It’s finally happened. We Maniacs have all known it was coming. It was certainly inevitable. We have often recently marveled at his lasting this long.
Ronald Reagan died today.
How hard it is to grasp that. Even though he has been out of the public light for most of the past 10 years, his presence has been there for conservatives. His idealism, optimism and his love of country and his beloved Nancy.
Is there any better example of pure marital love, communion and unity as we Catholics understand it than that of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in public life? You just knew when he looked at her, that he would lay down his life for her in a second. You could see she was totally and forever devoted to him. She bore that witness daily for the last 10 years, taking care of a man who in the end, could no longer remember who she was most likely.
Ronald Reagan was a man who believed in God in the Protestant tradition, not Catholic. Yet he enjoyed a very good relationship with the Holy Father, John Paul II. He was not a man who seemed willing to make judgment on other men’s souls. He often stayed from church services in order to avoid disturbing the worship of others, so unlike today’s politicians who see church services as a photo-op. His faith was recently brought to greater light in a book that really lets you see his love of God.
As for Nancy Reagan, I believe she has exemplified the term redemptive suffering. The Reagans had plenty of means to afford around the clock care for if they so chose. Yet, Nancy could not bear that anyone but her be the primary care-giver. Sure, she had help, especially these last years. But by all accounts they helped her, not the other way around. She suffered with and for her husband each and every day. She sacrificed what could have been in order to take care of her husband. Can you imagine the most recent ex-First Lady doing the same for her husband? I didn’t think so. Nancy may not be likely to be canonized upon her death, being a non-Catholic and all, but I would not be surprised to see both of them when I get to Heaven, God willing that is.