From the time they met in 1950, through the 1990’s, Ronald Reagan wrote letters to his wife, Nancy. No matter what else was going on in his life or where he was - traveling to make movies or for G.E., in the California governor’s office, at the White House, or on Air Force One, and sometimes even from across the room— Ronald Reagan wrote letters to Nancy Reagan, to express his love, thoughts, and feelings and to stay in touch.
These extraordinary letters weave a moving portrait of a long and loving marriage. Below are some letters Ronald wrote Nancy, as excerpted from the special, as well as Nancy Reagan's book, “I Love You, Ronnie”:
Dear St. Valentine,
I’m writing to you about a beautiful young lady who has been in this household for 25 years now—come March 4.
I have a request to make of you but before doing so feel you should know more about her. For one thing she has 2 hearts—her own and mine. I’m not complaining. I gave her mine willingingly, and like it right where it is. Her name is Nancy but for some time now I’ve called her Mommie and don’t believe I could change.
My request of you is—could you on this day whisper in her ear that someone loves her very much and more and more each day? Also tell her, this “Someone” would run down like a dollar clock without her so she must always stay where she is.
Then tell her if she wants to know who that “Someone” is to just turn her head to the left. I’ll be across the room waiting to see if you told her. If you’ll do this for me, I’ll be very happy knowing that she knows I love her with all my heart.
Dear Mrs. Reagan,
And you are Mrs. Reagan because Mr. Reagan loves you with all his heart. Every time Mr. Reagan sees the evening star or blows out the birthday candles or gets the big end of the wishbone he thinks the same wish—a prayer really—that so much happiness will go on and somehow be deserved by him.
It is true sometimes that Mr. Reagan loses his temper and slams a door but that’s because he can’t cry or stamp his foot—(he isn’t really the type.) But mad or glad Mr. Reagan is head over heels in love with Mrs. Reagan and can’t even imagine a world without her—
He loves her
A few days ago you told me I was angry with you. I tried to explain I was frustrated with myself. But later on I realized that my frustration might have been a touch of self-pity because I’d been going around feeling that you are frequently angry with me.
No more. We are so much “one” that you are as vital to me as my own heart—with one exception; you could never be replaced with a transplant.
Whatever I treasure and enjoy—this home, our ranch, the sight of the sea—all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you. I live in a permanent Christmas because God gave me you. As I write this, you are hurrying by—back and forth doing those things only you can do and I get a feeling of warm happiness just watching you. That’s why I can’t pass you or let you pass me without reaching to touch you. (Except now or you would see what I’m doing.)
I’ll write no more because I’m going to catch up with you wherever you are and hold you for a moment.
Merry Christmas Darling—I love you with all my heart.
Dear Mrs. Reagan,
Your loving, faithful devotion has been observed these 19 (some say 20) years. There are no words to describe the happiness you have brought to the Gov. It is no secret that he is the most married man in the world and would be totally lost and desolate without you. It seemed to me you should know this and be aware of how essential you are in this man’s life. By his own admission, he is completely in love with you and happier than even a Gov. deserves.
With Love & Appreciation
—Your In Luv Guv.
Excerpted from "I Love You, Ronnie" by Nancy Reagan. Excerpted by permission of Random House Trade Paperbacks, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.