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Nearly 20 years after the beloved President Ronald Reagan passed away at the age of 93 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, his son Michael is speaking out to recall some of his fondest memories of his father.

Michael’s Memories Of His Father

When asked by Fox News what one memory of his dad is that makes him smile today, Michael recalled “sitting on the right front seat of a station wagon on any given Saturday morning after mom and dad divorced. Dad would pick me up and we would spend time together.”

“We just talked and talked,” he added. “He spoke to me about America and answered any questions I had. I think about those times because I know not everyone has that kind of relationship with their parents. Those moments, just being with him and talking to him on the ranch on any given Saturday morning, make me smile.”

Related: John Hinckley Jr., Who Shot Reagan, To Be Released From From Court Supervision

Why Did Reagan Want To Run For President?

Michael also remembered how his father responded years later when he asked him why he wanted to run for president.

“You know, Michael, for so long I’ve watched American presidents sit down with secretary generals of the Soviet Union,” Reagan told his son. “And every time we sit down with them, it seems that they’re always asking us to give up something. I’m running and hoping to win the nomination for the presidency of the United States so that I could sit down with the secretary general.”

“I’m going to let him pick the table, the chairs and the place, because Michael, that’s how they do things at that level,” he continued. “And after the secretary general tells me what I’m going to give up, I want to get up from the table, walk around the other side of it, lean over and whisper in his ear, ‘nyet.'”

Related: Ronald Reagan’s Cheeky Humor Lit Up The Room When He Roasted Frank Sinatra In 1978

Michael’s ‘Emotional’ Memory Of His Father

Sadly, after leaving office, he developed Alzheimer’s in his final years. Michael recounted that even when his father “could no longer say my name, he recognized me as the guy he hugged. And we would hug so much. When he would see me, he would open his arms and I would just go into them and hug him. He would hug me hello and goodbye. He just pulled me in.”

One memory that still makes Michael emotional is visiting his father one Sunday morning in his final years.

“So we got up, walked out the door and went into the car,” he remembered. “My wife looked at me and said, ‘You forgot something.’ I said, ‘What?’ She said, ‘Look at the door.’ When I turned, there was my dad. He had taken these baby steps with Nancy’s help to the front door of the house. He was standing there with his arms wide open. He remembered that I had forgotten to hug him goodbye.”

“I just ran to that door and hugged him. I told him, ‘I love you,'” he continued. “I still see him vividly in front of that door with his arms wide open. And to this day, I’m so grateful that I got to do that. I still get emotional when I think about that day.”

Ronald Reagan was a truly incredible president, and there is no doubt that he loved this country with all his heart. God bless Michael for opening up about his memories of his father in such a personal and profound way. 

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