My Uncle Ted

 

My Uncle Ted - Laughing it up with the Boys!

Uncle Ted – Laughing it up with the Boys!     

 

What is it about a Human Life that can inspire, spread joy and laughter, and influence another?  What kind of energetic vibration are they sending out to the Universe to attract those closest to them?  This photograph of my Uncle Ted was taken in his mid-life, laughing it up with the boys. Not a woman in sight….just a fistful of boys having fun!  A few drinks close by and Uncle Ted’s jokes would surely light up the room, along with a bit of rum!  Bootleg and Puerto Rican rum were his favorites.

I hardly knew my Uncle Ted.  Although he was often present in my youth at our family gatherings during the holidays at Aunt Helen’s home, he would soon disappear from the scene.  Off to sea again!

Ted loved his freedom, and he loved the ocean and his tug boats.  From the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean, to Puerto Rico and the U.S., he loved traveling at sea.   This was his first love and passion.  Why tugboats of all things?  I’ll never know, but something about this excited him beyond measure.  He loved his freedom and adventures at sea.  His second biggest love was Timmy, the beautiful, curly haired baby boy he adopted from Aunt Helen.  From the arms of Uncle Ted, to the arms of Uncle Sandy, and to the arms of my Father, Dusty, I’m not sure who adored Timmy more. Everyone wanted to hold him!  I have a very clear memory of my Father holding Timmy in his arms as a baby boy and laughing so hard while they played that he cried!  It made me cry too with tears of joy and laughter!

But it was Ted’s Tugboats and his passion for being on the water that was his driving force.  He loved it, just as much as Uncle Sandy loved the Coast Guard, and Dusty loved the Merchant Marines. They all loved the Ocean and Ships!  These three brothers were all about the sea and the unknown mysteries and adventures that lie ahead of them. Their union as brothers was inseparable.  But it was the sea that was their driving force of energetic connection with the Universe. The sea was always their best friend.  They know it well, and every day was a new landscape of adventure.  All three brother’s were well trained and educated in navigation. It always amazes me that they could read a map of their next course of action by the Stars. How extraordinary is that!

Uncle Ted was a child at heart.  With a tough exterior to cover up his own personal wounds, like a breastplate of sorts, he often hid his sweet heart from those closest to him. And when the rum set in just long enough for him to feel good and loosen up, he would let them know just how much he loved them.

Uncle Ted loved Life. He loved adventure. He loved the mystery. And he loved rum! Especially Puerto Rican rum, and bootleg rum! He used to bring the bootleg bottles of rum back to my Dad and Uncle Sandy upon many of his adventures at sea, and these three brothers would hoard it like gold.  The back of the liquor cabinet in our home was where it would take up space, until Uncle Ted arrived to drink it with them.

Besides these three brothers in arms, of all the many family members in our tribe, these three were the Rat-Pack. They hung out together every opportunity they had. They laughed so hard at their own jokes that they cried and howled. They argued well together.  And more than that, they learned how to debate well with each other. It was no longer an argument, but a different point of view that led to a deeper understanding and revelation. They loved each other well!  This was their gift to each other.

Three opinions, and three extraordinarily different life experiences, close enough to compare salt samplings, they were always in a place of love and laughter, no matter how long the discourse went on.  And often it went on for hours. In quiet places and small spaces, as well as at family Christmas and Thanksgiving gatherings, there they were, the three brothers, always together throughout the years, and inseparable.  Joking, laughing and pulling pranks on each other.  These three brothers were devoted to each other!  Through thick and thin, nothing would ever come between them. Through rough and tumble times, they always had each other’s back, even when they did not agree with each other.  They understood and had clarity about what the other needed. Blood is always thicker than water.  And they always came through. This was their unique gift to each other.  And I, as a young girl was the lucky one…young enough to hang out with them, and witness their relationships with each other through the years.

I felt their heartache, just as much as I felt their joy. There is an eternal love between Ted, Sandy & Dusty that will live on, inside of eternity. They simply loved and cared for each other, no matter what.  Family was their rock of Gibraltar, and every brother and sister, every niece and nephew mattered to them. 

What else could anyone ask for?  To Love and to care for one another is the greatest gift we can possibly give to another.  The more open your heart, the more Love you have to give.

Thank you Uncle Ted for Shining Your Light so Brightly.  Onward and Upwards, towards the Heavens to join your Beloved Brothers once again! Don’t forget to sprinkle a little Stardust upon us every now and then.

