But that leaves my mother who would look out that same window in our living room and every time my dad commented, "I wouldn't go across the street to shake hands with the President of the United States," (see blog of December 29), my mom quietly answered, "I would."
It wasn't until years later that I had the opportunity to revisit the question. Would I walk across the street to shake hands with the President of the United States?
And so it was that when I was given the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC to meet the President, I passed it up (more on that later); I was lucky, though; I was given a second opportunity to visit the White House, for a 'gala reception'. (This time my husband was wise enough to leave out the fact that we would be meeting the President.) Sure enough, we arrived at the reception, and there was Ronald Reagan, not on the big screen, not on TV, but in the flesh, as it were! People were flocking around him to shake his hand, and true to my father, I told Levon, I'm not going across the room to shake hands with the President, and I'm certainly not going to fight the crowds to shake his hand! But then I remembered my mother. Where was the President? Oh, over there, surrounded by his admirers. Okay. Let's see what I can do, Mummy. This one is for you. And so I plowed my way through the crowds, and just as the President was parallel to where I was standing, I reached over the shoulder in front of me and President Reagan grabbed my hand and held it, just for a moment, a moment in which it was just the President and I, holding hands, holding gazes . . . and it was the movie star Ronald Reagan holding hands with my mom and for that moment there were only the two of them, all alone in the room, just like in the movies! Just for you, Mommy! (Whoops -- don't tell Daddy!)