We’ve been hearing stories about how one of the most popular “First Ladies” Barbara Bush had been declining in health but she and the family had made to decision to stay at home to receive comfort care as she was surrounded by those who love her. She passed away on the 17th of April 2018 at the age of 92 years in her Houston, Texas home.
She and her husband, President George H. W. Bush have been married for only 73 years. Their’s was a true love story that had only been strengthened by overcoming tough times that are a part of life.
The former “First Lady” Barbara Bush, was the beloved family matriarch who had also become a champion of her favorite cause, family literacy,
The Office of George H. W. Bush confirmed her death on Tuesday, saying in a statement, “A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92.
“She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren; and her brother Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline “Robin” Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce.”
The statement added that “the official funeral schedule will be announced as soon as is practical.”
As per the Peoples’ report published on April 17, 2018:
“The New York native and longtime Texas resident first served as America’s second lady during her husband’s tenure as vice president under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989. Upon President Bush’s election in 1989, she became the first lady until her husband left office in 1993.”
“Bush’s son George W. Bush was also president of the United States, serving from 2001 until 2009. Her son Jeb Bush was the 43rd governor of Florida, and also a 2016 Republican presidential candidate. The couple also shared sons Neil, Marvin and daughter Dorothy — daughter Robin died after a battle with leukemia in 1953 — as well as 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.”
At only 16, Bush met her husband – who was then a senior at Massachusetts’ Phillips Academy – at a Christmas dance. When the former president was deployed as a Navy pilot after their engagement, Bush entered women’s liberal arts school Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Upon his return, Bush opted not to complete her studies, and the pair wed on Jan. 6, 1945.
After traveling the country while the former president trained with his squadron during World War II, the couple moved to Connecticut. There, the former president attended Yale University, and they welcomed first child George.
Upon the former president’s graduation, the family relocated again to Texas, ultimately laying down roots in the oil industry. The couple welcomed the rest of their six children between 1949 and 1959, all while managing moves throughout the state and country. According to the White House, the Bushes ultimately relocated 29 times through the first 44 years of their marriage.
Former President Bush began his political career in the ’60s, first serving as the Harris County, Texas, Chairman of the Republican Party in 1964. In 1966 he was elected to the House of Representatives, and in 1971 appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations. From 1973 to 1974, he was the chairman of the Republican National Committee before becoming an envoy to China and, eventually, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“When her husband became Vice President in 1981, Bush embraced her role as second lady, ultimately focusing on literacy as her special cause. She would later start the nonprofit the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which advocates for helping parents and their children learn the basic educational skills of reading and writing.”
“Said (Mrs.) Bush, “The American Dream is about equal opportunity for everyone who works hard. If we don’t give everyone the ability to simply read and write, then we aren’t giving everyone an equal chance to succeed.”“Bush also dedicated her time as second and first lady to AIDS advocacy, aiding the home-less and school volunteer programs. In later years, Bush served as an emeritus public trustee for the Mayo Clinic.”
“In addition, the former First Lady wrote multiple children’s books and published a memoir – Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Reflections: Life After the White House – in 2003. In 1992 she also authored Millie’s Book, written from the perspective of the first dog.”
“Known for her wit and fortitude, Bush spent her final years with her husband in their homes Houston, Texas, and Kennebunkport, Maine. When asked if she planned to follow her skydiving husband’s lead and take a leap on her milestone 90th birthday in 2015, the former First Lady quipped to PEOPLE, “I’m too smart to jump out of a perfectly good plane. I am not jumping out of an airplane. I am not an idiot. The whole family is coming for my birthday, which will be fun.”
A story that tells about her strength and courage….
On the 17th of April, Steven Hendrix of the Washington Post penned the following article,“One last time’: Barbara Bush had already faced a death more painful than her own”
“Barbara Bush, who is preparing to die, has said she doesn’t fear death. That may be because the 92-year-old former first lady has faced it before, in the hardest way imaginable.”
“In 1953, soon after George H.W. Bush had moved his family to Midland, Tex., to get into the oil business, the couple’s 3-year-old daughter complained about feeling tired. Usually, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush, the much-doted-on only girl of the Bush kids, was as rowdy and healthy as her older brother George W. and baby brother Jeb. Barbara decided to take her to a pediatrician.”
“Her diagnosis was shockingly abrupt. The doctor called the Bushes a few days later with a word neither had ever heard before: leukemia. The complaint had been fatigue; the prescription was to take their child home to die.”
“Her advice was to tell no one, go home, forget that Robin was sick, make her as comfortable as we could, love her — and let her gently slip away,” Bush wrote in her 1994 memoir. “She said this would happen very quickly.”
“USA Today reporter Susan Page, who is writing a new biography of Barbara Bush, spoke to the former first lady about the episode last fall, 64 years to the month after Robin’s death. Sitting in her Houston living room, facing a portrait of her forever-young daughter, the tears were fresh.”
“The day after getting the bad news, the Bushes flew with Robin to New York, moving into the apartment of George H.W. Bush’s grandparents on Manhattan’s East Side. His uncle was a doctor at Sloan Kettering, a leading cancer center even when cancer was barely understood and nearly taboo to mention.”
“Robin stayed in the hospital for seven months, having regular bone marrow tests and blood transfusions, which drove her father from the room while her mother remained resolutely at her side. On one quick outing to Maine, Robin finally saw her two brothers, whose pictures were taped to her hospital headboard but who had no idea their sister’s life was ebbing away.In October, Robin died with her parents in the room. “For one last time I combed her hair and held our precious little girl,” Barbara wrote.”
George H.W. Bush with his wife, Barbara, and son, George W., in Rye, N.Y., during the summer of 1955 — two years after Robin’s death. (AP)
“I remember seeing them pull up and thinking I saw my little sister in the back of the car. I remember that as sure as I’m sitting here,” he told The Washington Post in a 1999 interview. “I run over to the car, and there’s no Robin.”
“Barbara Bush described the death of her daughter and the grief that followed as an agony made more bearable by her relationship with her husband. Later, she would marvel that the tragedy that splits many couples had brought them closer.”