President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush Wednesday honored the life and memories they hold of his mother Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday surrounded by her loved ones at her Houston home.
"We appreciate that there is a lot of condolences pouring in," Bush told Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria," host Maria Bartiromo. "It is an end of a beautiful life."
After a series of hospitalizations and after consulting with her family and doctors, the former first lady and wife of former President George H.W. Bush. opted against further aggressive treatment for heart and lung issues, opting instead for comfort care at her Houston home.
Her son said Wednesday that his father, who married Mrs. Bush 73 years ago, was at her side when she died.
Bush told Bartiromo that his mother did not fear death, because "she truly believes there's an afterlife, that she'll be wonderfully received in the arms of a loving God."
As her soul was "comforted on the deathbed, my soul is comforted," Bush said.
Barbara Bush was dedicated to her family and causes, and her daughter-in-law Wednesday called her "funny and fierce" and a "great role model for me" who helped her become first lady.
Laura Bush recalled that when George H.W. Bush first sought the presidency, Barbara Bush spoke with her about her plans to work on literacy.
"She thought it was most important that if everyone could read and write, a lot of problems would be solved," she told Bartiromo, noting that when she became first lady, she continued that tradition, focusing on literacy education for women.
Former President Bush said that just a week ago Saturday, he and his wife went to see his mother, and she was "strong and lucid," and, his wife added, "funny."
"We were needling each other," he said. "The doctor came in and she turned to the doctor and said 'you want to know why George W. is the way he is? Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him.'"
He said toward the end, though, his mother didn't "say much, but when I told her I loved her," she responded that she loved him, too.
Laura Bush also described her late mother-in-law as a "wonderful grandmother" to her twin granddaughters, Barbara and Jenna, including taking them on a trip by herself to Italy.
"She really did a lot of special things with them," she said. "She was not much older than George and I, because she was 20, 21 when George was born. She had a lot of years as a young grandmother to be with grandchildren."
The Bushes are in Dallas today for a leadership forum at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, an event that his mother would wanted to continue despite her death, he said.
"My mother would say, 'make darned sure you participate fully in leadership forum,'" he said. "You know in other words, 'don't sit around feeling sorry for me, or yourself more importantly, but move on with life,'"
So, he added, "that is what we're doing. The Bush Institute is very important to us. We've got programs that we think are very transformative help for the future of the country."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.