Will wrote in an open letter to his 13-year-old self that he will 'always remember the good stuff' about his parents.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 3, 2022. It has since been updated.
Will Reeve was only three years old when his father, Christopher Reeve, was paralyzed for life. When he turned 11, in 2004, he lost his dad. Two years later, at 13, his mom died due to lung cancer, making him an orphan. Reeve and his wife Diana, only had one son, Will, but he did not have it easy growing up. Although his father was the much-loved face of Superman and his mother was also well-known, Will revealed that his parents gave him an extremely normal childhood.
"They were the people who told me to turn off the TV, to eat my broccoli, to go to bed," Will Reeve said on People's List interview on ABC, according to PEOPLE. "I understand that not every child experiences going to the grocery store and seeing their dad on the magazine at the checkout aisle, but... it was a totally normal childhood."
Reeve was left paralyzed due to a horseback riding accident in 1995, but Will—who was very young when the incident took place— still has fond memories of him as well as his mother.
In an open letter that Will wrote to his 13-year-old self, he said, as quoted by CBS News, "You will always remember the good stuff. Dad in the driveway teaching you how to ride a bike just by telling you what to do, you trusting him so fully that you just do it. Mom's singing voice filling the air with sweetness at home and in the car to school."
But losing both his parents in a period of two years caused Will Reeve to go through an extremely tough phase in his life.
"You're at the lowest point of your life. You're in a hospital room in New York City, and you've just said your final goodbye to Mom," he wrote to his younger self in the same letter. "You're 13. She's 44. Lung cancer. Never smoked. Gone, just like Dad, who died a year-and-a-half ago, which at the time was the lowest you had been. Now you're at a new bottom and you're terrified and confused and just so sad. But! Here's the good news: this is the low point. There's nowhere to go but up, and that's exactly where you're headed."
Life did go up from that point of rock bottom for Will Reeve. He was adopted by his next-door neighbors after his parents' demise, and he grew up to be a successful sports journalist. But most importantly, he is carrying forward the significant work his parents began in the search to find a cure for paralysis.
"It’s a serene empowerment knowing that I have my parent’s values instilled in me," Will Reeve told PEOPLE. "I am so fortunate to have had my parents, specifically, as my parents... They instilled all the best of themselves, I hope, into me. It’s an honor to try to be like them."
Will, along with his half-siblings, Matthew and Alexandra Reeve, have been continuing their legacy through the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which aims to find a cure for spinal cord injuries and provide care for patients who are affected by paralysis. This way, his parents' lives will continue to make a difference to people even though they are no longer around. What better way to honor his parents, right?
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Matthew Peyton