Mike Deaver, R.I.P.
His story AFTER he left the Reagan White House is as inspiring as his tale of life with President and Mrs. Reagan: legal troubles, admission of his own addiction, dedication to helping others overcome those addictions, and building his own private sector success from what to many would have been terribly debilitating difficulties.
And in the office, he was a calming, genial presence. He was a tremendously smart man, but he acted every day like the humble son of a Bakersfield oil distributor. He mentored people every day. I was expected to learn from him and feel his presence for years to come. I'm sad that won't happen. I'm sad for his wife, his two children and his grandchildren, who will no doubt miss their companion, father and grandfather even more. But I think in part they are today celebrating his life, because it was a life well-lived, and ultimately, lived as honestly as possible. We should all aspire to have such a life, and to be as loved as Mike Deaver was by those around him.
I hope he is now having a laughingly good time with Ronald Reagan, telling old stories about their travels together and bragging about their wives.
As my wise father-in-law often says, tomorrow is not promised to any of us. But I'm thankful that at least a few of my yesterdays were spent in the presence of Michael K. Deaver.