My parents were set to receive the President’s Volunteer Action Award at a White House lunch in 1988 when my Dad had to have emergency surgery, so I attended in their place. I sat at Nancy Reagan’s table for lunch and explained the circumstances of him not being able to make it. I told her my mom was in Illinois, “standing by her man” (I used those words) at the hospital, and that it would mean the world to my Dad if RR gave him a call.
“What’s the number?” she said. That night, from Camp David, the president called my dad in the hospital. No cameras. No press releases. Just personal kindness. It was vintage Reagan.
My wife Elizabeth and I had the chance to say hello to Mrs. Reagan last weekend at the Reagan library.
— Illinois congressman Peter Roskam is chief deputy whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.