A week-long “celebration of life” for former First Lady Barbara Bush culminated amidst a sea of blue-clad, pearl sporting mourners in Houston, Texas. Just shy of 1,500 invited guests, Houstonians and a who’s who of recent political memory, mingled at St. Martin’s Episcopal church with a reverent, yet joyful, countenance.
Joining the celebrants and Bush family was First Lady Melania Trump representing President Trump, former President Barak Obama and wife Michelle, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The president felt his presence would be a distraction, saying “to avoid disruption and added security, and out of respect for the Bush family,” he would pay his own tribute and watch the service at the Southern White House, Mar-a-Lago.
Buses brought thousands to the Bush Presidential Library to pay respects to a woman most had met and adored had they been in Houston for any length of time. Barbara was not only America’s First Lady but held that title for her hometown in perpetuity.
Nearer My God to Thee
A spiritual setting in the traditional sense, the service began with the well-known hymn Nearer My God to Thee, and the gatherers were outwardly moved.
Reverend Dr. Russell Levenson handled the religious aspects of the service with grace and humor; her opus carefully orchestrated down to the last word of scripture. An opus she created herself.
Son Jeb Bush was chosen by the matriarch to deliver the personal eulogy of her devotion to family, her community and the people she served with love, honor, and respect for her causes of literacy and cancer research and a love story with GHW Bush that spanned seven decades. He emotionally stated his mother was “beautiful” until the end, and how fortunate he was to witness their “love story.”
Her dearest friend, Susan Baker, wife of former secretary of state James Baker, and historian Jon Meacham, GHW’s biographer, offered their personal relationships and fond memories.
The Bakers were with Mrs. Bush the night before she passed and recalled a story that epitomizes both the grit and grace of her soul. Apparently, the men enjoyed a vodka martini at times, and GHW ordered up a round of cocktails. Barbara said, “I’d like a Manhattan instead,” a much stiffer concoction, and after a few sips, she said, “I’m eager to go.”
Barbara Bush’s custom designed funeral brought together her family and extended families that included the unlikely closeness to Bill Clinton. GHW was heard to joke throughout their long friendship that Bill was a brother from another mother. Friends that participated in the week of mourning, reflection, and celebration noticed that there were two words unheard throughout the duration; Democrat and Republican. Whether designed by the Grand Dame herself, or out of respect for the exclusive club of which so few are members, it was a welcome relief.
For Barbara, who we all hope is reunited with daughter Robin, and to await the reunion with her husband, a love for the ages, perhaps the best is yet to come.Whatfinger.com and newcomer ConservativeNewsDirect.com