Frances Reid touched so many days of our lives in her 95 years. As the nurturing, understanding, and often times ethereal Alice Horton, she gave her viewers a sense of morality, sensitivity, and infinite kindness rarely seen in our own daily lives. How do we say goodbye to a figure who has offered so many generations so much?
As someone who just lost his real-life grandmother three weeks ago, the loss of my fictional grandmother in Salem comes as a pretty heavy blow. But I have found that when devastated by a loss, it helps to remember what I loved and admired most about that person, and then I seek to incorporate that in my own life.
With Frances Reid, I will always remember how her portrayal of Alice Horton came to symbolize the ability to see the light in others, even when their behavior spoke otherwise. Alice had never-ending patience when the Horton family members were in trouble, which of course was quite often. She didn't turn her back on her son Bill when he assaulted Laura, she didn't judge Julie as she made mistake after mistake. She remained a friend, a confidant, and an unrelenting advocate of the power of love and redemption as she served as a spiritual anchor for the emotional turbulent residents of Salem.
Why does this matter now? Because Reid's contribution in this performance is something that can continue to live on after her death. We can use these examples to remind ourselves to be a little gentler, a little more patient, and a little more compassionate to the family and friends in our lives. By incorporating these aspects into our daily lives, we can keep the heart of Reid alive, and never allow her spirit to die.
On a personal note, I had one chance fan encounter with Ms. Reid on a Friday evening in 1982. My brother was in a play at Santa Monica Playhouse with a relative of Ms. Reid's. That Friday had been a particularly dramatic day in Salem, and when I saw Ms. Reid waiting in the lobby I felt it was my 10-year-old duty to tell her what I thought. She was wearing a long dark mink coat. I came right up to her and said, "Hello Ms. Reid, I really admire you...and I don't think Marlena died today, I think it was Samantha." She looked rather surprised, slightly quizzical, then smiled, winked at me and said, "Come back Monday, you never know what will happen next."
Today I celebrate Ms. Reid, mourn her passing, and honor that wink. We never do know what will happen next but I know I'm committed to keeping Reid's memory honored here at We Love Soaps. Please join me below to celebrate your own thoughts and memories of Ms Reid and/or Alice Horton.