America Loses a Great Woman: Former First Lady Barbara Bush Has Died at 92. [VIDEO]

America Loses a Great Woman: Former First Lady Barbara Bush Has Died at 92. [VIDEO]

America Loses a Great Woman: Former First Lady Barbara Bush Has Died at 92. [VIDEO]

Every year, America loses more and more members of the Greatest Generation. Today we lost one of its brightest lights: former First Lady Barbara Bush, wife of President George HW Bush, passed away at 92.

We think of Mrs. Bush as the grandmotherly First Lady with the white hair and the quick wit. But what inspires me most about Mrs. Bush was her devotion to her husband, as well as to her family.

Barbara Pierce, born in 1925 to an upscale family in Rye, NY, first saw her future husband at a Christmas dance. She was only 16, home from a boarding school in South Carolina. George HW Bush was only 17 then, a senior at Philips Academy in Massachusetts. Now I don’t know if ‘love at first sight’ really exists, but sparks must’ve quickly flown between the two. In a year and a half they were engaged, right before George left to serve as a Navy pilot in World War II.

Barbara and her handsome Navy man married after he returned on leave, on January 6, 1945.

They became the longest married President and First Lady in American history, with a union that lasted 73 years.

After George graduated from Yale, the young Bush family set off for Texas to make their mark in the oil industry. Before long, their family grew: six children in all were born to George and Barbara.

However, business success didn’t spare them from heartbreak of the most devastating kind. In 1953, their vibrant 3-year-old daughter Robin suddenly stopped playing. Doctors performed their tests, and diagnosed her with leukemia. Despite blood transfusions and bone marrow tests, Robin died just short of her fourth birthday.

George was the one whose pain was most visible. He could not bear to be in the room when Robin received another blood transfusion. Barbara Bush saw little Robin pass away: “I was combing her hair and holding her hand. I saw that little body, I saw her spirit go.”

For many families, the loss of a child becomes a breaking point in a marriage. But George and Barbara endured, even though, decades later, Barbara had difficulty talking about it. However, Robin’s loss also left a mark upon their son, George W. Bush, who was only 7 at the time. And while the elder George Bush tried his best to cheer Barbara up, it was the clownish jokes and humor of little George W. that also helped to heal the family. The bond between the son and his mother grew stronger from that point.

But eventually George and Barbara welcomed other children born to them. They eventually raised five children: George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy.

And despite becoming First Lady in 1989, it was family that was the greatest force of Barbara Bush’s life. She spoke of the supreme importance of family in a commencement speech she gave at Wellesley College in 1990. In it she told the graduates, “your success as a family, our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman from an extraordinary generation. She exemplified courage, loyalty, and devotion to both her husband and her children. Her love for George HW Bush was tested by war, the death of a child, and the topsy-turvy world of American politics of the highest level. She was a wife and mother who possessed a keen appreciation for both marriage and children, a remnant of a time when such ideals were foremost in the hearts of women. May her memory be a blessing to us all.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

1 Comment
  • Scott says:

    Wow, that happened fast after the other post about her.. R.I.P. to a fine lady! Sadly, i’d be shocked if George lasts another month… Most long lasting marriages like that, such as my grandparents, one tends to quickly follow the other.. i guess they just can’t bear being apart after that long together, and can’t wait to reunite in Heaven..

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