Author: Adam

The Life of a Surviving Mom

The Life of a Surviving Mom

‘Witness to Dignity’: What I experienced at Barbara Bush’s bedside in her final days

When Barbara Bush left her home on Aug. 30, 1991, she was suffering from a severe, incurable disease. But like any good grieving parent, Barbara was at the bedside of her daughter in a wheelchair, talking to her, just as her mother always did.

“What did you learn from your mother” she asked me.

“That life is hard,” I said.

Then she sighed, and I knew what had been said to so many others before me.

Her daughter, Robin, knew this to be true. Like their mother, Robin was a survivor. After a life of a very healthy, happy young woman, she came into her own only when she was in her late 30s. She has been fighting hard to stay alive these 20 years since, until she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease – and she died.

Robin Bush, left before her daughter’s diagnosis, and with her before her death, on Nov. 22, 2012.

Robin’s life was a great story until she became ill. The disease has ravaged her body for many years, and now it’s claiming her soul.

At the time of her diagnosis, Robin had already spent 20 years as an outspoken activist, as an advocate for women’s rights and as a champion and advocate for people with disabilities. She had already experienced the triumphs of being a published writer and a television journalist, and she seemed destined to rise in a different way.

When her diagnosis was made public, Robin did not accept it. She was fighting too hard for too long to quit the fight. And even when she did – and in her last days – she chose to continue her fight to the end.

“She had just finished up her first year as a judge” said Jim Ryan, a former colleague and friend of Robin’s, upon his return from a trip to Dallas earlier this spring. “The

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