On August 15, 2016, we lost an amazing man to MELAS. William A Reed Jr was the father of 5 and the soulmate of 1. He never gave up the fight. He always shared with others about his disease and would encourage them to “Live for today, because tomorrow is not a guarantee.”
I have many memories of Bill, of his love, compassion, and ability to laugh and live. I think the biggest memory I have would be a Christmas after stroke number 4 where we sat down with the children and asked them their memories. The answers we expected where far from what they said. They said they remember the water fights, game playing, and dates with dad … Bill was crying because he knew that his time was short, but that the kids had amazing memories to remember him with.
I remember a Halloween just after stroke number 3 where we were out looking for costumes, and Bill bent over to look at something … but I had “lost” him. That year he chose to dress up as a zombie and went to rehab at the hospital. He loved scaring the therapists. Then there was the one a couple of years later where he went in a hazmat suit. At that time I was managing a hospital gift shop and he was volunteering that day. He loved the concerned looks he got walking around the hospital.
There where times he would come home from work and tell me about someone without money to buy food, and we would go shopping in our cupboards to feed them. When he worked in a job that had him traveling all over the USA to install computers he made tapes for the kids to listen to … he read them bedtime stories so they would not miss him. Our last camping trip was with a group of friends and family. Our group entered a sandcastle building contest and won 2nd place. He loved being by the ocean and spending time with family and friends. It was only a few months later that stroke numbers 6 & 7 took his brain away. It would be years later after stroke number 9 that his body would be released.
There are so many good stories to share of him and his life.