Barbara Bush, RIP

The sad news:

Barbara Bush, in what her spokesman called failing health, had traded further medical treatments for comfort care at home —that included the “alert” 92-year-old former first lady enjoying phone calls, conversation and bourbon.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Office of George H. W. Bush confirmed her death, saying in a statement, “A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92.”

Hours before her death, the Bushes’ longtime friend Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, who was White House counsel to Barbara’s husband of 73 years, former president George H.W. Bush, told PEOPLE: “Some of the recent emails indicate she is not quite ready to sign off. She’s answering all of her phone calls herself.”

Now that reminds me of mom – a few weeks before she died, we had all been called out because it was thought she was dying at that time. By the time I had driven from Vegas to LA, she had already stamped and shouted enough to be taken home that my brother was just getting her back into her bed when I arrived. I went in to see her and she looked like death warmed over. I – everyone – thought it was the end. So, we started the vigil…which mostly worked out to sitting around the kitchen table not talking. After a couple hours, I hear a rustle down the hall and there was mom, staggering a bit as she walked into the kitchen. She said not a word, but went to the cabinet, grabbed a large cup and topped it off with vodka. She then looked around at all of us with a “what the F are you guys doing here?” look and then tottered off to her room.

Barbara Bush was a great, strong lady – an excellent First Lady and a credit to the name “American”. My prayers for the repose of her soul and the comfort of the Bush family.

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