On the one year anniversary of Barbara Bush’s death — she passed away on April 17, 2018 at the age of 92 — biographer Susan Page shed light on the final moments shared between the former first lady and her husband George H.W. Bush, who passed away on November 30 of last year at the age of 94.
Page, who recently published the Barbara Bush biography “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty,” said Bush was more worried about leaving her husband of 73 years alone toward the end than her own impending death.
Page revealed to Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” that the former first lady eventually said to her husband at the end, “‘George, I’m not going to worry about you'”
The author said her husband then replied to her, ‘Bar, I’m not going to worry about you.'”
Page went on to say that the couple then shared their final moments sharing a drink and some quiet moments of understanding.
“She gave him permission to live, he gave her permission to die — and you know what they did then? They had a drink,” said Page.
George H.W. Bush said of his wife’s passing in a public statement, “My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love and literacy to millions.”
He continued, “To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
Barbara Bush was known for battling AIDs, encouraging literacy, and starting the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, but Page said the former first lady would have pointed to her grandchildren as her legacy before any other accomplishments.
Page said Bush had “kind of an air of civility, of mutual respect” that left a lasting impression on those who knew her.
The author also theorized that the defining moment of Barbara Bush’ life was losing her three-year-old daughter, Pauline Robinson Bush, to cancer. Pauline, known to her family as “Robin,” passed away in 1953.
“I came to believe, after doing research for this book, that that was the defining moment of her adult life. It left her harder on the outside and softer on the inside,” said Page. “It was a thread that then continued through the rest of her life. It was a touchstone for her as she thought about the big issues of the day.”
Page interviewed the former first lady several times before her death. When she asked Barbara Bush what she wanted the title of the biography to be, Bush replied, “‘The Fat Lady Sings Again.'” Bush was famous for her quick wit.
George H.W. Bush also has plenty of biographies about him, but the most unique is “41: A Portrait of My Father” by his and Barbara’s son, former president George W. Bush.
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