George HW Bush buried beside wife Barbara and 3-year-old daughter Robin whose death devastated him
George HW Bush never really got over the death of his first daughter, three-year-old Pauline Robinson Bush, due to leukaemia
Late President George HW Bush was buried between his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, and his first daughter, three-year-old Pauline Robinson Bush, at his presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University on Thursday.
The World War II hero's ultimate reunion reportedly gave solace to their family as his eldest son Geroge W Bush, in his tearful eulogy to his father, said: "And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding mom's hand again."
The former president reportedly never got over the agony of his daughter Robin's death who died at the age of three after battling leukaemia. Bush, in a letter to his mother in the late 1950s, had suggested that there was something missing from his home, despite them having four sprightly young boys. Bush wanted a daughter.
“The running, pulsating restlessness of the four boys as they struggle to learn and grow — needs a counterpart,” he wrote. “We need some starched crisp frocks to go with all our torn-kneed blue jeans and helmets. We need some soft blond hair to offset those crew cuts. We need a doll house to stand firm against our forts and rackets and thousand baseball cards.” He continued, “We need a girl," the Washington Post reported.
Then Pauline Robinson was born shortly after, however, even though she was as energetic as her brothers, she began to complain of tiredness nearly three years in. The former first couple was then told the devastating news which broke them even years after Robin's death. The girl's pediatrician told the parents that she was suffering from cancer, leukemia, and that she would not survive.
Sacrifice of Robin Bush, daughter of George H.W. & Barbara Bush, October 11, 1953 pic.twitter.com/6vx0rCfZvF— RANDY PLUMLEY (@RANDYPLUMLEY1) December 6, 2018
“Her advice was to tell no one, go home, forget that Robin was sick, make her as comfortable as we could, love her — and let her gently slip away,” Barbara Bush wrote in her 1994 memoir referring to the pediatrician's advice. “She said this would happen very quickly.”
Bush senior and Barbara engaged in months-long battle to keep their daughter alive. However, seven months after the diagnosis, Robin passed away, leaving the parents heartbroken.
Bush’s biographer, Jon Meacham, while eulogizing the former president on Thursday, recalled an incident saying that Bush senior started crying after he met a young boy in Poland who had leukemia. The incident occurred nearly 35 years after Robin's death.
This iconic cartoon of President George H. W. Bush arriving in Heaven being greeted by first lady Barbara Bush and Robin drawn by the legendary @MarshallRamsey has gone viral -- We'll talk with him tonight on @WJTV pic.twitter.com/6OkfuoY4CD— Margaret-Ann Carter (@MargaretAnnWJTV) December 3, 2018
Bush senior, who was the vice president at the time, wrote in his diary: "My eyes flooded with tears. And behind me was a bank of television cameras. And I thought, ‘I can’t turn around. I can’t dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of themselves every day.’ So I stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he wouldn’t see. But if he did, hoping he’d feel that I loved him.”