Culture / Newsy

Facing the End, Barbara Bush Still Thinks of Others Rather than Herself

A Life of Remarkable Grace Continues Into Failing Health

BY // 04.15.18

Barbara Bush is in failing health and after a series of hospitalizations she’s declining further medial treatment at age 92. But it probably surprises no one that even now, seemingly facing the end of a remarkable life of service, that America’s First Lady is concerned about those around her rather than herself.

“Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others,” Bush family spokesperson Jim McGrath revealed in a statement.

There are few things Americans agree on in today’s ultra-divided landscape. But a love for Barbara Bush is one of them.

It can be seen in the outpouring of support in the wake of the revelation that Barbara Bush is now “focusing on comfort care,” surrounded by her family in her Houston home. Her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, and her children Neil, Marvin and Dorothy are all with her, according to the New York Times.

Barbara and George H.W. Bush, who is 93 and has battled hospitalizations of his own in recent years, celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January and their remarkable love story has inspired many. Of course, it’s hard not to love Barbara Bush. In many ways, she is America’s grandmother — the rare figure who transcended politics and all the infighting.

There are few things Americans agree on in today’s ultra-divided landscape. But a love for Barbara Bush is one of them.

Barbara Bush has 17 grandchildren of her own (and seven great grandchildren), but so many more felt a connection to the white-haired lady who always seemed to exude good humor and class. She never took herself too seriously even as she changed lives.

Adoration for Barbara Bush has poured out on Twitter — with everyone from Meghan McCain to Nancy Pelosi to the Embassy of Kosovo weighing in on Sunday. The former First Lady showed remarkable grace while she was in the White House, but what she did afterward has been even more impactful.

She emerged as the champion of reading in America, with her literacy foundation raising more $40 million over the years. To Barbara Bush, it all centered around education and giving people the tools to succeed, no matter how late in life they attempted to learn to read.

Barbara Bush suffers from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — and her public appearances have become infrequent. But her standing in America’s heart has never changed.

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