An Engagement

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” 
John F. Kennedy

An Engagement

Sixty years ago on June 24, 1953 the newspapers announced the engagement of the charismatic young senator, John F. Kennedy to the elegantly serene, Jacqueline Bouvier.  Within a few short years, J.F.K. would become the 35th president of the United States and Jacqueline, at thirty-one, would become the most beloved First Lady.

Jacqueline’s passion for the arts and cultural traditions were reflected in her vision of restoring the White House to showcase the historical legacy of America’s most celebrated home.  At the completion, Jacqueline gave a tour of the White House via a CBS Television broadcast.  Eighty million Americans (and at least one Canadian – me) watched the broadcast.

Jacqueline became the Ambassador of Good Will throughout the world.  Fluent in French, Spanish and Italian, her interest and genuine affection for other cultures earned her the love and respect of all she met.  The world mourned with her when she lost her third child, Patrick Bourvier Kennedy, and shared her grief at losing her husband.  Jacqueline’s courage and dignity, her resilient spirit and her display of love for her children throughout those difficult days was a testament to her intelligence, beauty and grace. She once said, “One must not let oneself be overwhelmed by sadness.” 

“I love the Autumn,
And yet I cannot say
All the thoughts and things
That make me feel this way.

I love walking on the angry shore,
To watch the angry sea;
Where summer people were before,
But now there’s only me.

I love wood fires at night
That have a ruddy glow.
I stare at the flames
And think of long ago.

I love the feeling down inside me
That says to run away
To come and be a gypsy
And laugh the gypsy way.

The tangy taste of apples,
The snowy mist at morn,
The wanderlust inside you
When you hear the huntsman’s horn.

Nostalgia – that’s the Autumn,
Dreaming through September
Just a million lovely things
I always will remember.”

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

27 thoughts on “An Engagement

    • Why am I not surprised that you have her book of favourite poems on your nightstand. I can tell by your writing that you enjoy words and ideas.

      I confess, I had no idea that Jackie wrote poems until I was doing a bit of research tonight. I have ordered an audio-book through the Vancouver Public Library and am hoping that it will be her voice or her daughter, Caroline’s. She was remarkable.

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  1. What wonderful words John Kennedy left behind… and now it seems – his wife.!!!
    I too watched the CBS programme with Jackie in the White house… how wonderful that we do all have these memories in common, stretching across space and time…

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    • Can you imagine – we were watching the same program, at the same time, but on different sides of the world. And now we are together after all these years! It does give one pause – just as your said “stretching across space and time…”🙂 Have a great week. Almost through with my project so will be back on the blogs in full force was the end of the week.

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    • How wonderful of you to stop by!! I have a feeling that there were many people world wide that found her fascinating. Thank you so much for your comments! Have a great day!

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  2. I don’t know her as I am not a north-american, the time until I knew her was when she got married to Onassis, what a puzzling marriage (subjective opinion of mine), honestly I did not understand why she had to do that (a funny question that I kept it to myself). I “prefer” Maria Callas because she sang so touchingly, and I only felt for her that she lost Onassis likely because of Jackie, Callas’ depression thereafter and her premature death …. what a loss to this world, at least to music lovers (like me as one of them)!

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    • I remember reading the news about Jackie’s engagement to Aristotle Onassis. I think that we were all a little shocked. I agree – the world lost a great treasure in the premature death of Maria Callas. This is a mini biography (around 4 minutes) that may give insight into Jackie’s decision to move to Greece. Thank you again, for your comments and your contributions to the conversation.

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  3. it is this documentary that I watched some years ago about Maria Callas did I know a bit of Jackie and her second marriage to Onassis, perhaps you will be interested but it’s a bit long.

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    • I am going to try to embed the link on my response. It was disabled on your comment! I have watched on a part of it (on YouTube). It is a powerful documentary which I will finish later this week. I very much appreciate your invaluable additions to our discussions! Thank you!🙂🙂🙂

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  4. I didn’t know that “Jackie” wrote poems, but I am mot surprised. She was beautiful and had a depth to her soul. Those of us fortunate to live through the time of her life are fortunate.

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    • I agree – she was always in the limelight 24/7 so I can only imagine how difficult it was for someone so young to display a calm courage in the midst of deep sorrow. She once said: “Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage and death.”

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  5. If I may be so bold, I have a rather sad reply…

    “ Autumn Leaves ”
    ~ on a shivery eve ~

    As autumn leaves
    A shivery eve,
    Shadows fall
    Upon my mind,
    Obscuring shades
    While vista fades,
    I’m made to feel
    Nature betrayed
    What summer gave
    In sun filled days…

    Thus autumn leaves
    My soul behind,
    A summer hostage
    Of pleas ignored
    To keep alive,
    Fair weather skies
    And butterflies …

    Soon winter’s blast
    Will cast a haze,
    To chase the last
    Of autumn leaves,
    And Frost said Jack
    Will come awake
    In a world grey,
    And blustery wake…

    Tho I’d turn back
    Fall season’s clock,
    Nature chose hold
    Its mortal code,
    For Thanatos
    To now wrest
    Last season’s hold
    On autumn leaves,
    To thus make way,
    For winter’s cold!

    © Jean-Jacques Fourier

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  6. What a wonderful and inspiring post Rebecca.

    It happens so often when someone is connected to someone like JFK.

    How do you see them in their own light, well you have helped a lot!

    What a wonderful Poem, thank you for posting it🙂

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    • And thank you again for your encouraging words. Jack and Jackie ushered in the age of Camelot – as I look back, it was a time of great hope and possibilities.

      “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” JFK

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