As former First Lady Barbara Bush slipped away at the age of 92 on Tuesday, her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, spent the entire day by her side, holding her hand in a fitting end to a love story that spanned more than seven decades.
Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in his post-White House years, shared an update from the 41st president’s chief of staff, Jean Becker, late Tuesday evening.
Jean Becker, chief of staff at the Office of George H. W. Bush, gave this update on the 41st President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/pjOKi3szVc
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 18, 2018
Becker’s note describes the touching last moments of the former first couple.
So many of you are asking, “How is 41?”
He of course is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years. He held her hand all day today and was at her side when left this good earth.
Obviously, this is a very challenging time.
But it will not surprise all of you who know and love him, that he also is being stoic and strong, and is being lifted up by his large and supportive family.
He is determined to be there for them as well.
He appreciates all the well wishes and support.
Just one night earlier, surrounded by family members, the feisty former first lady had been alert, participated in conversations and even indulged in a glass of bourbon. But as the end grew nearer, her husband never left her side.
The former president’s love for his “Bar” was nothing short of legendary. He met her at a dance when he was 17 – she was 16 – and Barbara later said that within a day, her mother knew everything about the man who would become her husband.
“She should have been the head of the CIA.”
They were married three years later when he, a U.S. Navy pilot, was home on leave. She was just 19. Their marriage lasted 73 years — longer than any other presidential couple in history.
Bush once shared a love letter, dated 1943,with Oprah.
“I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know you love me, means my life. How often have I thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours someday. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you … Bar, you have made my life full of everything I could ever dream of – my complete happiness should be a token of my love for you.”