Like many people in the United States, I was glued to the television much of this week as our nation honored former President George Herbert Walker Bush following his death on 30 November 2018.  I’ve been a fan of ’41’ since he served as Vice President under Ronald Reagan, and since we live in the greater Houston area, I’ve learned a lot more about him and his life post-presidency.  George and Barbara Bush made Houston their home, and they were frequently in the news here, most often being honored for their generosity, noted for their wisdom, or featured being guests at athletic events or other galas.

George and Barbara were married for 73 years and were sweethearts for 77.  George was the only boy Barbara ever kissed, as they met when she was 16 and he was 17, at a Christmas party just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was love at first sight, and from all accounts, it was a strong, steadfast, abiding love that only increased with time.

At Barbara Bush’s funeral in April of this year, their son Jeb said, “Our family has had a front-row seat for the most amazing love story.”  Theirs truly was a partnership, evidenced to me by George’s declarations in a letter he gave Barbara on their 49th anniversary: “I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I’m even happier today. You have given me joy that few men know. … I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”

How remarkable is that?  I can tell you, it has made me think twice about taking my wonderful husband for granted!  A marriage is what you make it, after all.  Watching clips of George and Barbara together, seeing interviews they gave, and hearing their children, grandchildren, and friends talk about them makes me feel like they had such a strong mutual admiration and adoration for each other, grounded in their faith, that it allowed them to face and overcome any obstacle together.  They were a team, and a formidable one.

Other characteristics of President Bush that have become obvious this week are that, in addition to being a devoted husband and father, he was a man of great faith, humble, generous, hard-working, funny, adventurous, a good and loyal friend, strong-principled, gentle, and strong.  He was a visionary who valued service to others above most anything, save his family and his faith.  Truly, he was one of the greatest of the Greatest Generation, and our country was lucky to have him as our president.  He will be missed.

One of the best things about all of the eulogies and reminiscences about President Bush was hearing some of his quotes.  These are my favorites:

Thank you for your service, your legacy, your wisdom, your humor, and your example.  Godspeed and God bless, President Bush.

 

 

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12 Responses to Blog: Inspired by a Life Well Lived

  1. Linda DeLaughter says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing these poignant statements from our President, dear Jan! He was a remarkable man with an extraordinary life, starting with the amazing rescue in the Pacific to the undying love for his Barbara and his family. He gave a friend of mine (Jimmy Wayne) the honor of being a “thousand points of light” in Kennebunkport several years ago. We will truly miss his wit and wisdom, but he lives on in all of us!

  2. Gail Woodward says:

    Enjoyed your blog! Love the quotes.

  3. Ruth Bell says:

    This was a great blog about a great man. My only regret as a Canadian was that he didn’t serve two terms. What lovely quotes.

  4. Mary says:

    Fabulous blog and so true. I hope to have at least some small
    Impact on those around me and he was one of my inspirations!

  5. ANN says:

    Thank you so much for sharing snipits of George Bush’s life. I too learned a lot about the Bush’s when watching the funeral this week.
    So much we can learn from him and our relationships in life

  6. Tammy DeVree says:

    Beautiful tribute, Jan!

  7. adakallen says:

    LOVE your tribute.
    I watched most all of it on TV. One of my grandsons and I watched some of it together.
    I have a grandson in the Corp of Cadets and we actually found him on television as he stood along the procession route.
    One of my daughters lives in Spring, she took pictures in Spring, then got in her car and went to College Station and took some more; (her oldest son was the beginning of all the Aggie grand kids in our family)
    The Bush family is a VERY CLASSY family.
    Ada

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