This is a post I didn’t want to write. I don’t like to cry and I knew it would bring on the loss and heartache we've felt since we lost our grandpa. Or as we call him, G-Pa. I don't even know how that started; maybe in text messages to my sister and cousins. But it stuck and he loved it.
What do you say about someone you loved since the first moment you laid eyes on him as a tiny baby? I never thought I'd have to live life without him. Grandpa always seemed invincible, and that he would live forever.
Wayland Grise Reid was born in Ohio to Thomas and Lila. His mother, Lila, died when he was only 2 years-old, but somehow he always remembered her. His father remarried, and this was the great-grandma I knew. She unfortunately died not too long after my grandma, June, died. I can't fathom losing your mate and the mother you've known most of your life only a few months apart, but grandpa got through it with a strength I hope I've inherited.
He and June had 3 boys. The youngest, Doug, was unfortunately still-born. My dad, Tom, is the oldest. He inherited my grandma's craziness, but my grandpa's love of people and willingness to do anything for anyone. My uncle, Neal, is a lot like my grandpa with his relaxed demeanor.
My uncle has three daughters, Ruth, Mary, and Leah. And then there is Jessica and me. Five girls. My grandpa was in heaven. I honestly don't know how a boy would have survived with the five of us. We were all spoiled by grandpa. He taught us how to make ice cream in a coffee can by rolling it back and forth on the brick walkway he had laid himself. Our mom and dad divorced when we were young, but that never changed my grandpa's love for my mom. He was always so kind to her and later my step-dad. My mom would drop us off with my grandparents a lot when we were out of school. And before grandpa went off to work, I'd sit on his lap and read the comics with him.
Grandpa loved a good adventure, like the rest of us Reids. I think it stemmed from his time in Italy during WWII. He would tell us stories about his crazy rides in the Jeeps. He and Grandma continued their adventures for a long time. They would take bus trips. Or fly with all of us granddaughters to California. Or take a train ride from Ohio to California, and not in a sleeping car.
I will cherish forever the records he gave me. And the things he taught me, patience, love, understanding. And what unconditional love means, by maintaining a love for one woman until death parted them. This is hard to write. He was so proud of all of us. And so thankful for the blessings he had- his sons, his granddaughters, his great-grandchildren. He left behind a legacy we all cherish very much.
We miss his smile, his whistling, his dancing, his laugh.