George Bush said marrying Barbara, whom he called "Bar", was "the thing I did right".
In 1953, soon after George H.W. Bush had moved his family to Midland, Tex., to get into the oil business, the couple's 3-year-old daughter complained about feeling exhausted.
"We have so few examples in visible leadership positions" of public figures promoting palliative care, she said. But Barbara Bush was noble.
Her diagnosis was shockingly abrupt.
"Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions". She repeatedly has said she wanted a very simple service.
Bush reportedly had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart problems in recent years.
Fox News medical correspondent Marc Siegel commented in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that "Barbara Bush ... is facing death with fortitude, courage and realism".
Bush, who was the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy at the time, would return home a war hero, after being shot down by the Japanese. His uncle was a doctor at Sloan Kettering, a leading cancer center even when cancer was barely understood and almost taboo to mention. In 1990, she authored "Millie's Book", a humorous look at the adventures of the family's English springer spaniel in the White House.
In October, Robin died with her parents in the room.
"We're grateful for her, for everybody's prayers and thoughts, and just know the world is better because she is in it".
They gave the little body that had been claimed by a mysterious disease over to medical research, then had their daughter buried in a family plot in Greenwich, Conn. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as president. He recalled his delight at the prospect of seeing his baby sister.
Earlier this year, the former first lady wrote about her husband in a note for the spring edition of Smith College's alumnae magazine.
"In this case, it tested the marriage and made it stronger", Page said.
"It makes perfectly good sense at her age, with her failing health, that she would say at some point, 'Life's been good, and while you always want more, it's enough, '" said Dr. Joanne Lynn, director of the program to improve elder care at Altarum Institute. Both felt responsible for shoring up the other. Barbara Bush wrote in her memoir that she could tell during the visit they were being spied on by Chinese authorities. Her speech that day was rated by a survey of scholars in 1999 as one of the top 100 speeches of the century. "Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory". "But the truth was he was being there for me".
The Bushes had three more children, including another girl, Dorothy.
The only other woman to be both wife and mother of U.S. presidents was Abigail Adams, the first lady from 1797 to 1801.
But one portrait remained on more private walls.
The first couple specifically mentioned Bush's devotion to reading: "Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection". One notable example came in 1984 when George H.W. was seeking re-election as vice president under Reagan, a post he held from 1981 until becoming president in 1989.
When Barbara Bush's extraordinary life ends, she will join her daughter there.