Sunday, July 28, 2013

Happy 84th Birthday Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

July 28, 2013

Dear Jacqueline,
Today would have been your 84th birthday.  Sadly, you left us in 1994 at the age of 64. 

I have been your fan for many years.  I’ve read many books about you.  In fact, I bought another one today, as I was thinking about you. 

When I was giving tours at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, I would show visitors the letter you wrote to Richard Nixon after the assassination of your husband.  You were thanking him for a letter he had written to you.  It’s handwritten…which always impressed me.  I also loved the replica of the Lincoln Sitting Room in the Nixon Library.  I always made sure that visitors knew that it looks just as you designed it.  It’s very comfortable and beautiful.  That room stayed the same through many presidential administrations after you lived there…until Hilary Clinton had it changed. 

Having read so much about you I understand not everyone is your fan.  You were a very complex and private person.  I believe we can learn from another’s life, reading about their experiences and accomplishments…as well as their heartaches and challenges.   Your life was so different from my own, but I’ve learned from it. 

I wasn’t raised in the “glamorous life.”  My family didn’t have a Park Avenue apartment or an elegant family estate in East Hampton. You had a comfortable living, surrounded by maids, butlers, nannies and chauffeurs.  I grew up in a small town in southern California in a modest tract home.  We were expected to do our own chores and most of the time our mother chauffeured us around in her big blue Ford station wagon.  I’ve never lived in the White House.  Today I live in a condo.

One thing I know we have in common….you loved books.  So do I.  You were known as a voracious reader.  So am I.  I remember the words your son, John Jr. said shortly after you passed away.  He said you were surrounded by your family, your friends and your books.  I hope that is how I will leave this world…with my favorite things around me--my family, my friends, and my books…well, it’ll probably be my Kindle.

Regards, Mrs Love

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