Regardless of what political party or generation you belong to, your sexual preference, your race, or your gender, Barbara Bush is iconic. Iconic beyond Beyoncé (I know, I said it!) or Madonna, yet more in line with Princess Diana, Angela Merkel, Elizabeth Warren or Michelle Obama.
Just think, she was a young girl in the late 1920s, a teenager in the late 1930s, women were only given voting rights 5 years before her birth. It was a time when a women’s career path consisted of homemaker, beautician, sewer, maid (cleaning/cooking), teacher, nurse or secretary. All low wage and women who worked were looked down upon for taking away jobs from men during the Great Depression. Women went to “women’s” boarding schools and liberal arts colleges, women married young and were expected to take care of the home and kid
Things she experienced in her 92 years on our earth:
The Great Depression + 3 additional economic recessions, World War II, Korean War, Playboy Magazine, TV, Cuban Missile Crisis, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Immigration Act of 1965, Great Society (Medicare/Medicaid/Food Stamps), Vietnam War, Protesters, Stonewall Rebellion, Equal Rights Amendment of 1965, assignations of John F. and Robert Kennedy, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Space Travel, Roe v. Wade, AIDS Epidemic, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gulf War, 29 moves, invention of the Internet, Apple, Mobile Phones, Terrorism, first African American President, 9/11, Afghan War, Global Warming (Hurricanes/other Natural Disasters), Opioid Epidemic, Boston Marathon Terrorist Attack, Women as CEO’s, Workplace Hostile/Sexual Harassment, Proposition 8, Same Sex Marriage Legalization, Gay Pride parades and festivals, School Shootings, Vegas Shooting, Social Media, Black Lives Matter movement, March For Our Lives movement, and the inauguration of a multi-millionaire celebrity for president. These are just to name a few, although there are many, many more.
Some may view Barbara as having an easy go since she much more fortunate being a woman in this era since her father was the president of McCall’s, who published Redbook and McCall’s women’s magazines. She was athletic (hmm, this was frowned upon) and an avid reader. What her upbringing gave her were strength, poise and tenacity.
At 16, she met the love of her life, George and 20, she dropped out of college, married and had 6 children. Raising 6 children is no easy task. One of her sons had dyslexia and as a result, she engrossed herself in literacy research. Remember this was before “OK Google” and Social Media Forums as well as online access to library resources. She had to hit the college and local libraries, meet and speak with professors and other individuals/organizations on the topic. This took a buttload of time and commitment on her part. Her work on LITERACY would become her legacy although her wit, grit, grace, brawn, intellect, and beauty made her one of the most likable first ladies only to be Surpassed by Mrs. Michelle Obama. You may disagree and here my friends… and this is where we must agree to disagree.
Well, I could go on and on but from everything I read, more than 700 words in a blog lose readers. So, in conclusion, I leave you with a quote given to Time by the Obama’s…
“We’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”
“She’ll be remembered for passing those American values on to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren — and to the countless citizens whom she and George inspired to become ‘points of light’ in service to others.”
My letter to Barbara,
I may not have voted for your husband or your son since our politics didn’t align, but I have always had my eye on your causes and impact, much like I do today with Michelle Obama. I haven’t been able to completely back Hilary, although did vote for her in the last election based on “best resume” for the job.
If I were able to have lunch with you, I would ask you about how you personally felt and dealt with all the changes in our world you saw or experienced in your 94 years as a woman. I would ask what women you found to be inspiring in your life and your favorite moments and successes with your foundation. I will honor your memory through contributions and promoting literacy as you have asked in your last days.
I end with a thank you for being the woman other women can and should look up to. For giving us all inspiration to be the best we can be with grit, wit, grace, toughness and beauty.
Pearls to you lovely lady.
All my best,
#sundancemom @utahsundancemom @h2thec2theb