Celebrating The Life of First Lady Barbara Bush

Hi and Happy Monday.  How was your weekend?  Mine was good and quite lazy with some family time.  On Saturday morning, I watched the entire funeral for First Lady Barbara Bush.  It was a moving service and beautifully honored such an amazing woman. (Photo from Power Point clip art.)

I didn’t expect to be so moved or so touched, but I couldn’t help it.  After all, she was quite something.  The church was stunning with the pipe organ and fantastic choir.  The hymns were some of my favorites and I sang along with them.  The speakers were also great and gave lovely comments about her — Presidential historian Jon Meacham, friend Susan Baker, and son Jeb Bush.

All three of them had touching stories about Bar as she was affectionately called by friends and family.  They also had funny stories so there was laughter with the tears for the estimated 1,500 people in attendance.  They moved me at this celebration of her amazing 92 years.

Some of the stories I had never heard before and others I had.  As I listened, I was touched by what an amazing woman of integrity she was.  She lived life fully and seemed to enjoy every minute.  She loved with all of her heart her husband of 73 years and her 6 children, numerous grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren (I am not sure of the numbers).

One story was about visiting an AIDS clinic and holding babies and hugging patients.  That just wasn’t done in the 1980s since so much was not known about this disease.  Despite that, she showed and shared compassion.  She demonstrated loving others and being kind. She knew how important it was to those at the clinic and did it.

Some of the letters were shared between President George H.W. Bush and Barbara.  They showed the love they had for one another and it was beautiful.  And something to learn from about what real love is.  Jeb Bush also had a few funny anecdotes about his mother and how tough she was with him and his siblings.

She was honest, was considerate and helpful to others, was sharp-tongued at times, but from what was said about her it was done out of love and fun not vengeance or hate.  She was civil, had manners, served others and taught her family how to serve, and she taught her kids how to behave as well.

Barbara Bush is someone to admire and look up to.  She is someone we can have as a role model for ourselves and for our kids.  And frankly, she reminded me of my own grandmothers — Grams and Grandma.  They too were incredible women who loved their families, taught them manners and how to behave, worked hard in their chosen professions and interests, and loved to be with friends and family.

To all of these women, I say thank you.  Thank you for being beacons of how to treat one another, how to love, and how to know what is precious in life.  May we learn from you and treat others with kindness, respect, and love.  Always love.

The former Presidents and First Ladies and the current First Lady came to celebrate Barbara Bush’s life.  Seeing them all together in the pew and also in a photograph was  moving.  First Lady Melania Trump sat with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.  They were across the aisle from President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

They came together to celebrate this amazing woman’s life and were civil to each other.  They hugged each other, they smiled, and seemed happy to see each other even though it was to celebrate the loss of someone so beloved.

If only we could again be friendly with those we don’t agree with.  To be kind to each other, to listen to and respect one another, instead of the constant distrust, hate, and ridicule of those who are different than us.  May we do better in our personal lives as we communicate with others.  And may we think before we post and share hateful things and comments on social media.

It was refreshing to see people being brought together to remember someone who truly knew what was important in life, who served her country, who cared for others, who lived a life with integrity, grace, and compassion for others, and who helped those she didn’t know.  The lovely comments about her from those who attended the service and those on the news were so welcome and nice to hear.

My hope and prayer is that we can all live this way again.  That we can be kind and loving to one another, that we can help take care of each other, that we can stand up for what we believe in without tearing others down or being hateful, that we can love and not hate, that we can praise and not ridicule.  And that we will always come from a point of love.

All Are Precious In His Sight

“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Thus goes a song I remember from my childhood.  I remember singing this at Vacation Bible School and Sunday School.  We learned that no matter what you look like or what skin color you have, you are precious to God and should be precious to others.

Sadly not everyone knows this or appreciates it.  Take for example the problems at a Starbucks coffee shop this week.  Two black men were arrested for being at a store but not ordering.  I think they were charged with trespassing.  I understand that quite a few people go to the shops for meetings and no one notices.

In fact at this incident, several witnesses who were white were filmed asking what is going on and speaking up that they too were just waiting for someone.  And yet these two men were put in handcuffs and escorted by police officers for doing nothing.  What the?!

The CEO appeared on Good Morning America this week and said this was despicable and should have never happened.  He apologized for this happening and wanted more information about why this happened.  He wants to apologize personally to these men.  And, he mentioned training for his staff.

In fact, the entire chain will be closed on May 29 for training for all employees.  I am impressed with him and his quick response to this problem.  He stepped up, apologized, and took action to make changes.  May we all do the same when confronted with problems or things that we can change or impact.

I just don’t understand in today’s society why this is still happening. I thought we’d moved on from this but sadly, it seems we haven’t.  Many still have prejudices and problems with others, often for no apparent reason.  I, for one, want these to stop.

We need to look past the color of another person, and many other attributes and see them for who they are.  People who can be our friends and who have come to a coffee shop for a meeting, or to a church to pray, or to a store to shop, or any other place they’d be going.  We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that they are criminals just because of what they look like.

I cannot imagine living life always being worried about being arrested when I haven’t even done anything.  And yet, there are many people who deal with this each and every day.  That has to be hard to live with and not an easy thing to accept.  I feel for them and want to help make life better for them.

Surely we can do better for one another and treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect, rather than skepticism, distrust, and fright.  We shouldn’t hate and fear those who look different than we do or those we don’t really know.  Instead let’s use common sense, kindness and compassion when we greet others.

Most children I know don’t see these differences, but instead see a friend who they can talk with, play with, and have fun with.  May we learn from these kids.

A few quotes to think about:

  • “Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.” ~ Merry Browne
  • “Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” ~Wayne W. Dyer
  • “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.” ~Franklin Thomas
  • “I’ve learned this about judging people — you can have all the facts and not know the true story.” ~ Robert Brault
  • “If your lens is prejudice, you’re wearing the wrong prescription.” ~ Terri Guillemets