Sunday, February 10, 2019


That is what I said to my Big Sis about 6 pm on Saturday, December 15, 2018.

Our beloved Daddy, Don Reeves had just passed away a few minutes before.

Daddy was a wonderful man.  He was so kind, and sweet, and extremely generous.  He would help anyone with anything.  It seems that he made his life goal to focus on "others," and not himself.  Maybe he was just born that way.  It seems so looking back on things.  I can't remember a time when I EVER saw, or heard Daddy do, or say anything that was just for himself.

He was a GIVER.

To rewind...Mom and Dad had been married almost 64 years when Mom passed away on November 9, 2018.  He was her full-time caretaker.  He did EVERYTHING for her.  Moms' health had declined over the last several years, and at 81, she was an "old" 81.  She had not been able to walk more than a few feet for a long time.  He would drag her out of the chair to get her on the potty chair, and then clean her up before getting her back in her chair.

It would take Daddy about an hour to get her in the shower, get her nice and clean, dry, and dressed.

He was madly in love with her.

About two years ago she was in the Hospital, and she was ready to die.  She looked me in the eyes and said, "Andy, I want to die, but your Daddy just won't let me!"  And, she was right.  He was determined that he was going to make her get better...get back up and walk...get back up and get in to life again.

Without rambling on and on with stories, I will tell y'all that he failed.  Mom was just not gonna get better.  Her heart was weak, and it finally gave out, even after Pacemaker surgery, and Home Health, and Physical Therapy.  She was ready to go, and I was happy for her.  In the last few days before she died, Mom was describing the things that she was seeing...Indian Tribes with lots of women, and children around a fire...she told me I had a Black Bird on my nose.  I asked if it could be a mosquito.  She said, "No!  It's a Black Bird...swat it away!"

I did, and she was happy.

The night that Mom died a lot went on, but the thing that I will always remember is that when we were all getting ready to leave the Hospital, Daddy said he needed to go back in the room to make sure that he hadn't left anything in there.  My Big Sis and I acted like we weren't watching, but we did.  Daddy halfway looked around the room for stuff, and then he walked over to Mom, gave her a last kiss, and said something.  I'm not sure what he said.  I didn't ask.

My Daddy was the strongest 83 year old man I've ever seen.  He was a HOSS!   He could pick heavy stuff up, get around, take care of their massive house and property, cook, clean, get Mom in and out of their car for Doctor appointments, and back home and make her comfortable.

A week or so after her death, a Memorial Service was held for Mom.  Daddy didn't really want a Preacher to do it.  He wanted us 4 kids to speak.  I don't think any of us really wanted to, but because Daddy wanted us to we did.  And, it was an amazing time.  Daddy was right, as it was good for us all.  Too many stories from the day, but Daddy was on his feet for over an hour receiving guests, visiting with those coming to console, and then seemingly just fine for a few hours afterward at the Family Dinner at Big Sis' house.

About a week later he couldn't stand up on his own, and 10 days later he was in the Hospital.  Every possible scan, and test was done.  The Neurosurgeon couldn't figure it out.  The Radiologist couldn't figure it out.  He was just in tremendous pain, and immobile.

But still so sweet, and thanking everyone for everything they were doing for him.

Finally we got the word.  Daddy had extremely advanced Multiple Myeloma.  The very fine Doctor, Dr. Royal Becker (who I will always be grateful to for his love, and care for Dad, and us) notified us that Daddy had probably had this for several years, and it was so advanced that there was no way to treat it.  When I heard bone marrow cancer, I was ready to let Daddy go.  Pam's Dad died with the same thing, and we watched the hell that it is on the body...and all those trying to care for them.

The thing that amazed EVERYONE is that Daddy had been able to function so long at the level that he did, taking care of Mom.  Dr. Becker, nurses, and really everyone with any knowledge of this disease just could not believe that he had been able to push through the pain to keep going.

Daddy was a HOSS.

The morning of the day that Daddy died my older brother Chip, and I were in his Hospital room.  Every once in a while, Daddy would lift his left hand, and point right straight up to the ceiling.  Then a couple of minutes later he would raise both hands up toward Heaven.  Then the cycle would repeat.

Later on in the day, our little brother David (who had driven in from Columbus, OH in his big-rig in about 12 hours) was in the room with Daddy.  Daddy was lifting his right hand, and thumbing his fingers.  David asked him what he was doing.  Daddy said, "I'm trying to see if these flowers are real."  David told him they were, and Daddy smiled.

It was a terribly rainy, gloomy day, and had been for days.  Dr. Royal Becker was in the room with Big Sis Neale, holding her hand as Dad slipped away to Heaven.  The clouds opened up, and a bright beam of sunlight lit up the room.

Daddy was gone.

About two days before Daddy died I could tell he was fading fast, and it didn't seem like a time that you should leave anything not said.  I would always tell him that I love him, and have probably done that a thousand times.  But, before I left the room, I said, "Daddy, I need you to know something.  I need you to know that you are my hero."

He smiled big, and said, "You're mine, too."

That was SO Daddy!  Always about the other person...

Before we left the Hospital after I said to Big Sis that "we sure did get to be orphans quick," I went back in to the room and kissed him one last time.

I don't know what Daddy said to Mom when he last kissed her, but I know what I said to him.

Thank y'all for reading.


  1. You're a good boy, your folks did a fine job.

    1. Thanks TD. Not near as good a boy as him.

      But I'm tryin'...

  2. Your Dad was a special man Your accolades about him are spot on in every way. God Bless and Amen.

    1. Thank you Bart. Indeed he was a special man. He thought the world of you, too.

  3. Such a great love story! I'm glad you had the time with your dad. He was a hero! It's good to hear from you even if circumstance isn't the best. I became an orphan over a year ago. It's tough sometimes. Sounds like your dad left a great example.

    1. Thank you, Lou. That is very sweet. Indeed he did.

  4. Such a lovely and loving tribute. Thank you for sharing it. You really did join the Orphans Club fast — i’m Sorry for that. But I’m happy that he got to see your Mom again so quickly. I guess we’re all orphans now. I wish I could have met your Dad!

    1. Terry, that is very kind. Thanks so much. You would have loved him. Everybody did.

  5. Dang I miss Daddy. Doing a kitchen remodel, and found so many good tools, and parts in his toolbox.

    Dang, I miss him.

  6. Really missing Daddy today. He was my hero. I know that those feelings for departed fathers are not universally shared, and that pains me for those that did not have the kind of Dad that I did.

    Don Reeves was an extremely special Hoss of a man. Such an honor to be his son.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?