Former First Lady for President George H. W. Bush and Mother of former President George W. Bush, Barbara Bush passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Reports are that she remained of sharp mind until the very late stages of her life and that she was surrounded by family in her final moments on Earth. I heard a report that she was drinking bourbon in her final days, which (as a co-founder of Whiskey Congress) makes me respect her more. I have very strong and very varied thoughts on the Bush Presidencies. Now is not the time for me to share those opinions. The wife and mother of perhaps the most influential political family in American history passed away yesterday. The Bush Family deserves time to mourn, reflect and pay their respects. Hopefully, the passing of Mrs. Bush will give us all a chance to reflect on the political landscape of today and how it has changed over her lifetime. Maybe, we can even learn from that and try to improve our discourse and outlook going forward. Or maybe that is the bourbon talking for me…
WASHINGTON — Even in the final days of her life, Barbara Bush retained the sharp tongue that belied her grandmotherly image. When her eldest son, former President George W. Bush, visited about 10 days before her death, the two playfully needled each other in the way they always did.
At one point, Mrs. Bush turned to her doctor. “You want to know why George W. is the way he is?” she asked.
The doctor looked a little surprised. “Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him,” she said.
The former president told that story about his mother on Wednesday as he paid tribute to Mrs. Bush, who died at 92 on Tuesday at her home in Houston. Mrs. Bush, who had congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, decided earlier this week to decline further medical treatment intended to prolong her life and instead spent her last days saying goodbye to her family.
Former President George Bush, her husband of 73 years and the father of the younger Mr. Bush, was by her side when she passed away. Three of their children, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy, had been with her in the last few days, while George W. Bush and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida had visited recently and stayed in constant touch by telephone, according to a family spokesman.
“I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact,” her husband said in a statement released on Wednesday. “But the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at The Enforcer is lifting us all up.