Barbara Bush died yesterday. I spent some time last night reading the internet accounts of her life but what drew me more than the words were the photos chronicling her life for the past 92 years. I watched her grow from a sweet-faced youngster through her child-bearing years into old age. It was in her last years that I found the most beauty shining in her face. I may be prejudiced but – as was noted in the accounts of her life – it was her brilliant white hair that was her most striking feature. It gave her the dignity and softness of a woman who had lived a full, rich life, knowing great joy and sorrow in her children and the love of a spouse for 73 years. When her second son was poised to enter the race for the presidency of the United States she remarked that perhaps the country had had enough Bushes in the White House but then was willing to campaign tirelessly for Jeb until he withdrew his candidacy. I loved the lesson in that.
I grieve for the family of this great woman today. Regardless of our politics, I believe we owe a debit of gratitude to this one who embraced the role of spouse, mother and matriarch of a very large family, of First Lady with grace and grit, and of champion of literacy as necessary for a full life in this world.
May she rest in peace!