On Saturday, former First Lady Barbara Bush was laid to rest on the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library grounds in College Station, Texas.
The location of her final resting place did not happen by chance. She wanted to be buried near her daughter, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush.
Bush and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, conceived Robin in the early 1950s. A few years later, the child was diagnosed with leukemia. It was a particularly devastating diagnosis at the time.
“She said, ‘You don’t do anything. She’s going to die,” Barbara Bush recalled in a past interview. “He said, ‘My advice is to take her home, love her. In about two weeks, she’ll be gone.”
The Bushes refused to give up and sought additional treatment. Sadly, it was unsuccessful and Robin passed away before her 4th birthday.
“I was combing her hair and holding her hand,” Barbara Bush revealed. “I saw that little body, I saw her spirit go.”
Bush offered even more insight into the unthinkable tragedy in her memoir:
“Eventually the medicine that was controlling the leukemia caused other terrible problems. We called George, and by the time he got there after flying all night, our baby was in a coma. Her death was very peaceful. One minute she was there, and the next she was gone. I truly felt her soul go out of that beautiful little body. For one last time I combed her hair, and we held our precious little girl. I never felt the presence of God more strongly than at that moment.”
Decades later, Mrs. Bush is finally reunited with her daughter. Her husband surely takes some comfort in that.
Hundreds of family members and friends gathered in Houston, Texas, on Saturday for Bush’s funeral, including former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and First Lady Melania Trump.
Featured image via ABC Action News/Screengrab