Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Legendary Love

On the news recently, I saw someone about town with a microphone asking people who in their opinion was the best President and why. You got some standard answers and then there were some much more profound and backed up with reasons other than “he wears boxers”.

With it being an election year and yesterday being President’s Day, I started to think back to my 9th grade history class and what I learned, well memorized and since forgotten. Then, I thought (since I had some brain cells to fill in that American History deleted area), what if I got cornered by some reporter and they asked me that question? My initial reaction would be to run. But, then I thought I should ponder this question and be prepared if it happens so I will not look like such a loser.

Now, I don’t know a lot of political stuff, but I do know that what I look for in anyone that leads any group of people is someone that I respect for their goodness, strength, and conviction. So, in my opinion, the best President in recent history was Ronald Reagan.

His contributions are many, from ending the Cold War to the complete disarmament of all nuclear arsenals. He was very popular, in 1984 he was reelected with the largest number of popular and electoral votes in U.S. history. But, that is not why I chose him, my reason is...well, it may be silly to some but it is because Reagan unabashedly loved his wife, their love is legendary. Now, that is what makes a real man.

It has been reported that the couple walked hand in hand always, and they often left love notes for one another. And, you know my feelings about love notes. She put out a book years ago that had many of his love letters to her in it (with the proceeds going to Alzheimer’s research). It was said that both his eloquence and his passion for her never died, no matter where he was or where she was -- sometimes they were in the same room. Can you imagine that?

A love letter that he once wrote aboard Air Force One reads: “When you aren’t here I’m no place, just lost in time and space. I more than love you, I’m not whole without you.” OH MY! Now, are you just melting?

"My life really began when I married my husband," said Nancy Reagan, who in the 1950s happily gave up an acting career for a permanent role as the wife of Ronald Reagan and mother to their children. “A woman's real happiness and real fulfillment come from within the home with her husband and children," she says.

UMM… now I know some people would say that kicks all the women’s lib progress in the behind. But, as a SAHM who sometimes reminisces of my “professional years” and feeling somehow inadequate because I no longer make a great salary, this is heartwarming. It puts it all into perspective for me, it refocuses on what is important in my life. I am proud to be known as The Park Wife, not PR executive, marketing genius, nor special events guru.

My job is being wife to Big Buckaroo and mother to our children. I do not see myself or my life as separate from that. And yes, my life began with Big Buckaroo.

Here are a few excerpts from letters Ronnie wrote to Nancy:

From the governor's office of the state of California.
"Dear Mrs. Reagan, your loving faithful devotion has been observed these 19 -- some say 20 -- years. There are no words to describe the happiness you've brought to the gov. It's no secret that he is the most married man in the world and would be totally lost and desolate without you. It seemed to me you should know this and be aware of how essential you are in this man's life. By his own admission, he is completely in love with you and happier than even a gov deserves. With love and appreciation, your in love gov."

Darling Mommie Poo. February 14th may be the day they observe and call Valentine's Day, but that is for people of only ordinary luck. I happen to have a Valentine life, which started on March 4th, 1952, and will continue as long as I have you. Therefore, realizing the importance of this to me, will you be my Valentine from now on and forever and ever? You see my choice is limited. A Valentine life or no life, because I love you very much. Poppa."

"My beloved first lady: I'm supposed to be sitting here with my fingers crossed watching you open a package. I, of course, would be hoping it was something you really wanted, something that would show how much I love you. You see, I have this problem. I miss you when you first leave the room; I worry about you when you go out the front door. Now, this isn't good for me, not since my transplant, you into my heart 29 years ago next March. Without you, there would be no sun, no moon, no stars. With you, they are all out at the same time. Merry Christmas, my love. Your husband."


Now, go appreciate your love and your life, I am,
The Park Wife


Sage said...

I read Nancy's book many years ago, and just sobbed with the beauty of their love. Then, at President Reagan's funeral when she said goodbye to him and clung to the flag covered coffin, you could see that she also had died. He was gone, there was nothing left for her. I agree with you on your choice of great presidents. The fact that he loved his wife more than life qualifies him as the all time best. Wouldn't this be a better world if everyone would just love their spouse like the Reagans loved each other? ~marge~

fairygodmother said...

I, too, agree completely that Reagan was by far the best President in recent history or throughout history for that matter. Not only because of the leaps he made while in office, but for the MAN HE WAS throughout his life. For the true & unashamed way that even as the leader of the free world, he admitted how much he loved & needed his wife. He & Nancy were very blessed.

chicken friend said...

sounds like something you would write!!! thanks for sharing.

Pam said...

When President Reagan was shot, I was a little girl of course. (You were too, dah) I wrote a letter to Nancy. She wrote back! I treasured that letter for years and years. I remember thinking I was truly something special because I had a personal letter from her.
When The Boy was a baby he met President Bush (then governor) while we worked on his first campaign. Politics aside, it is wonderful to see people with loving hearts. We are all just people after all. Love is love.

Sandy said...

I also think Ron and Nancy Reagan had a terrific love affair. I just wonder how many of his letters his first wife had. I know that sounds judgemental but Ron and Jane had 2 children, 1 of whom died in infancy, and adopted another before they divorced. I would imagine those children are a little tired of being ignored and forgotten, even though they are no longer children.

Having said that, I would much rather have a president who was divorced and remarried than one who is still married to his first wife and unfaithful.

OKGardners said...

You did another great post, PW.
Seems that everyone before me has "said it all" - so I won't add to what they said.

I will say that there is nothing BETTER than a faithful spouse. (My first spouse was unfaithful.) God gave me a second chance with the Love of my Life that I am now happily married to for 20+ years. I agreed to be his "Valentine forever" 22 years ago, the day we became engaged.

Betty in Oklahoma

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Thank you for that. I've never read her book, but that kind of love never dies and reflects how God feels about us. I think human love if at all possible should be a reflection of His love.~~Dee

:Jayne said...

I have to agree with you about Ronnie. It was the last sane moment in the administration of our country.
I ditto what Sandy said too. He was so faithful to Nancy.