George H.W. Bush Teared Up While Reading His Old Love Letters To Barbara Bush

"I love you, precious, with all my heart."

Per USA Today, former president George H.W. Bush held wife Barbara Bush's hand as she passed away yesterday at the age of 92. The couple's devotion to each other was well-known, and nowhere better memorialized than in a 2011 interview on Today.


In the TODAY Show interview, Barbara Bush and George H.W. Bush spoke about their love for each other and their first meeting. They were each other's first kiss and the couple was married in 1945, a marriage that would last for more than seven decades, the longest in presidential history. Their children included former President George W. Bush and former Governor Jeb Bush. Their first daughter, Pauline Robinson, died of leukemia at the age of three. They had three more children after her: Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.

"One of the reasons I made the most important decision of my life, to marry George Bush, is because he made me laugh," she said in that same commencement speech. "It's true, sometimes we've laughed through our tears… but that shared laughter has been one of our strongest bonds. Find the joy in life, because as Ferris Bueller said on his day off, 'Life moves pretty fast. Ya don't stop and look around once in a while, ya gonna miss it!'"

During their interview with TODAY, former president Bush read love letters he had written for Barbara while on deployment with the Navy. 

"I love you, precious, with all my heart," he wrote. "And to know that you love me means all my life. How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you."

As George read the letters to Barbara and to TODAY's crew, the former president began to cry. Happy tears.

As news of the former first lady's deteriorating health spread earlier in the week, the family released a statement saying she had decided against seeking additional medical help and would instead focus on "comfort care." Bush had been hospitalized several times in the last year. 

"It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others," family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement. "She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving."

A source close to the family told CBS's Jenna Gibson that on the last night before she died, Bush was alert, speaking with her family and enjoying a glass of Bourbon.

"At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal," she said in her famous 1990 commencement speech at Wellesley College. "You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent."

Cover image via mark reinstein /


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