The Jan/Ted Relationship
Of course, people want to know what our relationship was all about. Were we lovers? Was he a father figure? What did I want from him? What did he want from me?
We’ve all dreamed of having a special someone that gives unconditional love and support. It’s natural to crave a soul mate who truly understands and accepts us. Someone we can be ourselves with. We usually look for that in a marriage partner. But that hadn’t worked for me and after googling a little I found that in several studies, six out of ten people stay in relationships even when they’re unhappy. Everyone has their own reasons for doing so. I suspect the main reason we don’t feel happy is we don’t feel respected.
It was liberating to be able to relax with Ted and discover things I believed in as a child were validated by Ted. The more we discussed things, the more I welcomed back those beliefs and trusted in something beyond, and within myself. I was so grateful that he encouraged my creativity. Therefore, it was a natural progression to want to help him when he could no longer paint.
I don’t know that I was consciously thinking of ways to help Ted express himself. I do know that if someone took my piano away from me I would feel like an alcoholic without my bottle. When I discovered how beautifully he expressed himself verbally, I suggested we write down his take on one of the topics we had touched on. After typing them up and showing them to him, he would chuckle and exclaim, “These are good”.
It may not surprise people that know how special Ted was, to hear me say that I feel Ted continues to be a warm, wise counsel, even though his body died several years ago. In the summer of 2017 I was sitting on the beach with my journal and I felt that Ted gave me the direction to write this book. Memories flooded my brain and I effortlessly wrote it, sprinkling Ted’s ‘poems’ throughout.
I hope this book captures the deep gratitude and love I had for Ted Harrison. He was so imaginative he could paint pictures with words as well as with his brush. He was extremely intelligent and curious about the world and those that walk on it. He could conjure up fantastic images even as he was deteriorating.