Jenna Bush Hager is remembering her grandmother for the powerful woman she was. During a segment on the Today show on Thursday, April 19, the Today correspondent, 36, read a letter that she wrote for her “Ganny” Barbara Bush following her passing. The former first lady died at 92 on Tuesday, April 17.
“Dearest Ganny, when we lost you, we lost one of the greats. You are our family’s rock, the glue that held us together,” Hager began. “I hope you know in your final days how many people prayed for you. How many people told me they loved you. It was like that my whole life. People stopped me everywhere — in airports, on the street — and declared their love for you. It always felt good, we didn’t mind sharing you with the world.”
“From you Ganny, I have learned the gift of uniqueness and authenticity.” @JennaBushHager shares an emotional letter to her grandmother, Barbara Bush pic.twitter.com/6XKOvTgP2H
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 19, 2018
She continued: “We called you the enforcer. It was because you were a force and you wrote the rules. Your rules were simple: treat everyone equally, don’t look down on anyone, use your voices for good, read all the great books. Oh how I’ll miss sharing books with you.”
During the tribute, Hager also shared one of the “final emails” she received from her grandmother on February 23, 2017, with the subject line reading simply, “You.” The body of the email read, “I am watching you. I love you, Ganny.”
Following the video, Hager called in to the Today show to update the hosts on the condition of the family. “We’re doing well. I think it’s a mixture of waves of great gratitude of life well lived. I mean, she lived the best life,” she shared. “And then of course, pangs of sadness because she will be so dearly missed.”
In addition to her interview, the mother of two also posted a photo of her with her grandmother on Instagram on Wednesday, April 18, telling the world that her grandmother was a “FORCE of a woman.”
She also sent her love to her grandfather, who had been married to Barbara for 73 years. “She adored my Gampy, the first man she ever kissed; their love story is so engrained in the history of our family. Thinking of my Gampy tonight —no doubt missing his beloved desperately,” she wrote. “Gans, people stopped me all the time to tell me how much they loved you. I didn’t mind sharing you with them. I love you more than tongue can tell, my Ganny.”
George H.W. Bush released the following statement about his late wife on Wednesday: “I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact. But the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at The Enforcer is lifting us all up. We have faith she is in heaven, and we know life will go on – as she would have it. So cross the Bushes off your worry list.”
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