Family, friends and admirers say a final farewell to former first lady Barbara Bush

The former first lady and first mother is being laid to rest Friday as family and friends continue to share memories of her

Thousands of mourners lined up Friday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston and waited hours to pay their final respects to former first lady and first mother Barbara Bush, who died earlier this week at the age of 92. Her casket arrived there early Friday morning and her body will lie in repose from noon until midnight. President Donald Trump did not attend, though first Melania Trump was there to represent the White House. Numerous other dignitaries are attending the memorial, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama.

Bush family spokesperson Jim McGrath posted photos on Twitter showing George H.W. Bush along with his daughter, Doro, saying their last farewell to the matriarch of the political family dynasty. The memorial service capped several days of tributes and remembrances for Barbara Bush.

On Thursday, Jenna Bush Hager brought The Today Show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb to tears after she read aloud an emotional letter she wrote in tribute to her late grandmother, Barbara Bush.

“Dearest Ganny, when we lost you, we lost one of the greats,” Hager read. “You are a family’s rock; the glue that held us together. I hope you know in your final days how many people prayed for you, how many people told me they loved you.”

Hager, who shared the letter via voiceover as she was unable to be in the studio because she was preparing for the funeral in Houston, revealed that her grandmother had always taught her to act with “humility and grace,” to “treat everyone equally,” and to “read all the great books.”

“From you, Ganny, I’ve learned the gift of uniqueness and authenticity,” Hager said. “You taught us that humor, wit and grace are the best accessories, and that worrying too much about your looks, in your own words, ‘is boring. Words matter, kindness matters, looks fade.'”

Hager also shared one of the last emails her grandmother had written to her, which read simply: “I am watching you. I love you. Granny.”

Bush has also been remembered for her literacy advocacy, though most won’t identify her as a feminist. That said, she at least had a feminist streak in her, as evidenced from a 1990 commencement speech she delivered at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. “Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse,” she told the graduates. “And I wish him well.” Watch a highlight of the moment, which drew an uproarious round of applause from the audience that day.

And below, watch video of Hager reading her letter on Today.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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