On Wednesday afternoon, in the wake of the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush at the age of 92 on Tuesday, Marshall Ramsey who is a professional cartoonist, released a touching cartoon of the former First Lady and her daughter Robin, who died at the age of three from leukemia in 1953. It was shared on Twitter by Barbara Bush’s grandson, Jeb Bush Jr., who added the caption:“Break out the Kleenex.”
— Jeb Bush, Jr. (@JebBushJr) April 18, 2018
From Daily Wire:
In 1949, George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara already had a rambunctious son, George W.; Barbara Bush recalled in 2012 that she thought, “All this world needs is a counterpart, a legitimate Christmas angel.” She got her wish when daughter Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush was born on December 20, 1949. She was rowdy like her older brother, so it was a surprise when she complained to her mother that she was tired in early 1953. Barbara Bush recalled, “She was listless, she didn’t want to do anything. She wanted to rest and go out to watch cars go by.”
They visited the doctor, who took a blood test and then told them the devastating news of Robin’s leukemia, adding, “My advice is to take her home, love her and in about two weeks she will be gone.” Barbara Bush wrote in her 1994 memoir, “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. She said this would happen very quickly.”
But Barbara and George H. W. Bush decided to fight against the disease; the very next day after receiving the diagnosis, they flew with Robin to New York, where George H.W. Bush’s uncle was a doctor at Sloan Kettering, the leading cancer center.
Robin was in the hospital for seven months, receiving regular bone marrow tests and blood transfusions. Her father, torn apart, could not stay in the room, but Barbara Bush never left the room. Robin died in October 1953 with her parents by her side. “For one last time, I combed her hair and held our precious little girl,” Barbara Bush wrote.
The parents gave Robin’s body over for medical research, then buried her in a family plot in Greenwich, Connecticut.
George W. Bush, only seven years old and still in Texas, recalled in 1999 that when his parents returned to pick him up at school he was excited to see his sister. He said, “I remember seeing them pull up and thinking I saw my little sister in the back of the car. I remember that as sure as I’m sitting here; it’s like a visage. I run over to the car, and there’s no Robin.”
Barbara Bush said in 1999 that she wasn’t completely aware of how the tragedy had affected George W. until one day she heard him tell a friend that he couldn’t come out because he had to play with his mother, who was lonely. She recalled, “I was thinking, ‘Well, I’m being there for him. But the truth was he was being there for me.'”
After the George H.W. Bush Library was established in College Station, Texas, the family moved Robin’s body there.
This Saturday, Barbara Bush will be buried beside her.