In true Barbara Bush fashion, when she learned about the press release, Neil said, she began answering phone calls from anxious friends to reassure them. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care.
"I believe America is going to be better off if every family establishes a culture of service to others", Bush said.
On Sunday, Bush family spokesperson Jim McGrath released a statement announcing Barbara Bush's decision. Her husband, former President George Bush, was with her, along with her children Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.
Mrs. Bush, who is at home in Houston, is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a USA president, George W. Bush.
She first met her husband-to-be at the age of 16; she was a schoolgirl and he was a student at an elite preparatory school in MA.
Barbara Bush kept her sarcasm under wraps in public, though one noted slip came in 1984 when her husband was running for re-election as vice president with President Ronald Reagan. Abigail Adams was the wife of the second president, John Adams, and mother of the sixth president, John Quincy Adams.
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Bush also remarked on her longtime marriage to her husband in the magazine, writing: "I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago". She penned a children's book called Fred's Story in 1984 and then donated all proceeds to literacy charities.
She married George H.W. Bush in 1945. She's recently been in and out of the hospital.
"She is more than a matriarch", Card said by telephone on Sunday.
In 1980, given her husband's conservative position, her support of the Equal Rights Amendment and her pro-abortion position turned heads.
"The President's and First Lady's prayers are with all of the Bush Family during this time", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. She died in 2011.
She continued: "Also, George Bush has given me the world".
The couple met at a Christmas dance in 1941, when Barbara Pierce was 16 and George Bush was 17.