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Jimmy Carter's 1995 poem titled 'Rosalynn' memorializes his late wife and his love for her

'She'd smile, and birds would feel that they no longer had to sing, or it may be I failed to hear their song,' the touching poem begins.

Jimmy Carter's 1995 poem titled 'Rosalynn' memorializes his late wife and his love for her
Cover Image Source: Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter arrive at the 2015 MusiCares Person of The Year honoring Bob Dylan held at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 6, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran | Getty Images)

Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter had a timeless love story that the former president memorialized in a beautiful poem titled "Rosalynn" featured in his 1995 book, "Always a Reckoning." The couple got married on July 7, 1946, at a Methodist church in Plains, Georgia, and hold the title of the longest-married Presidential couple. In the poem, Jimmy remembers younger, shyer Rosalynn whom he slowly fell in love with. 

Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter attend Former Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter's fundraiser for his 1976 Presidential run at Royal Coach Inn Atlanta Georgia February 14, 1976 (Photo By Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Image Source: Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter attend Former Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter's fundraiser for his 1976 Presidential run at Royal Coach Inn Atlanta Georgia February 14, 1976 (Getty Images | Photo By Rick Diamond)

"She'd smile, and birds would feel that they no longer had to sing, or it may be I failed to hear their song," begins the poem shared by the Carter Center on X on Tuesday. "I'd glow when her diminished voice would clear my muddled thoughts, like lightning flashing in a gloomy sky. The nothing in my soul with her aloof was changed to foolish fullness when she came to be with me."

The poem was first published when Rosalynn was in her late 60s. The words echo the strong connection Jimmy felt towards his late wife over the years. "With shyness gone and hair caressed with gray, her smile still makes the birds forget to sing and me to hear their song," he concluded.



 

Rosalynn died at age 96 earlier this month in her Plains, Georgia, home "peacefully, with her family by her side," according to a news release. The former First Lady of the United States had been married to Jimmy for 77 years and is survived by their four children Jack, Chip, Jeff and Amy and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Image Source: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (R) and former first lady Rosalynn Carter wave on stage during day one of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Pepsi Center August 25, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The DNC, where U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) will be officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for U.S. president, starts today and finishes August 28th. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Image Source: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (R) and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter wave on stage during day one of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Pepsi Center August 25, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The DNC, where U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) will be officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for U.S. president, starts today and finishes August 28th. (Getty Images | Photo by Mark Wilson)

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy said in a statement. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.” Their son Chip added, “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right." Speaking about her "life of service and compassion" which was an example for all Americans, he added that she will be "sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today.”



 

The 99-year-old former president, who has his own health challenges and had been in hospice care, was spotted at the service for his late wife along with the rest of his family in a rare sighting. During the service, the couple's daughter Amy read out a moving love letter written by Jimmy to his late wife 75 years ago. Jimmy has always honored his wife through the power of words across the years. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jimmy Carter NHP (@jimmycarternps)


 

“I chose something that is hard to read without crying,” Amy said during the service, according to TODAY. “My mom spent most of her life in love with my dad. Their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life. Because he isn’t able to speak to you today, I am going to share some of his words about loving and missing her."

The letter touched upon their sweet connection across decades and read: “My darling, every time I have ever been away from you, I have been thrilled when I returned to discover just how wonderful you are. While I am away, I try to convince myself that you really are not, could not be as sweet and beautiful as I remember. But when I see you, I fall in love with you all over again. Does that seem strange to you? It doesn’t to me. Goodbye, darling. Until tomorrow. Jimmy.”


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jimmy Carter NHP (@jimmycarternps)


 

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