Former United States First Lady Barbara Bush died on Tuesday, April 17 at the age of 92. Unfortunately, in the days leading up to her death, she fell victim to a cruel internet death hoax, which shocked and saddened many in the United States.
She lived her last day on Earth as she lived many of her days — on her own terms. According to a People report, Mrs. Bush spent her final hours at home with her husband of 73 years, President George H.W. Bush, holding her hand. Always known for her strength, she sipped bourbon and answered her own phone calls the night before she passed.
A class act, even the most partisan person can find something nice to say about the first lady who was both a wife and mother to two former U.S. presidents. Upon George W. Bush’s inauguration, she became the first woman in American history who lived to see both her husband and son be sworn in as president (Abigail Adams was wife and mother to two U.S. presidents).
Literacy became part of Barbara Bush’s platform as FLOTUS, and according to a Newsweek report, in an interview with USA Today for the 25th anniversary of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 2014, she said, “If everyone could read and write, all the problems I worried about could be solved. If you can’t read, you can’t do anything.”
She felt reading was paramount to a happy life and happy families.
As reported by Time, memorably she said during her 1990 commencement speech at Wellesley College, “You must read to your children, and you must hug your children, and you must love your children. 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 fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more," former President George W. Bush said in a statement about his mother, who died today at 92. https://t.co/5mgKxiB3ds
— NPR (@NPR) April 18, 2018
The Bush matriarch loved her family, and she loved her husband. The two were the longest married U.S. president and first lady, and she didn’t mind reminding her children of her love for their father.
On the Barbara Pierce Online Memorial, she said, “I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.”
As for her feelings on current POTUS Donald Trump, it appeared that Barbara Bush had no love lost for the man. In fact, she and her husband, George, didn’t attend Trump’s inauguration due to their failing health.
In 2016, she told CNN that she was “sick of him [Trump]. He doesn’t give many answers to how he would solve problems. He sort of makes faces and says insulting things. He’s said terrible things about women, terrible things about the military. I don’t understand why people are for him, for that reason.”
During her Wellesley College commencement speech, Barbara Bush gave students this wise advice.
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”
She lived her life in a way that it seemed she had few if any regrets when it ended yesterday. She spent so much of her time with her beloved family and friends. May she rest in peace.