I love secrets. I know quite a few. We all have a couple tucked away in our memory bank.
Maybe it’s about a family member, a co-worker, a friend who turned to you and trusted you enough to share. Then, we have to decide–are we keepers or ones who like to share?
Some things start out as secrets, but in time, we all find out. Putting years between us and the uglier truths seem to make it OK to share.
I recently was privy to the story behind the Christa compound. Now a religious broadcast facility, senior housing and the home of King’s Schools in Shoreline, Washington, it once was a tuberculosis hospital. What’s even better is that there are a series of tunnels underneath which were used to remove the bodies of people who died from the disease. It sounds like a great urban myth, but actually true.
However, I was not prepared for a story I heard recently and because of its nature and the fact that the person involved is still living, I have to be a bit vague.
The woman who shared this powerful truth swears it’s true. Now, I should point out that she is a life-long Democrat. Say the “R” word and she’ll get a stern look. Her daughter will be among the first to tell you that her 90+ year mom loves to pass along her stories. But this one is a real shocker.
As I sat at the table next to her, she began by asking, “You know how President Roosevelt died, don’t you?” Wanting to show off my knowledge of her generation, I matched her matter-of-fact manner and said, “Sure. He was sitting at his desk, uttered the words, ‘I have a terrific headache’, had a stroke and died.”
“That’s not what really happened,” she replied.
According to her, she was working that day at the “Georgia White House.” It was where FDR got away and relaxed, along with his girlfriend. Our storyteller said she had been brought in as a staff member and that she was no more than 3-feet away from the president when he ended his life.
The president’s health was not good and he was confined to bed. That day, a secret service agent removed his gun, and put it down by a bedside table. Why? Unknown. But she said she watched as the president quickly reached over for it and before anyone could stop him, shot himself in the side of the head.
Everyone was in shock. The head of staff told those present to pack up their bags and prepare to leave and ordered that no one was to tell anyone what had taken place.
Now, I’ll be honest–I had never heard this theory before. But she told it to me like it was God’s truth. Remember, this is a dyed-in-the-wood Democrat, so why would she want to tarnish the memory of one of the great D-presidents of all time? Now, hop on Google and you’ll see lots of other similar stories that are circulating about this rumored suicide. Noting the times and the fact that FDR was not allowed to be photographed in his wheelchair, it wouldn’t surprise me that a presidential suicide would be swept under the rug.
So, that’s the secret. I’m hoping to interview her soon, so that some day I can share with you the passion and detail with which she told her story. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to wait another generation or two before finding out what actually happened that day.
Until then, now you know the secret.
Are you a keeper or one who likes to share?