To us, he was close to perfect. But, not totally perfect. His short game was lousy. He wasn’t exactly Fred Astaire on the dance floor. The man couldn’t stomach vegetables, especially broccoli. And by the way, he passed these genetic defects along to us.
Finally, every day of his 73 years of marriage, Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. He married his sweetheart. He adored her. He laughed and cried with her. He was dedicated to her totally.
In his old age, Dad enjoyed watching police show reruns, volume on high, all the while holding Mom’s hand. After Mom died, Dad was strong, but all he really wanted to do was to hold Mom’s hand, again.
Of course, Dad taught me another special lesson. He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage, and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great president of the United States — a diplomat of unmatched skill, a commander in chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.
In his Inaugural Address, the 41st president of the United States said this: “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us? Or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better, and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?”
Well, Dad — we’re going remember you for exactly that and so much more.
And we’re going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. So, through our tears, let us see the blessings of knowing and loving you — a great and noble man, and the best father a son or daughter could have.
And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again.