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George And Barbara Bush's Love Story Reminds Us All That Love Endures

George H.W. Bush's proudest accomplishment was being Barbara's husband.


The death of our 41st President, George H.W. has caused me to burst into tears more than once this last week. I have a sneaky suspicion it is because George and Barbara Bush remind me of my parents.

Over the years George and Barbara were caught in some endearing moments, like when he accidentally stepped on Barbara's toes getting on Air Force One (in front of a ton of press) and watching her applying sunscreen to his nose before a baseball game. Leave it to a wife to worry about skin cancer even when you are past the age of 90.

Barbara Bush passed away in April 2018. I can only imagine how hard this past year was for George H.W. Bush. The woman he shared his entire adult life with was fading. He never left his wife's side and when she died at the age of 92, he was holding her hand all day. Their son Jeb's theory was his dad got sick "on purpose" so he could be in the hospital alongside her. When he went to visit his dad's hair was "standing straight up. He had on a mask to improve his breathing. He was wearing a hospital gown. In other words, he looked like hell."

During the visit, Barbara woke up, looked at her husband and said, "My God George, you are devastatingly handsome!" The entire medical staff had to leave the room because everyone was crying. Jeb asked his mom how she felt about dying and her response was, "I don't want to leave your dad. But I know I will be in a beautiful place."

George and Barbara Bush met when he was 17 and she was 16 years old. During 1945, in what must have been a busy year, they married, and George began his career in the military three days before his 19th birthday. He was one of the youngest naval aviators ever and was shot down over the Pacific during the war.

He was incredibly proud to call himself, "Barbara's husband" and named his torpedo bomber after her. The couple stayed together for 73 years, becoming the longest-married couple in presidential history. They were blessed with a family full of children and grandchildren.

I see many similarities in the relationship between George and Barbara Bush and my parents, Fred and Sue. They have been married 50 years and to this day go everywhere together. I always choke back a tear watching my dad perform his daily ritual of putting juice and leukemia medication on her lap every morning and a small glass of wine every afternoon for "wine time".

Just like Jeb, I have witnessed how dedicated a spouse can be when their other half is in the hospital. Our family has divided and conquered when one recovered in post-op after a heart procedure and the other took a turn for the worse and was rushed into the ER. Telling one parent that the other is doing fine and there was no need to worry did not work. One of us held the phone to his ear and the other held it to hers, so they could talk to each other.

During a chat with a longtime friend last year, the conversation turned to WWII when George was shot down over the Pacific and two of his crewmates were killed. Barbara said, "You must have been saved for a reason. I know there had to be a reason." "You," George said hoarsely. "You were the reason" as he raised his hand and pointed at Barbara.

Seeing couples like George and Barbara Bush and my parents, Fred and Sue, are a reminder that love endures. In a society where relationships are expendable, and divorce is more common than marriage; it is stories like the love that our former President and First Lady had not only for each other but their family and country we need to celebrate.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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