This week was filled with news reports and live broadcasts that reflected and celebrated the life of former president George HW Bush. Moments about his personal life and relationships have been shared to give an idea of who he was as a person, not just a former leader.
One of the many stores shared included a note about his daughter who passed away from cancer. She was only three years old but greatly impacted the Bush’s for the rest of their lives. They took a personal mission to focus on advancement for the cure of cancer.
This note was written in 1958 to his mom.
“There is about our house a need. We need some soft blonde hair to offset those crew cuts. We need a dollhouse to stand firm against our forts and racquets and thousand baseball cards.”
“We need someone who’s afraid of frogs. We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl.”
“We had one once — she’d fight and cry and play and make her way, just like the rest. But there was about her a certain softness. She was patient. Her hugs were a just little less wiggly.”
“But she is still with us. We need her and yet we have her. We can’t touch her and yet we can feel her. We hope she’ll stay in our house for a long, long time.”
According to Jenna, his granddaughter, he reached a point where he was excited about Heaven.
“Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with the people I’ve lost. I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured out if it will be Robin as the three-year-old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman… I hope she’s the three-year-old,” he said.
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This brought me such comfort this morning. I had the opportunity to talk with my grandpa about the afterlife. This is what he said: He answered without any hesitation. “Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways I look forward to it.” And I started crying. I managed to choke out, “Well, why? What do you look forward to?” And he said, “Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people that I’ve lost.” And I asked who he hoped to see. He replied, I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman. And then he said, “I hope she’s the three-year-old.” Robin was the daughter this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: “I love you more than tongue can tell.”