Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ted's Last Run

Beaver Mountain Ski Resort is the oldest continuously family owned  ski area in the country and where the Garlick Press spends winter days. Ted and Marge Seeholzer, owners of the ski resort are friends of ours. It's impossible to imagine that we barely knew them until after we lost our Jocie.

I'll never forget their faces when they stood on our doorstep just days after Jocie's death. Blank and sullen, they had answers to the questions we didn't even know we had yet. The logistics of her accident...the response time from ski patrol, the details that would eventually be asked.  

Carefully, they stepped around our grief impoverished minds. Tears fell as they tried to piece together the moments surrounding Jocie's last run at Beaver Mountain and make sense of the senseless tragedy. Marge hugged me tight as they left that evening almost six years ago. She had hoped to help us find peace by their visit...and yet somehow she felt that they benefited the most. The Seeholzers have been so good to Dean and I...their grace and generosity empowered our grieving souls.

Photo from Beaver Mountain
This past May...81 and failing in health, Ted Seeholzer passed away. His presence on the mountain will forever be missed. With an oxygen tank attached to his side, hardly a ski day went by last winter that he wasn't driving a four-wheeler, checking on lifts, or smiling at skiers having a fun-filled day.

This past Saturday the ski resort hosted a memorial for Ted's Last Ski Run. Of course we couldn't miss it!

There are a whole bunch of Seeholzer descendants...and it seems they all made it up to the mountain. Including nine months+one week pregnant and ready to deliver Channing. She wouldn't have stayed home if you made her. That's the degree of passion for skiing in this clan.

Jocie's friend Autumn is a Seeholzer and according to Mother Teresa (Autumn's mom) she's part ours too. Considering ourselves lucky, we happily claim that part.

Mike and Kris made it to the top bright and early. Kris has been re-habing after knee surgery and pushed up her entrance back on the slopes just a little sooner than recommended.

Beaver Mountain is a ski resort like none other I've ever seen.

One big family.

Every age...

and they all came out to celebrate the tremendous legacy of a man who loved his family, this mountain and the sport of skiing!

My cat skier boys had only been home a few hours when they packed up their ski equipment that was still not completely dry from their Canadian adventure.

Balloons were passed out to everyone.

Smiles were abundant! It felt like a big family reunion of long lost relatives you didn't know you had. I have to believe heaven is going to feel just like this!

I have the utmost respect for our Ski Patrol at Beaver Mountain...always will!

Ted's son Travis welcomed everyone at the top of the lift and gave us the details of the memorial last run.

Ski patrol would be the first down the mountain...

leading the way to the South Face Run.

Where beginning with the Ski School Instructors...all of us would traverse the steep slope through the middle of the columns of Ski Patrolmen.

And it was glorious!

Skier by skier...snowboarder by snowboarder...all the people that loved and appreciated Ted poured through that column of red.

I think I know exactly how Marge felt as she watched this. Her heart filled with gratitude, love, and yet still grieving as she longs for her husband Ted.

Following the last skier down, we gathered around the lodge as Ted's friend Bill told us a few fun stories about the beloved owner of Beaver Mountain.

The balloons were released and sailed toward heaven...

where hopefully Ted will scoop them up and send them back to us in the form of snow.

And at the time I am writing this...the snowflakes have begun to fall.

Brunch was served inside the lodge where you could get a bagel, a danish, some fruit

and a Memorial Beaver Mountain Jiggystick made especially in Ted's honor for the event. A huge thank you to our graphic artist and  label printing company who helped us in creating and printing these in less than a week! 

I loved the ice sculpture of the mountain that John from Culinary Concepts Catering carved. So very pun intended!

My friend Linda and I with Ted's memorial Jiggysticks.

I have often wondered what Jocie's last run on the mountain felt like...what she thought, what the snow felt like under her skis, and if she knew how much she was loved. I would hope that she and Ted watched his Memorial Ski Run from heaven last weekend and felt our love floating upward.

Thanks Ted for all those mornings you woke up way before the crack of dawn to start another ski day for all of us to enjoy. For your belief in the next generation of skiers. And most of all...thanks for your continuing dream of Beaver Mountain. It's been a great ride!


  1. Ahh, Lisa, it was a great memorial and Jocie and Ted were sending the snowflakes back down to us on Earth. A beautiful day...I can see I'm going to have to invest in this wonderful lens. Great shots!

  2. Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. What a great memorial. You captured this beautifully in both words and pictures. This makes me think I should take up skiing.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  3. Love it Lisa! You are so amazing and I freaking love you and your family. That's all.

  4. I loved every single word and photo! What a fabulous day. What a fabulous man. Aren't we so blessed to be part of the Beaver family???

  5. I'm in tears. What a beautiful day. The love for Ted is very clear in your photos. Thank you for sharing Ted's memorial and how he and Marge touched your life. This is a spot I need to visit!

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a good man. And tender for you in many ways. Your family is so inspiring Lisa. xo