By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Former First Lady of The United States of America Barbara Bush was one of the most cherished and respected FLOTUS America has ever had. Bush had a poise about her, with a determination to fight for and honor the things she felt would make America a stronger nation.
“When we lost you, we lost one of the greats,” she began. “You were our family’s rock—the glue that held us together. I hope you know in your final days, how many people prayed for you—how many people told me they loved you.”
The 36-year-old twin, whose sister Barbara Bush is their grandmother’s namesake, went on to say that people always stopped her in the street to tell her how much they loved her grandmother, but “it always felt good; we didn’t mind sharing you with the world.” She also referenced her grandmother’s other nickname, “The Enforcer,” because, she said, “you were a force, and you wrote the rules.”
Bob Goodwin former editor of The Oklahoma Eagle Newspaper stated: “The thing that impressed me most about both Barbara and her husband was their pursuit of what was both noble and inspiring. Perhaps my respect and affection for Barbara was nourished in how, in many ways, she reflected the calm and confidence and caring we came to experience in life with our own mother. There are perhaps two, among many virtues and values they shared that remind me of how blessed are those that have come under their influence.
Goodwin also stated: “The first is the admonition of Philippians 4:8 “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” And the second value, exemplified by them both is the axiom, “to whom much is given, much is required”.
Goodwin went on to say: “Barbara knew that her family carried a special responsibility to bless those around them through their selfless acts of service. She was as committed to exemplifying this spirit as she was unassuming about the trappings of wealth or power. It was easy to respect her because she had a history of earning such respect. Her family called her the “Enforcer”. The idea, from my own experience, meant that she was dedicated to the truth, valor, and courage. If you wanted to sway or waffle, she would call you out. If you tried to excuse bad behavior or shirk responsibility, she let you know you were missing the mark. Another family icon, our aunt Anna Goodwin, was famous for letting us know she didn’t “put on airs”. Neither did Barbara Bush. What you saw was what you got. What the country saw was a dedicated, selfless, compassionate, first lady who made us laugh with her dry wit and inspired us to want to live our highest calling. We are better because she lived”.
Barbara Bush was laid to rest at the family’s cemetery behind the presidential library in College Station, Texas.