I’ll be the first to admit that I was not a great fan of Nancy Reagan when she was the First Lady. It wasn’t so much that I disliked her as the fact that she simply didn’t impress me. My mother, on the other hand, saw her as a quintessential woman. She was in awe of Nancy and often commented that those of us in the younger generation would do well to learn from her. My mom and Nancy were from the same generation so I suppose they understood one another more so than I was capable of doing. It was only after Nancy Reagan had left the White House that I realized what an strong and caring person she really was.
During the Reagan presidency Nancy was certainly an elegant well mannered woman. She always seemed a bit shy which is a trait with which I easily identify. She appeared uncomfortable being in the public eye but she carried out her duties because she believed that her husband had something to give the nation. Almost every First Lady adopts a cause and hers was taking on the drug culture. In retrospect she may not have approached the problem exactly right but she did attempt to bring our attention to a growing problem. Today’s research is only beginning to shed light on the difficulties of conquering an addiction. We now know that the brain and genetics of those who become hooked on drugs and alcohol are different from most of us. We have learned that beating an addiction is terribly difficult. As scientists get more and more information we move closer to perhaps one day finding a cure for this affliction. Sadly back in the eighties we tended to believe that those who became hopeless slaves of drugs were somehow lacking in character rather than being ill. Many have hurled epithets at Nancy Reagan for her part in the “Just Say No” campaign but few of us thought any differently than she did. Her intentions were good and she grew up in an era that was quite different from today. Continue reading “A Good Woman”