Rosalynn Carter: A Life Well Lived – Jimmy Carter

jimmy carter at memorial service
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Rosalynn Carter: A Life Well Lived

In the first row. There you see the first former first lady, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton. Next to Hillary Clinton, of course, former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Jill Biden, President Biden, Here comes former President Jimmy Carter. Who has been in hospice care since February and will then next to his daughter, Amy Carter, I want to welcome all of you here and thank you for coming to help my family and to mourn with my family and mostly to celebrate a life well lived.

My mother was the glue that held our family together through the ups and downs and fixing things of our family’s politics as individuals. She believed in us and took care of us.

When I was 14, I supported President Johnson for president, and every day I wore Johnson sticker on my shirt and periodically I would get beat up and my shirt cheering and a button pulled off and my sticker always destroyed And I would walk two blocks during lunch from school down to Carter’s warehouse. And my mother would have a shirt in a drawer already mended, button sewn on. And the LBJ stickers still applied

Years later, she was influential in getting me into rehab for my drug and alcohol addiction. She saved my life when I started making speeches for Dad and his political career. I was so nervous. I often vomited in the waiting room before we went on stage. And one day after debating seven other children of offspring of candidates for president, I called my mother and told her how nervous I got. And she told me something that I have used a thousand times since. She said, Chip you can do anything for 20 minutes except hold your breath when I was in the second grade at Plains High School, they had a donkey basketball game in the stadium. In the school building there to raise money for the school.

And my mother rode her donkey as fast as it would slowly go right under the goal spun around. So she was facing its tail, caught the pass and made the winning two point She was my hero that night, and she’s been my hero ever since A couple of years ago, Mom and I were talking when she said that they had asked her when Dad asked her to marry her for the second time. She said yes, but she expected him to provide with for her a life of adventure. He told her that it would happen

She told me that she had lived on both coasts and while he was in the Navy and began her family. Mom said that when it was decided they would leave the Navy and move back to Plains, that she was upset. And the family’s story is that they rode in the car from Connecticut to Plains, Georgia. And when mom had something to say to dad, she would say, Jack, would you tell your father when Dad ran for office the first time, my mother ended up running for my house. She loved it. Every time we go on a campaign trip or during the legislative session. She was really pleased to be in the office and be the boss excuse me. She told me that when dad started running for president, that the thing that she enjoyed the most were the people that she met across the country, and that from working in Carter’s warehouse, she said, I was able to speak the languages and prices in the fields and relate to everyday issues and farm families, especially in Iowa.

She said because of that. She’s the one that helped win the election. There Then, as first lady of the United States, always trying to follow the teachings of Jesus and to do what he taught her to do as a guideline, she said. You will always get criticized by somebody for everything you do So you might as well do what right? That she and dad were able to make a positive difference in people’s lives. And that of so many families to my parents 77 year partnership is often talked about.

Mom was always well-informed on the issues of the day in the White House. Mom asked Ed so many questions that he finally said that she should attend Cabinet meetings. So she did and got a lot of flak for that. But she was then able to speak with authority on issues across our country and the world. She would often try and often fail to get Dad to do what was right politically. And when she couldn’t change Dad’s mind, she would repeat herself. A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they need to go. Losing the election in 1980 was devastating to us all. My parents were still young. My mother only 53 and they knew they still had more to contribute. They decided they would become missionaries and spent months trying to decide how to accomplish their goal. Finally, they decided as partners to start the Carter Center, which would allow my mother to continue to fight the stigma of mental illness and allow them both to help the poorest of the poor on this earth as Jesus had taught them.

Mom started the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers at Georgia Southwestern University to train and support those who help others. At the same time, Mom and Dad continued to support Habitat for Humanity. And Mom continued to support the friendship force. She told me that her adventures had led her to more than 120 countries. She had been fly fishing all over the world. She had met kings and queens, presidents others in authority, powerful corporate leaders and celebrities. She said the people that she felt the most comfortable with and the people she enjoyed being with the most were those that lived in absolute abject poverty, the ones without adequate housing, without a proper diet, and without access to her. And she had probably had more adventures than anybody on Earth.

Mom was always fun to be with. Halloween before the pandemic showed up at Amy’s house. Amy lives on the street, which closes down on Halloween, and every house is decorated. Mom rated Mom was beautifully dressed as a monarch butterfly. The Secret Service were dressed in casually but perfectly as Secret Service agents She proceeded to go up and down the street with her grand great brand and grandchildren. And go trick or treat and up and down and talk to people all over the street. She got back to Amy’s and was so excited because she’d been out so much and nobody had recognized her after dad went in, was put in hospice, and my mother was wracked with dementia. My siblings, my wife and I would stay with them so that there would always be a family member around. One day my mother was sitting with my wife, Becky, and she was reminiscing on what it was like to go to live in Hawaii. And she was talking about learning all the native dances and she got it from the sofa, pushed her walker away, which she couldn’t take a step without, and proceeded to do the hula for two or 3 minutes She grabbed her, Walker turned around, sat back on the sofa and turned to my wife and said, That’s how you do it. I will always love my mother. I will cherish how she and dad raise two children that given us such a great example of how a couple should relate Let me finish by saying that my mother, Rosalynn Carter, was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. And pretty to look at to. Thank you.

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