A Personal Story regarding former First Lady Barbara Bush
gracious endorsement of "Mother Always Said, "..."
It has been several months since the passing of the former First Lady, Barbara Bush. She was an intelligent woman of unwavering strength In the most difficult of circumstances. She was a lady of grace, so loving, thoughtfully kind, and whose support for worthwhile causes (many anonymously) is well documented; I consider myself, like countless others, fortunate to having known her.
In 1990, I was working in D.C. as a government consultant to the White House. Over the years I spoke to many groups in business and government frequently quoting my mother’s pearls of wisdom in dealing with challenging situations, and many of whom encouraged me to become my mother’s voice by penning a book about the lessons she learned in her personal and business life.
I began writing the book in January 1990, and completed it that September of the same year, 9 months to the day. I offered the book to several White House staff members, one of who was Mrs. Bush’s press secretary. She asked if she could pass it along to Mrs. Bush. I said, “Of course, I would be honored.” I appreciated the thought but really had no expectations given her busy schedule, and certainly more pressing and important duties than my book.
Only two weeks later her secretary called and said, “Robert, she loved your book and she’d like to meet you.” We met and she couldn’t have been more gracious, kind, considerate and genuinely interested. She said, “Oh Robert what a wonderful tribute to not only your mother but all mothers.” Before I could gather enough courage to ask for her endorsement, she said, “These are wonderful value lessons we need to keep in mind as we raise our children. If you like, you're more than welcome to use my name as a recommendation; and before I forget, may I have another copy...I’ll gladly pay for it.”
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised, and more than agreeable to accept her invitation, and wavered the cost of the second copy. I looked at my watch and realized we were nearing an hour together, but when I tried to politely leave, she said, “Relax young man, when you get to my age you learn that tomorrow will come soon enough.” When our meeting ended, I thanked her, but just as I turned to walk away, she said, “Wait! Don't forget to sign my copy!”
It was one of those moments in life never to be forgotten. I blushed, and then said tongue-in-cheek, “I thought you’d never ask.”
In respect to her passing, I want to say, “Thank you for being a first lady that history will always hold in the highest esteem, as well as for your commitment to family values, and the values of our nation, and for giving me a priceless lesson in kindness and humility. I am forever, a willing captive of indebtedness.”