Be like George

testimonials that make me want to be a better person

Be like George

If you’ve been on any media since Friday, you’ve had opportunity to catch interviews and news about former President George H. W. Bush dying at the age of 94, just eight months after his beloved wife Barbara passed away.

I hope they’ve made you think. Actually, I hope you’ve cried.

Politics aside, George H. W. Bush was a man of moral principle and family love. If you think that’s all media hype—a necessary commentary when someone famous dies—then read the testimonials about him. Watch the film clips. Nobody can fabricate pride in a child or deep love for a wife without the world eventually seeing through it. Family scandals always come out if they exist, especially if you’ve lived a public life. There’s just no scandal here. 

President Bush’s family and friends explained his life goals clearly: he loved God and he loved others. It sounds a lot like Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 22:37-39:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

I’ve been watching President Bush’s family and friends tell stories about him, about his care, his touch, his encouragement. I can’t tear myself away. They speak about him with respect, love, and honor. They speak with joy, even in sorrow. I am crying from the sheer profoundness of such a life.

They said things like:

He made us laugh; he made us feel like this fishbowl of a world was normal.

We all thought we were his favorite grandchild.

He never worked in front of us, even though he had tremendous responsibilities. When he was with us, he was present.

He was ready to go. He knew he was going to heaven, and he was looking forward to seeing the people he loved.

Even though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, we really never thought of him as anything besides our grandpa.

He taught us to never be defined by our failures.

He spent his life in service to his country.

We are heartbroken . . . He was the center of our family. 

In victory, he shared credit. When he lost, he shouldered the blame.

We just think about how he made us feel, and that was loved. And that fills us up in our sadness.

He was a humble man.

He was … the best husband and father anyone could ever have.

He is the most decent, honorable, wonderful man. Nobody’s ever been as lucky as I’ve been. I want people to remember him as courageous. I want people to remember him as he is.

No President has lived longer. No President has been married longer. No President has been a war hero, a U.S. ambassador to a foreign country (China) and to the United Nations, the CIA Director, the Vice President, the President, and also the father of a President. No one will ever carry this pedigree, ever. Should it matter what political party he led? Shouldn’t character be everyone’s lasting identification?

What a legacy. “George H.W. Bush was America’s last great soldier-statesman.” (Jon Meacham)

President Bush, I’d tell you “Rest in peace,” but I guess you’re probably busy worshipping God, loving Barbara and Robin, and greeting everyone who’s up there in heaven with you. How wonderful and how fitting! I hope you’re meeting the people I love. It will be an honor for all of you to share.

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