Family Tribute:Gregory Reda was all about Love. He loved our family very much and worked hard to provide for us. During the week, he left while the boys and I were still sleeping. Greg would kiss our sleepy heads before he left for his hour and twenty minute commute to work. The day would never go by with out several calls saying, 'I miss you,' 'I love you,' and 'I can’t wait to see you later.' He’d call to talk to Nicholas, hear Matthew coo, or listen to Nicholas play his new set of drums. After his train ride back, he’d park his red Miata in front of the house and ring the doorbell. Nicholas and I couldn’t run to the door fast enough. Greg collected hugs and kisses from both of us. At the time, Matthew was just an infant and was usually in his bouncy seat on the table. Greg would kiss his newborn son. Nicholas would then run to the stairs and call to Greg, 'Daddy Change.' It was an evening ritual the two of them developed. Greg would go upstairs to change his clothes and chase Nicholas around and over our bed. They would end up on the bed playing a game of 'my pillow.' Afterwards, Greg would give Nicholas all of the special edition state quarters he came across during the day. Nicholas would run to his dinosaur bank to put the new treasures his daddy just gave him. I honestly don’t know who was having more fun during this special time between father and son. Anyone could tell by looking into Greg’s eyes or hearing him talk about Nicholas and Matthew, he was so proud to be a father and loved his children very much.
As for me and the love that we share, there is just so much I could say. He was the world to me, my true love and soul mate. During the past 11 years, we shared so many happy times filled with love and laughter. He was by far the most thoughtful, caring, loving husband a women could ever have. It is certainly an honor to have been chosen to be Greg’s wife. On the night of September 10th, I went upstairs to feed Matthew. Greg stayed downstairs to finish a few things downstairs. Since it was so late, I laid his clothes out for the next day and finally we were in bed. Greg turned to me and said 'Thank you for all that you do. For taking such good care of the kids and things in the house.' I remember saying, 'Are you kidding? You do so much, you go to work then come home and help out so much. Thank you!' It wasn’t unusual for us to acknowledge the gratitude we had for one another, but as one can imagine, it was especially special that night. It didn’t matter where we were, as long as we were together it was home.
Although Greg was missed when he wasn’t home, I know he was touching lives at work and even at the New Hyde Park LIRR train station as well as in our neighborhood. Greg was a manager who had wonderful interpersonal skills. Co-workers didn’t hesitate to come by his office, whether it was work related or not, it seems that people always left his office a little happier - of course, he did have a snack drawer. Nevertheless, I have received many letters from co-workers saying that Greg was a mentor, a pleasure to work with, had such a wonderful personality, great sense of humor and without a doubt irreplaceable. I’ve also received a couple of letters from people who saw him every morning at the train station. His absence was noticed but as one women said although they spoke to one another every morning, they never exchanged names. Then she saw his picture in the newspaper and now knows why she hasn’t seen him on the train. Through neighbors, I’ve heard stories about Greg that I had never heard before, like how he helped someone change a tire at the train station or how he called car service on his cell phone to help someone who had missed their station. A neighbor recently stopped me while I was with Nicholas and Matthew to tell me how one day Greg and Nicholas rang her bell. They found her wallet, which she had been franticly looking for. In my eyes, he was such a good samaritan; he did these acts of kindness and didn’t tell anyone about it afterwards. Hearing these stories certainly makes me proud to be his wife.
The weekend was family time. We were always together and truly enjoyed one another’s company. We tried to do things around the house, hanging pictures, curtains, fixing little things and cleaning, which you all know about. We would also take Nicholas for walks or bike rides around our neighborhood. Then there was the social life. We were always off to a party or social gathering. At a party, Greg always managed to find a balance between making sure our children were supervised and socializing with the adults. Greg played an important role in the lives of our friends and family members. Sitting around a table was always so much fun when Greg was there. He was an entertainer; he always had a funny or interesting story to tell. Greg always seemed to have us laughing at something. His presence at family functions or just hanging out with friends is definitely missed. Another side of Greg was that he was a sounding board for many. Friends, family, and co-workers would go to Greg to vent and to talk about issues, problems, or events going on in their lives. Greg was calm and easy-going; He never pushed advice onto anyone but always seem to brighten up a person’s day or help someone see things in another way.
He always knew the right thing to say or do. Several people have told me that when certain situations arise they often ask themselves 'How would Greg handle this situation?' or 'What would Greg do?'
Aside from Greg’s warm and friendly personality, he was also quite intelligent and had many interests. He loved to learn about new things but his true area of expertise was in computers. He enjoyed playing with the latest technical 'toy' and was the computer consultant for many friends and family members. He would help installing programs, finding the deleted file, hard drives, printers, scanners, and all that technical stuff that I also depended on him for. Photography was another one of Greg’s areas of expertise and hobbies. We both enjoyed taking pictures of all sorts of things. Our subjects ranged from the Brooklyn Bridge, the New York City skyline, to weddings and babies of friends and family. Nicholas and Matthew were also very popular subjects, as one can see by our photo albums and the framed pictures in our house. Many people came to Greg when they were interested in buying a new camera or flash. He was always willing to help a person pick the right camera for them. Greg really had so many different interests; he built and fixed cars, wrote poetry, played the saxophone, enjoyed reading, loved to listen to Van Halen and Areosmith, and really enjoyed watching and quoting movies. Eating was another thing Greg really enjoyed doing; as a child he had a very limited menu of pizza, hot dogs, french fries and of course, peanut butter. As an adult, he ate quite a wide variety of foods from taco bell meals, eggplant parmesan and shrimp to quail, quiche and fondue; He became the family’s connoisseur of sushi. During his teen years, which was before I met Greg, he enjoyed Disco music, skate boarding and even played football. I say even because if you knew Greg he was not into sports at all. Nonetheless, Greg was enthusiastic about the many interests he did have.
I want to be like Greg, to be happy, to love and be kind to others. I want to raise Nicholas and Matthew so that they know their father and can follow their father’s love of life. I’ve asked people to send letters that tell a story, a memory or a thought about Greg. I’ll put it together in a book for Nicholas and Matthew, so that they can see that it’s not just me who thought that their daddy was an incredible person. This is just a small sample of my thoughts on Greg, one day I will write a book for Nicholas and Matthew. Maybe this tribute will be my book s introduction. But for now I leave saying . . .
Gregory Reda, 33, tragically died on September 11th in the World Trade Center. He leaves behind his wife Nicole, 28, and 2 beautiful sons 21/2 year old Nicholas and 2 month old Matthew. Gregory was an extraordinary person; He was not only a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a cousin, a nephew . . . Greg was Greg and he is a hero. A hero that will always be remembered and loved.