Tuesday, former First Lady Barbara Bush passed at home at 92, just one day after her office released an announcement that she had decided to decline further hospital treatment and go home. As is appropriate, President Trump put aside his political differences with the Bush family and issued a statement in her honor, as did First Lady Melania Trump (you can read both tributes at the link.) Trump also ordered that flags be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings until after her funeral.
It’s not surprising that both statements from the White House mentioned Mrs. Bush’s strength and her love and support of family. She was the only woman in American history other than Abigail Adams to be both the wife and the mother of United States Presidents. She was renowned for her graciousness, kindness, compassion and promotion of literacy and the family. But there was never any doubt that in a family that included two Presidents and a governor, she was the true center of strength and inspiration to everyone around her.
In a time when the feminist movement was attacking traditional family roles and trying to redefine what being an empowered woman meant, it was obvious that despite her motherly exterior, she possessed an inner strength of iron that no "Riot Grrrrl" could match. She was America’s favorite “mama bear,” the type of warm and loving mom who was completely devoted to her husband and children, but woe unto anyone who dared threaten her family or the nation she loved. Even when her son was being attacked in the media on a regular basis, you got the feeling that his loudmouthed critics wouldn’t dare say that if Barbara were there. She was more than a great First Lady. She was a role model, an inspiration, a pillar of strength and an American icon.
I would like to extend deepest sympathies and prayers from everyone in my family to all in the Bush family for their loss of this remarkable wife, mother and patriot.