I will always remember you as a Bright Light of Joy and Happiness in my Life.  

 

Ted's Tug Boats

Ted’s Tug Boats

Celebrating the Beautiful Life of Adrianne Grayson

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                        Adrianne Grayson

         October 8th 1935 – May 18th, 2014

Today is my Beloved Best Friends Memorial Celebration at Kerb’s Toy Boat House in Central Park, NYC.  In honor of Adrianne and the beautiful friendship we shared, Hari will read my Eulogy.  May 18th, 2015

 

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
– Anais Nin

That’s how it was with us. . . Adrianne and I.  We were a world unto each other, and by the Grace of Divine Destiny, our paths crossed long ago and united us on a journey of the Soul. A long journey of friendship, love, deep connection and soul companionship that blended us together and joined us as One.

Almost 3 Decades have passed since the day we met. It was an instant connection of the heart.  I was at W Magazine in charge of the Western U. S., and Adrianne was in New York City. When she left Woman’s Wear Daily and became part of the W family, I said “Hello” and she recognized something in me that was also inside of herself. We both Meditated. We both went on Spiritual Retreats. We both studied with the same Teachers. We both practiced Yoga. And we both worked in a company that was worlds apart from our inner Spiritual Beings. But we also loved Beauty and Fashion, and knew how to bring out the best in every designer and in every situation.

It was a Blessing to have found each other in such an unusual setting such as W.  While it reflected our backgrounds in luxury and the world of fashion, it did not reflect what was going on inside of us and our consciousness. But there we were, with bills to pay, and apartments to buy, and new dreams to be had. So we journeyed on this path as long as we could bear it. . . until we could not bear it any more. After a decade at W, I left to start my own company and Adrianne was so delighted that I had found my courage to move on.

As I reached new pinnacles of success with my new company, Adrianne was always there, cheering me on. My professional life and company took off, but my personal life was suffering. I experienced so many deaths within my close circle of family and friends in such a short time. What broke my heart open the most was losing my own Daughter recently. Adrianne was there once again with open arms and her exquisite heart. She held me like a loving child that needed care and Love. She understood the depths of my loss that I could not put into words. She cooked scrambled eggs with tomatoes and served them to me in the morning. She placed a pillow under my head at night. She loved me. She cared for me as only a close friend can. And she wore silk pajamas as she did all of this! Adrianne understood the depths of my pain as she comforted me with her endless Love. This is a True Friend who understood me better than my own family.

She knew me from the inside out. All the bare, dark corners that lay hidden inside me, from the rest of the world. She understood my emptiness. She felt it too. But somehow, in this cocoon of her Love and Friendship, and inside of her home, I felt safe and protected from the world outside.

While I know the Soul is eternal, I was lost inside my grief. Adrianne called every day. We talked long hours about death, and about how precious life is. I will always remember her words and the sound of her voice. For the last 2 years of Adrianne’s life she spoke often about how precious every moment is and how fast and fleeting life is. We both read Stephen Levine’s book: “A Year To Live”. As I look back at this time, I believe Adrianne was already preparing herself for her own journey home.

My beautiful friend Adrianne….You were a world unto me that filled me up with delight and surprise, and created new dimensions of space inside my mind and heart, soul and spirit. You were an architect of my soul’s evolution as we shared, uncovered, built and re-built the stories of our past, present and future. We dreamed. We imagined. We laughed. We cried. We howled. We thought. We prayed. We meditated. We wept. We walked. We talked. We constructed and de-constructed a million pounds of weight that no longer belonged to either of us, in both of our worlds. We excavated. We created demolition zones where they needed to be. And we built fortresses and safe camps when we needed them, and then softly let them go when we did not.

This was the gift we shared. The unconditional Love and Acceptance of each other, in all ways, always. No judgement. No attitude. No opinion. No structure. No walls. No expectations. No false belief systems. Just clear, honest, open space to be truly and authentically who we were with each other. This is the deep embrace of our Friendship. This loving space was always open and available, inviting us inward. It was the world we shared inside of our beautiful Friendship with each other, where new worlds were possible and often created.

My Beloved Friend and Soul Sister, Adrianne, you are living inside my Heart. Thank you for Loving me the way you did. Your Light shines on always and forever. I will miss your Heart, but I will always carry it with me. I Love You! Rita

#AdrianneGrayson