As I’m sure you know, Nancy Reagan, wife of former President Ronald Reagan, passed away yesterday. She was 94. As you also know, we’ve been discussing politics and religion lately here at the Catch, two of the most volatile subjects anyone could take on. But as Robert, one of our Catch citizens who regularly comments wrote me, “These are the sorts of times when petty differences (political and religious) are truly minor in comparison with genuine love.”
It’s significant that he would bring up love, since love was what I was going to write about today, which will wait now until tomorrow to give us a chance to say goodbye to Nancy and an era.
Nancy and “Ronnie” were inseparable and so full of affection for each other, they held a nation together just by their relationship.
“My life didn’t really begin until I met Ronnie,” Nancy Reagan wrote in her memoirs, and Ron said of his wife, “Nancy came along, and saved my soul.”
From what we hear from those behind the scenes, Nancy was much tougher than the sweet wife that appeared on camera. She was quick to point out the ambiguous when her husband wanted a black and white solution. She was a strength when he was weak and vulnerable when he was strong. But the picture that says it all is the look in her eyes whenever she looked at her husband. It was a look of admiration, affection and protection. She would have taken the bullet if she could have.
Many agree that her greatest single contribution outside of what she gave her husband, was her “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign through which she sought to empower children to something higher. In one of her most important messages to the children of the nation, she stated, “There’s a big, wonderful world out there for you. It belongs to you. It’s exciting and stimulating and rewarding. Don’t cheat yourselves out of this promise.” Chandler would rally around that in a heartbeat.
When we say goodbye to Nancy, we say goodbye to a kinder, more hopeful era. Would that we could look back a little and learn something from it.
And this, from President Reagan’s last major speech:
“…Before I go, I would like to ask the person who has made my life’s journey so meaningful, someone I have been so very proud of over the years to join me, Nancy…”
Nancy Reagan, actress, wife, mother, advocate, and loyal partner to the President, dead at 94.
Ronald Reagan quoting Clark Gable (I have changed the gender to suit his wife’s homecoming):
“There’s nothing more wonderful for a woman than to approach her own doorstep knowing that someone on the other side of the door is listening for the sound of her footsteps.”