Let us turn one more time to Ronald Reagan, in his centennial year, for some Christmas cheer. President Reagan loved America, his shining city on a hill, but he loved one thing—or rather one person—more: Nancy, his wife of more than 50 years.
Theirs was a marriage of affection and devotion and commitment, captured in this Christmas letter of December 1980 addressed to “My Beloved First Lady.” I do not think it is possible to read it without a tear or two or more.
December 25, 1980
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. (Having the house painted won’t do it)
But here I am—writing a letter looking for words that will properly say it and those are hard to come by. Could you maybe give me a hint or two before next Christmas?
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 [came] 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.
Browning I’m not but believe me. I do love you to the breadth and depth of all my being and I count all the ways I love you and they add up to greater happiness than I deserve.
Merry Christmas my Love.