Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thanks Mr. Postman

Remember letter-writing? On stationery? Okay, not the point of this, but I just had to reminisce for a brief moment. So, the other day I was reading an article by Mental Floss (my favorite magazine in the whole wide world) called 11 Amazing Thank You Notes From Famous People. You really need to check it out. There's one from Neil Armstrong to the NASA team who designed his spacesuit, another one from Audrey Hepburn to Henry Mancini, another one from Liz Taylor to Andy Warhol, and lots of others just to some commoners.

My favorite was this uber-touching one from Ronald Reagan to the American people. Politics aside, I really liked Ronnie. He always seemed like someone I would want to meet no matter what side of the political fence I rode. I ached for his family when he was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease (an up-close and personal issue for me) and bawled while watching his funeral. And then I re-cried while reading this letter, which is not like me at all. I don't do sad. However, I'm going to make an exception so that I can share this beautiful letter that I so blatantly plagiarized from the Mental Floss blog. Grab a tissue.

My fellow Americans, 

I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way. In the past, Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had cancer surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness. We were happy that as a result many more people underwent testing. They were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy lives. So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clear understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it. 

At the moment, I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life’s journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters. 

Unfortunately, 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. 

In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. 

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. 

Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you. 
Ronald Reagan

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