Goodnite, My Beautiful

A tribute to Barbara Bush

No one likes a sad ending. No one wants to say goodbye. Life is not like that, however, endings keep coming. April 17, 2018, brings another life to an end. It was expected, but still painful. America is mourning the loss of their grandmother.

In the book, Love and War, George Bush wrote his new fiance a love letter. The date was December 12, 1943. World War II was still going on and he was gearing up for another battle at sea. Passionate, he tells Bar (Barbara) that he is completely in love with her. His once lofty goals of fighting in the war are now changing. He just wants to be with her.

You have made my life full of everything I could ever dream of — my complete happiness should be a token of my love for you

When one reflects upon the wife of a President, it can be hard to differentiate politics and personality. They often blend too well together. The wife is molded into her husband’s viewpoints and stances. His politics become her mirror.

Until one steps back and realizes the love story that was born long before politics were ever started. The beautiful love letter between George and Barbara remind me that love stories do exist…in a pure, romantic way.

The painful realization of war must have laid heavily on their mind. Happy engagement times, in 1943, should have been filled with parties and dinners celebrating the event. Instead, it was overshadowed by bombs, planes that couldn’t fly in the heavy winds, long assignments overseas, little-to-none communication, fears. Worries. Death was hanging around at every little turn ready to snatch its next victim.

Later in life, Barbara Bush understood the presence of the grim reaper. She saw it’s deadly tentacles wrapping itself around precious little children infected with the AIDS virus. She promoted financial help for those suffering from the virus. In 1989, she visited Grandma’s House, a home just for children with HIV.

People were very afraid of the virus.They thought it was easily caught, like the common cold or the flu. The Miller Center writes, “She physically embraced those suffering from AIDS, assuring Americans that they could not contract the disease through casual contact.”

This grandmotherly approach to living and life was shown also by kissing the head of children infected with AIDS. She cared deeply for those who were sick, homeless, and living in shelters.

America’s grandmother also had a desire that everyone would have the ability to read. One of her children, Neil, struggled with dyslexia and encouraged her to make her platform as First Lady was literacy, and she labored very diligently to make this happen.

The American Dream is about equal opportunity for everyone who works hard. If we don’t give everyone the ability to simply read and write, then we aren’t giving everyone an equal chance to succeed. Barbara Bush

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy was founded in 1989. Since that time, over 110 million dollars has been raised to help reading programs throughout the United States.

Barbara was also an author. She wrote children books, one of which was about her Springer Spaniel (the first canine at that time) entitled Millie’s Book. Millie would roam the White House, attending morning meeting and briefings, and cause some upset at various times.

Lots of amazing pictures with the Bush family are included, and being petted by Queen Elizabeth II are just some of the highlights in the book. Of course, to be technical, Millie wrote the book and Barbara just took the dictation. The book landed on the New York Times list and topped the charts as a #1 bestseller.

Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give. Barbara Bush

When looking back on the life of Barbara Bush. She gave her time and her life to the American people. She has been a Second Lady and First Lady. She has been a wife. A mother of six children. A grandmother to fourteen.

She gave her skills as wherever she could, and this is one writer who is forever thankful for her legacy of love and reading. Mrs. Bush, you have given your all, and are truly a beautiful woman inside and out.

Goodnite, my beautiful.

“Barbara Bush.” Miller Center, 23 Feb. 2017,
Brower, Kate Andersen. “Barbara Bush Redefined the Role of First Lady.” CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Apr. 2018,
Hlavaty, Craig. “Barbara Bush’s Work in the ’80s and ’90s with AIDS Patients Fondly Remembered.” Houston Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, 17 Apr. 2018,
“Millie’s Book by Barbara Bush.” Goodreads, Goodreads, 28 Sept. 1992,

5 thoughts on “Goodnite, My Beautiful”

  1. What a lovely tribute you have given to our county’s “grandmother,” Johanna. There are so many treasures here that show what kind of remarkable woman that Barbara Bush was and the incredible life that she lived with “the love of her life.” Truly beautiful.

  2. Hi Johanna,

    Such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady. Definitely a true love story that lasted through the years. I watched a short video with the two of them the other day and they still giggled like teenagers and had sparkles in their eyes when they looked at each other.

    My heart and prayers go out to the Bush family. Another wonderful 1st Lady who took the Nation to heart is away from us now but never forgotten.

  3. She was a classic Johanna. The woman reminded me of child hood in many ways, as I recall see BB on TV as a kid, with all the Bushes in the White House. Tenacious, classy, and lived with a purpose to better life. Truly a gem who will be missed.


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