The Love Letters George H.W. Bush Wrote To Barbara More Than 50 Years Ago Will Reaffirm Your Faith In Old-Fashioned, Everyday Romance
Forget adorable puppies and funny baby videos, a set of newly released love letters between George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara are the real dose of cute you've been seeking. On Monday, The Independent Journal Review, with permission of the Bush library, posted a set of heart eyes-inducing missives written by the former president and his then-fiancee during Bush's training to become a World War II Navy bomber pilot, in 1943. Filled with passing comments about future engagement plans and painfully sweet pet names, the letters put even the best romantic comedy to shame.
"This should be a fairly easy letter to write," wrote 19-year-old Bush, addressing the letter to "My Darling Bar." "Words should come easily and in short it should be simple for me to tell you how desperately happy I was to open the paper and see the announcement of our engagement, but somehow I can’t possibly say all in a letter I should like to."
Bush then adds that, although he had not yet been sent overseas, he was already counting the days until he returned home, despite knowing that his job was to defeat "the enemy." His only complaint? That he wasn't allowed to officially name his plane after his fiancée.
"This may sound melodramatic, but if it does it is only my inadequacy to say what I mean," he writes. "Bar, you have made my life full of everything I could ever dream of— my complete happiness should be to hear of my love for you."
Barbara, then 18, replied with a brief, but equally loving letter, joking of their new engagement:
I really excited but scared to death, too. If you hear a big noise up there (in your plane), don’t worry it’s just my knees knocking.
The adorable duo has been together ever since, riding a wave of political success and struggle without missing a beat. And in the 70 years since they first wed, Bush and wife Barbara have graced the public with more than a few sweet, PDA moments.
That Time They Got Caught On The Kiss-Cam
During a game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans, an eagle-eyed camera man spotted the couple and turned the lens on the former president and his wife. Once they noticed their faces on the screen, the two turned and gave each other a smooch worthy of every hopeless romantic's heart.
That Time They Both Cried Like Babies Together
In a December 2000 letter to TIME journalist Hugh Sidey, the elder Bush recalled both his and wife Barbara's flood of emotions after hearing announcers name son George W. the 43rd President of the United States.
As the camera focused on George and Laura walking into the chamber my body was literally wracked with uncontrollable sobs. It just happened. No warning, no thinking that this might be emotional for a mother or dad to get through—just an eruption from deep within me where my body literally shook. Barbara cried, too. We held hands.
That Time Bush Went Skydiving
Last June, the former president kicked off his 90th birthday (yup, 90th) by skydiving — just like he had done on his 80th and 85th birthdays. Only this time, he was greeted with an especially sweet landing when Barbara showed up to give him a big kiss for his bravery. (I like to think it was more of an "I can't believe you just did that, but I'm glad you're safe, you idiot" kiss.)
It wasn't the first time Bush had jumped either: during World War II, his plane was shot down over the Pacific, forcing Bush to deploy his parachute and float down over the deep waters. At least this time, Barbara was there to catch him, right?
That Time They Totally Got Hitched
Remember that time George loved Barbara, so he put a ring on it? That's the true face of love, folks.
That Time They Couldn't Stop Laughing
Stop laughing, Mr. President, I want to hear about the dog!
That Time They All Shared A Tender Moment... And Then Barbara Ruined It With A Hilarious Joke
In an interview with then NBC correspondent and granddaughter Jenna, Bush got choked up reading one of the love letters he had written to wife Barbara decades earlier. Jenna, too, began welling up. The moment was heartfelt. And then the former first lady dropped this bomb, comparing Bush to House Speaker John Boehner, a notorious crier:
You know what, you could be Speaker of the House.
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