My Dad's Keys


Everyone's keys are important to them. Everyone's keys are a glimpse into their lives and personalities. My keys are kind of noisy--I have about 6 keys that I use, and then I have 2 bottle openers, a watermelon slice with a happy face, a Beavis key cap that I use as a keychain, an a few other small things on it. Fuzzy has a lot of keys, and a lot of loyalty/ discount swipe cards on his keys. Growing up, my mom had a million keychains on her keys, linked together with many rings, that trailed it seemed down to the floorboard of the car when she was driving. A lot of them were round and acrylic and one of them had a bunch of crazy colors and writing that said something like "These keys belong to an overworked, overdrawn, overwrought, overlooked but still basically fun person." My dad would always tell her to take some of the rings off the keychain, cause he was afraid that it was weighing down the ignition of the car.

I went to Vicksburg a few weekends ago to go visit with my mom. We went to the Christmas Market in Jackson, we went to the park. On Sunday, Fuzzy went out of town, so it was just me and Trish all day. We did some cleaning in her apartment. We moved mom into her current place a few years ago, not knowing what her life was going to be like, there, so now that she is settled, I took a look around and decided that somethings weren't needed. There were baskets of stuff that hadn't been touched since the move, so I thought we should go through them. They were all dusty, and mostly included things that weren't needed--old notes I'd written her, some old receipts, manuals for equipment that no one would ever need. At the bottom of one basket, I noticed that there were some keys. One set of them, I showed mom, and she didn't know what they were, so I threw them away. I picked up the other set, and once I had them in my hands, I had an instant physical reaction.


"Oh, here are Dad's keys."

She said she was wondering where they were. They were so familiar. My dad's keys were iconic to him. He always had them, and if we were at home, he always kept them in the same places. They were very simple--only keys. There was always the red one. I have no idea how many he used regularly--he had several jobs in his lifetime. But the weight of the keys, the feel of them in my hands--they brought back all these floods of emotions and I instantly started weeping. I was surprised at how much an inanimate object could make me so emotional. I looked at mom, who was also teary eyed, and we just sort of nodded at each other.

My dad passed away six years ago today. Six years. This time of year is always hard, even when I try for it not to be. I get a little more emotional, I have a little less patience. I cry at everything. This weekend we've been in Texas with Fuzzy's family, and the Christmas parade made me cry, as did the man who took his two parents out for ice cream the other night when we were in the ice cream parlor. As did almost everything else this weekend.  My family always loved Christmas, and I still do, even though it is harder now than it used to be. Our family has changed, things have gotten harder, and now we are spread all over the world. But I am so thankful for the life that I have had, and the ways that my parents and brother have helped shape who I am. I strive to be a giving and nice person to everyone, and I think that trait is one I got from old Dave. My dad was pure love. I will always treasure the love and laughter and warmth and cats and laughter and music and love that the Reids shared.

I miss you, Daddy.

Dad and Bootsie

Dad and Bootsie

Dad at SnoBiz

I had SnoBiz just yesterday. In his memory.

Dad, me and Christopher in front of the dish on a rare MS snow day

Christopher and Dad Chillin

Mom and Dad at Lindas

C, Dad and me

Mom and Dad Easter

Christopher and Dad

Christopher and Dad

Christopher and Dad

Me and Dad!

Erica, Fuzzy, and her parents

Reid family portrait

Family Portrait


Father and Daughter, laughing

Reid Family Thanksgiving PJ Portrait

Reid Family Thanksgiving PJ Portrait


I am sobbing today. David was so cute. And Bootsie was well represented in this photos. Thanks for putting all of these online on your blog. I love you, Mom

I love you, too.

Yeah, I am having a hard time too. Will try to call later.

Such a sweet tribute, as always. Thinking of you all today!

Thank you, Erin. You are the best!

Love you all so much - this is a gorgeous tribute to an amazing man and family. I'm lucky to know you all. THANK YOU.

Your Mom and Dad are as much a part of my memories of Improv as any member of the group. Take care.

Of course you are emotional this time of year. If you weren't, I would be suspicious something dreadful had happened, like your heart shrank 2 sizes 2 small or something. Thinking of your sweet family today. Love you girl.

Such a sweet tribute, Erica. I am trying not to cry because I might not stop. 6 years for David, 1 year tomorrow for Uncle Cecil and then the slow count down to February for Mama... too much..but lots of great memories!! Love you, Susan

I really miss my best friend. I think about him all the time.

Thank you, Everyone. Your outpouring of love is really overwhelming and amazing. I am so blessed. Thank you.

Jamie, this photo is for you:

I enjoyed looking back at all the pictures Erica and thanks for sharing them with us. I so wished he and your Mom were still our next door neighbors. I missed both of them so much. Your Dad was such a good man and on several occasions I would call for him to help me since my husband was ill and he would come right over. I remember the time I walked into our living room and our ceiling fan had fallen from the ceiling and I was eye-leveled with the fan. I called David and was frantic and he came right over with his ladder and fixed our fan. He did not hesitate to help when I called on him. You could not asked for better neighbors and when your they went out of town I would go over and feed all the cats. We trusted one another. That you don't find very often. I need to call your Mom and check on her. Had to have surgery myself on my rt. shoulder and Bob has been in the nursing home since mid-Sept.,but expected to come out before Christmas. Wishing you and Fuzzy a very Merry Christmas and I know how hard it is to lose a parent but time seems to help some. With lots of love and hugs, Marian

Was that Red's wedding? Most of that evening is a warm, happy, drunken haze.

It was! I mostly remember Will kicking me in the head when we tried to do the dance from "she's all that."