Barbara Bush left great legacy

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

History will likely mark the life of former First Lady Barbara Bush as being one of only two women to ever be both the wife and mother of a U.S. president.

Like Abigail Adams, Mrs. Bush was indeed that, but to simply couch her life and her vast influence on Americans as merely a wife and mother would grossly understate her importance.

Mrs. Bush died Tuesday at age 92.

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Bush, affectionately known by family and friends as the “Silver Fox” due to her prematurely gray hair, was known in her later years as America’s grandmother.

But her work in helping to support, encourage and guide her husband, George H.W. Bush and their son, George W. Bush was only just the start of her impact.

As First Lady, the sometimes sharp-tongued Mrs. Bush always showed a layer of civility, braveness and respect for others. In short, she loved people and that love was genuine.

At a time when the country was gripped with fear over the unknowns of the AIDS crisis, Bush very publicly went to the bedsides of children who had been abandoned because of the disease and loved them.

She hugged those children, laughed with them and read to them. In short, she treated them like the human beings they were. She did the same to countless others whose paths she crossed in her long lifetime.

She famously told graduates of Wellesley College in 1990 to realize that at the end of their lives, they would not regret winning another legal verdict or closing a business deal, but said, “You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”

Today, as we reflect on her life well lived, her wise words of advice should ring true to all of us. We need more wise, caring people in leadership roles in our country, people who know how to love people from all walks of life and political leanings.

America has lost its grandmother, but heaven may have just welcomed the Silver Fox home.