Never Was a Fan of Reagan--Till Now

There's an Italian proverb that goes something like this--the best way to get people to say nice things about you is to die.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I've not had many kind words for the 40th President of the United States.

Still, with the news of President Reagan's death Saturday, I realized I really have to admire him.

Not for his presidency, but for the ordinary parts of his life.

Like the love he shared with Nancy. At the end, when he couldn't remember her name, she was still there for him.

This Boston Herald piece said it best.

Whatever people might have thought of them, she was at his side until the end.

For more than half a century, through his acting and political careers, his descent into a devastating disease and his eventual death, Nancy Reagan remained her husband's fierce protector.

Then there's this letter, announcing that he had Alzheimer's disease.

It's a courageous letter, knowing the disease would steal his mind long before it stilled his heart.

Here are some clips:

  • In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
  • as Alzheimer's Disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.

  • I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.

May we all be as brave in facing the end of our days. And may we have someone to walk with us all the way.

Garrison Keiller, on this week's Prairie Home Companion gave a grace-filled tribute to Reagan.

And the Cat's Cradle has this reminiscence for remembrance of the Reagan presidency:

Maybe the Reagan years weren't all I remember them to be, but if they weren't, don't tell me. I really prefer looking back at them with fondness and a feeling of comfort.

I was undoubtedly more naive in those days, and sometimes I wish I could get that naiveté back again. But the naiveté, like Mr. Reagan, are gone now and there's no return for either.

Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004

Peace to his memory.

Peace to his memory.



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