Wisdom From the Grand Lady in Pearls

A year ago the Super Bowl was held in Houston, Texas. The most poignant moment of the entire game for me, the coin toss, was watched by millions. Chosen to toss the commemorative coin was former President, George H.W. Bush and his loved-by-all wife, Barbara.

They were led onto the field, he in a wheelchair, she walking behind him. The sight unexpectedly stirred emotions in almost everyone. 

Someone posted on Twitter, “Why am I crying as I watch these two people come out on the field?” 

I teared up too.

Do you know why? 

The Bushes, as imperfect as the rest of us, were a model to our nation of unending love. Covenant-keeping love. 

The sight of them together, and the announcement that they’d been married an astonishing 72 years at the time, reminded us what matters most in life. We see this so rarely in our world full of super stars and ordinary neighbors who divorce repeatedly.

As I think about Barbara, who died a few days ago, I remember a message she gave decades ago to the graduating class of Wellesley College. She said:

“As important as your obligations as a doctor, a lawyer, or a business leader may be, your human connections with spouses, children, friends, are the most important investment you will ever make. At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not losing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, a parent.”

For one brief moment, what matters most in life, marriage for life, was on display, center stage, for millions around the world to see. We knew it. We felt it. And we cried because it’s what we all most desire in the depths of our souls.

Thank you, Barbara and George, for showing us what for better or for worse looks like all the way to the end.

We will miss your beautiful face, your fierce loyalty and your ever present pearls. You were a classy woman, Barbara!

It’s an honor to share your name!

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9 thoughts on “Wisdom From the Grand Lady in Pearls”

  1. Mrs. Bush was a gracious, lovely and witty lady who made anyone who met her feel special. Here in Houston, people of all races, religions, and ages are celebrating the life of a well loved woman. I once heard of say that she & George don’t have a 50-50 marriage but that she gives 70% or more every day and George also gives 70% or more. That they are just committed to each other and their marriage.

  2. I am wondering how it works out when you hold up a marriage as being like this when it was filled with people looking the other way so that they could stay married to each other. I understand that men and women of power attract the opposite sex and can have lots of them throwing themselves at them sexually. And the apex predators have their pick of women and it is good for their seed to be spread through the population (for the betterment of the species). But how do we reconcile the two. I mean yes 72 years is wonderful and I know they had their ups and downs and we are only privy to the good and not the heated bedroom arguments and the crying and yelling. But the fact that men of power evidently stray on a regular basis and what does that mean and how do we approach that as Christians? We all fail yes but at what point is a marriage a good marriage and when is it a bad marriage?

  3. What a wonderful tribute to the sanctity of marriage. The marriage the way GOD intended. If all young couples would follow the legacy that Barbara and George have left, we as a nation would not have near the problems we are faced with today with the breakdown of the family structure.

  4. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing the truth expressed in these beautifully penned words. I appreciate the dignity and grace she exemplified as a woman and our First Lady, who without question deeply and sacrificially loved her husband and family. And the always lovely adornment of her pearls will be bound forever to her memory. 💗

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