when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for July 2011

Betty Ford

Posted on: July 9, 2011

Betty Ford died yesterday at the age of 93.  While her husband’s stature has grown since he left office — with citizens becoming more attune to and sympathetic of the difficult political times he was brought into and the skill with which he handled them, Mrs. Ford’s stature grew exponentially while her husband served as President.

I was incensed by Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon at the time,  but maturity has taught me that this action was good for the country.  As I watched CSPAN during the period of his death and internment, I realized that I truly admired President Ford.  But I always admired Betty Ford!

Betty Ford has probably left as great a cultural legacy as President Ford did a political one.  Betty Ford made it OK to be an “abuser” and “take the cure.”  What incredible personal fortitude it must have taken for her to make the decision to talk openly about this very personal issue.  She also spoke openly about her breast cancer experience, bringing a spotlight to a subject often ignored.  And President Ford should also be appreciated for his sustaining support of his wife and her decisions to go public with issues that might have resulted in significant political fallout — this was the 70s, remember?

The fact is that Betty Ford was a lightning rod and she never turned away from an opportunity to use her personal problems to make the lives of many, many individuals of this planet better. She shared hardships in the face of understanding that she would be discredited and gossiped about as a result.  And she made a mark on this world!

When you hear “Betty Ford” what do you think?  Betty Ford has become shorthand in our culture for seeking assistance to conquer a very difficult disease to conquer — the disease of addiction. THANK YOU BETTY FORD!

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