Timeline: the life of former US health secretary Madeline Albright

14 February 1945 “I was absolutely delighted, as always. She kissed me and she was a big star. She looked beautiful and friendly. I waited patiently while the other people went to separate rooms….

Timeline: the life of former US health secretary Madeline Albright

14 February 1945

“I was absolutely delighted, as always. She kissed me and she was a big star. She looked beautiful and friendly.

I waited patiently while the other people went to separate rooms. She came to me again and said: ‘Here’s your bouquet. Be careful what you wear with it.’ And she said how she wanted to go outside.

I stayed with her and shared with her the little candy machine. We read the same magazines. I liked doing that. I wrote down my thoughts and she looked over them. She said she liked my writing very much and I added her name in the book.”

11 December 1959

“A teacher said she felt sad because the Slavs could never meet their future as much as she could. I said: ‘Oh, please. You are blessed.’ She said: ‘I know.’ When I left, she sat at the table and we laughed together. Then she gave me a gift. I found it shocking.”

1990

“At Christmas Day lunch I held her hand. I knew she had cancer and it happened early, on New Year’s Eve.

She said to me: ‘I would not want anything from you at Christmas except your friendship and love.’ I did not want anything from her. I said: ‘That’s all you will get.’

Christmas was bittersweet. On one hand, she was in pain and she was not very well and on the other hand she was filled with joy.

I fell asleep and in the morning she said: ‘Oh, it’s me again. I want my flowers in the morning,’ and said: ‘One more drink, Halyna.’ She started to cry and I said: ‘E’yer!’ [I fell asleep again].

At the end, she thanked me for everything. She said: ‘If you wouldn’t have done what you did for me, I would not have survived.’”

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