labor Day weekend, we went to the Blue Ridge Parkway to find his brother who was camping out with his wife and newborn son. Ted was sure his brother would never camp in a regular campground (which he had) and insisted on going up a dirt path straight up a mountain to find him at dark.
On the way down, he moved too close to the left side of the road and we went over the sheer side in his truck, rolling two and a half times, with me praying the whole way, until we ended up propped on one side against an oak tree. The truck’s roll bar and the seat belts saved our lives. We emerged laughing in shock that neither of us was injured. A car must have seen us in the distance because it came up as we climbed out and crawled up the hill. We went down the road on the mountain as far as their campsite, where they were staying with a group of a dozen or so people associated with a truck body corporation from Virginia Beach. They offered to let us stay with them. And so we did that weekend until we could get a tow to haul out the truck.
Amazingly, we drove the truck back to Lynchburg. Once back home, he asked if he could stay at my apartment because he couldn’t face his mother since he’s wrecked the truck. He never left.
We lived together for four years, much to my parents’ chagrin and against my faith, but I loved him. During the period, he’d gotten seriously injured, life threatening, and had to go on Medicaid. If we’d married he’d have lost it and his medical bills were almost a million dollars. Once he was through with most of the surgeries, we were married.
Ted never knew a stranger and was generous to a fault. If he thought someone was in a terrible situation, he'd be there to help with is time, his elbow-grease and his money. Even if he didn't have much money, he'd give away his last dime, sure there would be more where that came from. He loved to hunt and fish, tell jokes, pull your leg and exaggerate any story. He made you laugh because of his effervescence.
Ted stayed a happy-go-lucky free spirit until the day he died, although in the last few years, health issues made him less active and more depressed. He never went a day without telling me, "I love you" and complementing me on the way I looked each morning. Although he was unconventional, we had the same values and we loved each other deeply. I will miss him forever, and his memory and the times we shared will replay always in my heart.
Posted by Bobbye Terry at 11:42 AM