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The Old Warrier

Dapper DadMy Dapper Dad

So March 7, 2017 marks the third anniversary of my Dad’s passing, his “moving on to his next assignment”, as he would say.

As today approached, I wondered how  could I pay tribute, a Facebook post? What photos?  Nothing seemed enough and I thought, “I need to write a blog”.  Pondering that, more memories and content surfaced and I realized that to do the subject any justice, it would need to be a five-part blog…1) the introduction 2) the love story (parts one and two), 3) the family; fruits and follies of having six children, 4) the Surgicenter story, and 5) the conclusion, the grace with which he handled the dementia that finally took his life.

I’m not going to commit to any particular time schedule, so you’ll just have to stay tuned.

The introduction…my Dad was born May 19, 1916 to a doctor and a nurse (Wallace and Mary Reed), with a physician (J. D. Reed) as a grandfather as well.  His younger brother, born two years later, would not live past 6 months, a victim of the influenza epidemic of 1919, and his mother was, as expected, completely devastated.  Two sisters (Dorothy and Betty) and a brother (Robert) followed, and things were good for the lively family in Covina, California, until their dad, Wallace Reed, Sr., met a tragic end under mysterious circumstances on Easter morning, 1932…my Dad was 15.


Dad and BettyMy Dad and his sister Betty


The loss of his Dad nearly broke his heart and life was a struggle after that.  He pursued his education, high school and college, and helped his mother manage the household, maintaining  discipline about almost everything, except his sugar consumption, as detailed in the journals he meticulously kept, up until his father’s death (the journaling would resume later).  One summer he went to Vermont (where his mom’s family originated) for work and summer school, and this provided the opportunity for the beginning of a remarkable love story, which I will attempt to describe in the next post.


Filed under: Dementia Tolerance, grief, History, Transitions

About the Author

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As a Phoenix native, Vikki Reed's vibrant watercolors of desert botanicals evolved from her love and appreciation of the desert's ability to produce tender beauty in the midst of harsh conditions. The mandala series which began in 2004 resurrects a childhood knowledge that mandalas are a primordial tool for centering and healing. Vikki studied in the 1980s with watercolor greats Irving Shapiro and Paul Kuo, and began exhibiting at the outdoor shows in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico after Paul's encouragement. This led to gallery representation with the Wickenburg Gallery and Work of Artist's Gallery. Vikki also exhibited at the Celebration of Fine Art for eight years. Before taking sabbatical to act as caregiver for her father in 2010, Vikki was featured in a one woman show at the Northern Trust Bank in January 2008 and was selected to create an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree that same year. Vikki's current focus, the Mandala Series, combines ancient symbolism and the healing power of color.

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