Friday night, as we watched the California sunset service on TV, one of the most striking moments was hearing Ronald Reagan's eldest son, Michael, eulogize his father. He talked of being adopted (in 1945, while Reagan was still married to his first wife), of being the chosen one, and how President Reagan never mentioned it, never acted like or spoke about him as anything less than blood-- a true son of his father.
Near the end of his speech, he talked about all the gifts his father gave him-- both material and spiritual. I thought, at one point, he might break into something cheesy like "my father gave me love," but thankfully, that was not the case. Michael Reagan told a worldwide audience that the greatest gift his father ever gave him was his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He reminisced about a plane ride in 1988 where President Reagan told him about his faith in Christ-- why he was assured of his salvation, and how MIchael could have that same assurance. Michael said he didn't understand it all at the time, but he does now, and is deeply indebted to his father for introducing him to the gospel. He hopes to pass on that gift to his son as well.
I was deeply touched and proud of the way he memorialized his father-- heartfelt, with emotion and (unlike his, in my opinion, often stoic siblings) with a joyful celebration that his dad, Ronald Reagan, along with his late sister Maureen, were together with God, "melanoma and Alzheimer's free." Michael's other two siblings followed his remarks with memories of their own, but I thought they couldn't compare to the gratitude expressed in Michael's speech. What better than to proclaim his father's deeply rooted beliefs in Christ-- and why he knew his father was now in the presence of the Lord.
Of course, the major news outlets have not highlighted that part of his speech, focusing instead on the more anecdotal portion. At least Fox News gives you the option of watching the entire speech on video, unlike CNN...