Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Long Goodbye

The Long GoodbyeThe Long Goodbye by Patti Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The back of the book says Biography, but I'm pretty sure its a memoir.  Not much straight fact, mostly feelings and emotions.  That is the official classification, right?!
I read this book because I thought it would be more about Alzheimer than it was. The book is about Ronald Regan's daughter coming to terms with the disease and her the relationship she made with her father. Alzheimer's runs in both my and mine husband's family so I thought this was a must read for me.  Even though I enjoyed the book be warned this book has very little to do with the degenerative disease and all about a grown woman forgiving herself for the bridges she burned with her parents. But like I said I did enjoyed it, it was quite interesting since I was a wee babe when Reagan was in office I know very little about the man, and only what my textbooks taught.  I thought Davis was very well written and conveyed her raw emotions eloquently.

View all my reviews
One step farther than Goodreads.  One thing I found very fascinating and reflexive about this book was Davis describing her parent's relationship. "...my marriage was not as entwined as my parents'. They relied on each other, never stopped appreciating each other; they genuinely liked being together.  A friend who is my mother's age said to me, 'I've been married twice, and I never had that kind of closeness with either husband.'
"Shakespeare wrote plays about that kind of love, poets, songwriters, novelists, have tried to describe it.  We all know about it, yet our own experiences have fallen short so many times that cynicism has taken up residence. 'It would be nice, but....' is the most common reaction. But they have it. As a child, I felt excluded by their bond; as an adult, I'm fascinated by it. But I've never stopped puzzling over it." (119-120) I thought that is what my children feel, excluded by my husband and my relationship.  I have no idea what Regans marriage was like, I'm sure some has a better marriage than me, but mine is as wonderful and fabulous as I could imagine.  I don't think about anything or anyone as much as my husband.  I dream about him almost nights, I wake up thinking about him, I miss him when he is gone.  When he is working at home, I love my children's nap time.  I love to have my children quiet (even if the oldest is silently playing video games) and go sit in where my husband is working.  He is working so I have to sit silently or read, but I just like to be with him.  He is always willing to grocery shop with me, or any other errand, he never offers to sit in the car and wait, he always comes with me.  And I want to join him on his errands just as much.  Everytime he walks out the door without me I am sad.  I adore my husband.  My children always try to squirm inbetween us, he never lets them, and I rarely do.  As a young mother I'm sure my children's well being should be my top concern but yet, whats usually on my mind first is how much I love my husband.
So as I read the multiple accounts of Davis about her parent's relationship I wondered will my children think that about me and my husband?  I eventually decided, no, I really have no idea what the details of my parents marriage is like.  But when I think about my parent's marriage I first think of getting my learning permit at 16, and my parents always riding in the backseat of the car so they could hold hands together, and putting my younger brother shotgun.  Then I remember a few years before that when a cousin asked, do your parents always kiss each other in front of you?  I was confused and taken back, of course, isn't that not normal?  The older I got the more friends I had often were taken back by my parents mutual adoration with each other, I had no idea it wasn't normal to have parents like that.  So I was never fascinated, or puzzled.  For a girl who didn't plan on getting married, I knew I would never settle for anything but the best.  I often think I feel bad for all those out there who aren't madly in love with the spouse, and feel relieved for everyone who is. Which is also the reason I have often found myself thinking, as I imagine my children's futures, I don't think single is sad, but I would feel lonely for them if they had a struggling marriage.
"But my parent's lives have always wrapped around each other with little need for anyone else. (153)"
Like I said my husband and I spend so much of our free time together we really have very few friends, because we are always so busy spending time with each other we don't have time for others.  Which is why the MBA has been so challenging for me, because I've had to learn how to get other friends and do things with others, even if I would rather be spending time with Brent.  Maybe that is why I think about him so much.  I sometimes feel bad, I'm pretty sure Brent's heart is capable of more love and respect than mine, I feel like I'm giving him the bad end of the deal.  That being said, maybe we are just different, I know when he is at work, he is at work thinking about work.  Not about me, which is fine.  Because I'm fickled because even-though I've pined over him all day, he walks in the door and I suddenly become shy.   I often wonder what the outside see when they look at Brent and I.  Do we come off as madly in love, or two people just married, PDA has never been a priority of mine.

My favorite quote from the book, which seems to be fitting for my life right now.
"We're not always meant to know why, my father used to say; we're meant to trust (193)."

No comments:

Post a Comment