40 years ago I met two remarkable men who changed my life. One, my husband Terry. The other, my hairstylist Theodore “Ted” Gonzalez. Ted was a wild guy when I met him, working in a very “ladies who lunch” salon. My good friend Donna had recommended him when she heard me bemoaning my unruly curls. As I walked into the salon, I felt both hope and doubt. Ted was delighted to meet me, loved my hair, and snapping a pair of scissors in what seemed a most hap-hazzard manner gave me the best haircut of my life. When I looked in the mirror I felt, for the first time in my 20 years, pretty. I decided Ted was a genius and others shared that opinion, he won first place at the World Hair Show so many years in a row that they asked him to stop entering and become a judge. Ted was fixture in my life. I saw him every 6-10 weeks and always left knowing I looked my best. Ted styled my hair and Terry’s hair for our wedding. He got to meet my mom and they were a pair of silly, giggling kids when they got together. When some grey appeared, Ted choose a color and to help me financially he taught me to color my own hair. In the entire 40 years I have known Ted I only had my hair cut by another person once, and that was when I was in Paris for 3 months. Ted was not just an expert with hair, he also collected period and designer clothing and in the last few years has spoken at colleges and design schools about the history of clothes. He has had some of his collection displayed at museums. He also collected jewelry, and was a flamboyant wearer of rings, necklaces and bracelets. For the last few months, a few other of Ted’s long term clients and I have been helping him with Dr. appointments and treatments when it was discovered he had terminal cancer. We had a surprise dinner for him for his birthday. In typical Ted fashion, he brought a gift for each of us. On Dr. visits, I loved seeing him and going to lunch after an appointment, but soon he began to suffer a great deal. All of us were in despair to see him so. The radiation and chemo had not worked and he faded before our eyes. About a week ago he went to stay with his niece and nephew’s mom. They arranged for home hospice care. This morning, June 4, 2015, Ted passed away. His suffering has ended, but his impact on my life has not. I will remember him and miss him. And always say, “I had the best hairstylist in the world”.