Hello Friends,

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for me. My father passed away unexpectedly last week, and then I had ArtWalk Ventura over the weekend — my big show of the year. A lot has been happening all at once.

I wasn’t going to write about my father’s passing because it didn’t seem relevant to my art, and then I thought — how can I not? My art is so tied up with my life, and this is a big life event.

My father was 90 and active right up to his last day. It’s how he would have wanted to go — quickly and without much suffering. But it’s a shock for myself, my mother, and my brother, as well as other family members and friends.

Here’s a picture of us taken many years ago by my Uncle Allan.

Pat and Buzz Wedin

Pat, Howie, Buzz and Cassie Wedin

In making phone calls to tell people that he had died, I heard a lot of stories about what a wonderful and charming guy my dad was.

My memories of him are more mundane. The playhouse that he built in the backyard of our home. Days on the playground and evenings around the dinner table. Learning to ride a bicycle and playing chess. He was both an intellect and passionate about sports, interested in basketball, philosophy and current events.

As a teacher, coach and educational administrator, my dad impacted a lot of lives. My wish is that at the end of my life, I can say the same.

In memoriam: Harold “Buzz” Wedin, December 3, 1927 – October 1, 2018.

Wedin Family

Who has had an impact on your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them with us in the comments section below.

P.S. – I pulled everything together for ArtWalk and the show went very well. A BIG thank you to everyone who showed up to see my latest work and support my art.

Cassandra Tondro ArtWalk Ventura

With love and appreciation,



  1. What a sad week! I share your sadness.
    You said ‘his passing didn’t seem relevant’ to your art. ART is all about HEART. In fact, it completes it. I sincerely feel what touches the HEART is made visible thru their ART.

    This past week, our small creative group realized the end of life of a very unique lady. She was diagnosed with ‘an easy to treat’ form of cancer. Well, that did not work out. But, medicine does not promise specific outcomes. When someone leaves us, I fall back on my spiritual education. The book, Heaven Is For Real, brings comfort for some, surprise and excitement for others. I am even more confident there will be a reunion with my family, friends and even my pets.

    Back to your question…You asked ‘who had an impact’ in our life. My mother. Not that I realized it while she was living, tho. Being an only child, I was a handful! I was fortunate to be with her as she took her last breath. There was a small group at her bedside in our home in Texas as she passed: my dad, his sister, a young Hispanic girl who had been her caregiver ….and me.

    Everyone was crying, hugging each other, blowing their noses, but me. I had tears but I was focused on my mom’s face. She had been non-responsive 24+ hours and was considered to be ‘comatose’. I had arrived 6-8 hours earlier from Alabama, where my spouse was stationed. When I realized the last breath WAS her last breath, I leaned over and whispered ‘say hi to Grammy for me’….. and she smiled!

    I look forward to seeing her smile again. We will have lots to talk about, for sure.

  2. Cassie,
    Sorry to hear about your father’s death. I had an opportunity to talk with him during your annual front yard sales. He loved you very much!
    Wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

  3. So sorry, Cassie. Be thankful you had your dear father for as long as you did, that’s a blessing. He’ll always be with you in your memories, never to leave. Love to you.

  4. I thank you all for your kind words and thoughts, and for sharing your own stories of those who have had an impact on your life. It’s a process for sure, and his passing doesn’t seem real to me yet, even though I was there for it. But life goes on, and I have many promises to keep! And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. AHAHAHAHA. Couldn’t resist getting in a little Robert Frost there.

  5. I’m so sorry to read this, Cassandra. My father died last year at age 97. We were lucky to have our fathers for so long, but it’s a huge loss, especially suddenly. Last night I dreamed of Dad and was comforted. I hope your memories and his traits in you and your brother sustain you as you move through the grieving process.

  6. I thought you sharing about your father was very inspiring. My mother is 93 and only until the last 8 years have I known her. We reunited after a lifetime of separation. However, when I did find her (I was adopted) long story …we were so happy to be together again. Of my 2 sisters I am the image of my mother. She is so much like me and vice versa. As you were with your father he “grew” you so to speak. Our parents influence us in every way the universe allows. Together or separate we are them and they are us. Gone but NOT forgot in our soul and life..

  7. So sorry to read of your fathers’ passing Cassandra. I hope wonderful memories of him will forever live on in your heart. Thank you for sharing those very beautiful family photos. You say your dad impacted many lives during his time here on earth…he taught you well. Though I can only speak for my little grandson Aidan, I am certain you have, and continue to impact the lives of many people also, even some you have never met. When the sorrow lessens, comfort and peace will find you. Many blessings, Mari.

  8. Thank you, Cassandra, for sharing, not only your creative inspiration, but also your life with us. Warm thoughts as you grieve the loss of your dear dad.

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